The assignment was to illustrate the front cover of a children's book (any classic story that no longer has a copyright issue, which would be a folktale, fairytale, or is over 100 years old and deems it public property) in any way we choose, in any medium. The only rule was to leave room for text. I chose to go with a Fairytale Collection book or an anthology of fairytale characters, because I simply cannot choose just one story!
I began with a sketch on scrappy paper (I do my best work on garbage paper that should be recycled... fresh clean new paper is so uninspiring), then scanned and re-sized, added a few things with tracing paper, re-scanned and re-sized, and then transferred it all onto watercolor paper.
I used my own mixture of ink for the lines and underpainting: burnt umber and black makes a nice chocolatey brown. I chose to stick with only three or four colors for my palette, which I wanted to keep warm: Cadmium Red Medium, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cobalt Blue, and Lemon Yellow for some brightness.
Brown Ink Stage.
Some color added.
Pretty much done here.
And here it is in the final scanned form:
And that was it! No secrets, just plain old art. I didn't add any touches of colored pencil or caran d'ache, or even gauache for that matter. Simple yet effective! I'm pretty pleased with the way it came out. I wonder what I will be doing next?