Dragon spread - first of the three full colour spreads I need to go with my dummy book roughs, is finished (nearly!)
This has been a long project with trying to steal time here and there to work on it when I can. Its a double page spread so the 'gutter' or fold of the book runs down the middle of the illustration, and the text will go in the paler areas on the right hand side of the page.
I had intended to embellish quite a few of the spreads with small amounts of silver leaf through the book, a flash of moonlight on silver scales here, fish glittering in water there....
So the painting phase of this one I think I'm done with, which leaves the question - to leaf or not to leaf???
It would have to be subtle in case a potential publisher didn't want to go down the foil route, (because I do want to try and get this published if I'm very, very lucky and if I get over my fear of travelling to London!) but of course scanners and printers don't reproduce reflective qualities all that well.
I think I'm going to get it scanned before doing any silver leaf just in case...
Some details for you:
Also I thought you might like to see some work in progress shots...
After stretching paper and drawing out, I always start with the most chancy and most terrifying bit - the big wet-on wet wash... this can either make or destroy a painting before its begun! But thats exactly what I love about painting this way with watercolours, there's an unpredictable element where the paint moves to its own purpose, merges, spreads, and it can be really beautiful and unexpected.
Of course I know which colours I want where and which I want to merge so there is a fair amount of deliberation before placing each heavy stroke of colour, then just keeping my nerve enough not to interfere with it too much as it starts to move!
To add another level of unpredictability I've really got into using salt, both fine grain and rock salt on my washes, and I love the effect you get, though its quite easy to get carried away and do too much!
Here's a few drawing board shots as it progresses...
After each night's painting I usually scribble notes to myself around the edges to remind me what needs doing next while its fresh in my mind, sometimes its several days before I can get back to it. I'm still undecided about that moon....!
I hope you don't mind the self-indulgence of this rather long post... getting the first spread done is a real milestone on this project and means I'm very nearly at the end of it, (which I never thought I would be at times!)
The next stage will be the most daunting - trying to get appointments to show it to publishers, laying it bare and bracing for the inevitable critisms and rejections which I am more than prepared for... but you never know until you try do you!