Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Process for "There Was an Old Gator" Illustration


Here's a little peek behind the process I used for the illustrations in the picture book, "There Was an Old Gator Who Swallowed a Moth," written by B.J. Lee and produced by Pelican Publishing. I created the original art with dip pen and watercolors on Arches cold-pressed paper.

The final illustration.


It all starts with a pencil drawing. I add tone in Photoshop to create
a value study.

Here's the ink drawing on Arches cold-press watercolor paper. I use a light
table to trace my drawing. I mostly used a Hunt 101 nib.


Starting to lay in the background.


The background is just about blocked in.


Building up the animals in the foreground.


This is my raw scan before I adjust the colors in Photoshop to better match the
painting and fix things up a little.

Here's my Layers Panel to show how much I adjust the scan. I select most major
colors (using the Magic Wand or Quick Selection Tool), Feather the selection about 5 pixels,
and then open up an Adjustment Layer. In this illustration I also copied and enlarged the
gator's left arm. Click to enlarge.





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