Wednesday, April 14, 2010

From Start to Finish - Song of Spring, Part 1

As I have already mentioned, we have started a new project in my children's book illustration class!  The assignment is to do a double page spread of a cut paper/collage illustration, and must integrate the text in an interesting way.  Although we could pick a poem from Cheryl's collection, I chose instead to use my own words so that I may submit my work to Ladybug Magazine when it is finished.  The poem is titled "Song of Spring."

We began in the usual way, by drawing thumbnails on parchment paper to get a feel for the composition.  I had an image in my mind that I felt was a strong one, so I stuck with that.  I'm terrible when it comes to thumbnails- once I get the idea in my head it won't go away, and I've pretty much decided what I want to do.  I know this is a no-no...but what can I say, that's how I work!

It should go without saying - All words and art in this post are Copyright Melanie Linden Chan 2010.

I did a bit of research and sketching on the critters and things that are in my piece before I settled on this:

Next I did a color comp to get a better idea of what I was getting myself into:

( is in crayon...I was stuck at work with limited supplies!)

Then I stepped outside for a bit to make my colors!  I used old newspaper, in both English and Chinese, and taped them to cardboard.  Then my acrylics and I went crazy!  I also added a touch of nature here and there- such as crumpled leaves and grassy textures, made with (can you guess?) grass:

...and here is part of my collection of paper:

I chose to use canvas for my base, because I want to have a nice final piece that I can either put into a show or sell one day.  Of course I couldn't purchase a canvas size that fit my project's dimensions perfectly, and I didn't have the time or materials to make my own, so I settled with a 16x20, which is actually turning out pretty well.  I messed around a bit before I came up with my background, using acrylic and layered tissue paper:

Of course I lost my crop marks in the process, so I put them on the side edges of the canvas and made myself a little composition frame:

A little bit of cutting and arranging...

The squint test wasn't working so well for me, but luckily my camera has a Black & White option so I can check my values.  They definitely need some re-working! (plus the lighting is bad here)

That's all I've done so far...but this week is Spring Break!  Too bad it isn't Spring Break in the working world as well, but I will take what I can get.  Both "Mother Nature" and "Song of Spring" are due on April 26th, so check back in a little bit and you'll soon see the finished pieces!

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