Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jack the Giant Killer - Jack Character Sheet

I have been chipping away at bits and pieces of this project for a while, although it never feels like I've got much to show for it! I'm still working on a set of character sheets that will act as a reference to the style and colouring I will use in the book.

I am also editing the story based on pieces of updated text that my mother-in-law has very kindly helped me with. In summary, what I have done is used an old (out-of-copyright) version of the story and asked my mother-in-law to try and "modernise" the text...make it more accessible to the younger reader. She has really enjoyed doing that exercise, and now I am in the process of putting her edited paragraphs back into one whole piece. I have always had a lot of support from her with my illustrations (and aspirations!) and I am very grateful for her help. Thanks, Mum!!

Anyway, here's the completed Jack character sheet - click on the thumbnail image below if you want to see the full-size version on Flickr:

Jack - Character Sheet - final

My aim is to go for mostly black-and-white illustrations throughout...images that will flow with and complement the text. For key plot points in the story, I will create full-colour illustrations, most likely one for each giant that Jack encounters on his journey. The colouring style above is what I am aiming for, with a palette that I think will match the atmosphere of the time period. I hope it works!! You can see more of my thoughts on the above image here.

Anyway, onto the next character sheet...Cormoran!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jack the Giant Killer

So...the big project has started! There's been a big lull in between this post and the last...various happenings in the house (decorating, etc.) have kept me away from the drawing board too long!

It will be obvious from the title of this post that my aim is to illustrate the age-old story of "Jack the Giant Killer". The story of Jack the Giant Killer has been passed down through the generations. The exact origins of the story are unknown, but it is said to have existed in a chapbook as far back as 1711. The earliest surviving text, entitled "The History of Jack and the Giants", was published somewhere between 1750 and 1760.

As stated in my previous post, I am attempting to put my own illustrative spin on the tale. The story itself is not in copyright, and is based on folklore, making it difficult to find its exact origins. (It is actually said to have links with the other famous Jack..."Jack and the Beanstalk".) As such, this makes it an ideal story to illustrate without infringing any copyright!

Anyway, I've posted some initial thumbnails and a character sketch for my own visualisation of "Jack the Giant Killer". The next few months will be taken up with more character sketches, but Jack is done (well, the pencilled version anyway) and available to view:

Jack - character sheet - pencilled

The next step for the above character sheet is to show the coloured and inked versions. This will help to show the style that will be used throughout the book.

On that subject, the illustrations will consist of black and white (inked) drawings and full-page colour spreads. There will also be various small inset drawings scattered throughout, e.g. pennants, weapons, scriptures, etc. that pertain to the feel of the period.

If you click on the above image it will take you to my Flickr set of "Jack the Giant Killer" images, which also contains some other thumbnail sketches of early designs, clothing, weapons, etc. You will also find more notes with each image that explain the ideas on the setting: Anglo-Saxon England...the "Dark Ages" :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Big Project

My main passion with drawing is that I want to tell a story. You can easily lose yourself in creating just a simple scene or character design, letting your imagination run wild as you start to form ideas around the people or objects in your image. Where have they come from? What is going on in their world? That sort of thing.

However, to expand on those ideas and to form an insight into the characters' basically tell their story (or one of them)...that, to me, is the ultimate project.

So, this idea of a "big project". What's it all about?

Well, I want to approach this project as an illustrator who has obtained a commission from a publisher. They have provided you with the book and they want you to enhance that story and bring it to life.

I haven't been approached by a publisher to illustrate a story as of yet, and that will only happen if I get my portfolio out there and start fishing. So, one of the things I want this project to serve as is a demonstration of my artistic skill (subjective, I know) aswell as my storytelling abilities, such that a future publisher may be interested. Sort of like an extra "add-on" to my portfolio.

So...what to illustrate? There are so many fantastic stories out there, and it would be a thrill to pick a favourite and illustrate it...but there's the problem of copyright. I have no right to pick a book off the shelf and put my own spin on it.

But what about those stories that are now in the public domain? That have no copyright because they have been passed down the generations, their authors long since gone or anonymous? we have the beginnings of a thread of an idea. The start of something that could be really fun.

(To be continued...)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Illustrapedia Challenge for February

Well...after a long hiatus from the drawing board, I've got myself back into the saddle again.

The February challenge for Illustradedia on Flickr was "Clowns", and I thought that was a good exercise to blow the cobwebs away and get back into the creative frame of mind.

For some reason, I did not have to think much about the idea. The "scene" pretty much popped into my head, so after only doodling a couple of thumbnails, I already knew what I wanted. Strange that...sometimes you can be rattling your brain for ages for an idea...other times, it's right there at the front of your noodle!

Anyway, here's the picture (click on the image to view the bigger size on Flickr)...


My next post will be describing a new project I'm starting on...check back soon!!