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Currently I am working on the final illustrations for Random's release of the 1951 classic Golden Book for children, PANTALOON. (see my earlier post regarding this picture book project)
Posted here are a few studio pictures of my table with one individual illustration in progress... showing the multitude of paint cups at hand, and a print out of the sketch taped above the original image being worked on.
process: I work out the sketches for the entire book in a small scale. First with very small thumbnails, then more resolved sketches at about 4" x 5" size. I scan these small sketches into Photoshop where I further modify the sketches and enlarge them. Then I print out these "full size" sketches. Each sketch is then placed on the light table and Arches 260 lb hot press paper is laid on top (that has the book trim size marks and gutter indicated very lightly in pencil). I then copy the sketch image onto the Arches paper, lightly in pencil, but it is not a mere "copying" of the sketch underneath... I make many last second changes, adjustments and refinements to the image as I re-draw it onto the Arches paper.
Now I am ready to start painting. I use Windsor & Newton gouaches and watercolors (mostly gouache, though). And I never create the final images in the same order as they will appear in the book. Usually I will start with an "easy image" to get started, one with just a single character rather than a scene with multiple characters, etc... to ease into the book, sort of like dipping your toe in the tub in case the water is too hot!