Sunday, October 30, 2011


Hi there!

I'm betting you might have noticed the new little badge in the upper left hand corner of my blog! :D

You haven't?
Well, that's a bummer...

Because it's almost time for Picture Book Idea Month! PiBoIdMo! When an artist comes up with a new picture book idea a day for 30 WHOLE DAYS!!! And 2011 marks my very first time participating, even though I have less time than ever to do pretty much anything. (But that's my fault- I'm an artist, not a day planner.)

So if you want to learn more about it, go here, (because there's no need to re-type the whole thing) and you might as well sign up while you're at it!

Welp, I've got raindrops to draw and homework to re-work, so I'll post ya later! ;D

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Little Raindrop's Social Network

Hi There!

Today I spent a crazyyyy amount of time putting together some marketing tools and social networking sites for my client's book, temporarily called "Little Raindrop's Big Adventure." Little Raindrop now has his very own blog, twitter account, facebook account, and even an email account! Now I'm totally tuckered out, (back, neck and brain included), but it will be worth it in the end to have gotten a head start. And you're probably wondering Why is the illustrator doing all this? Because I'm used to doing this sort of thing- it kind of comes naturally, and the author is learning it along the way! Plus, I put it in the contract, as a bonus for signing with me. ;)
So take a gander, "like," follow, and add Little Raindrop to your favorites folder!
Twitter: @LRaindropsStory
(and Facebook is acting funny today so I'll fix it and get back to you!)

And on a separate, side note...

I'm signed up for the NY SCBWI 2012 Winter Conference! Yay!!! I hope to see some of you there as well! I'm very much excited about it, but thankfully time flies during the school year and the holidays, and it will be here in no time. Plus, in the meantime I'll need to get my portfolio in order, submit a piece of work to the Tomie dePaola Award, and print up more business cards and new postcards, so I'll be super busy as usual!

Keep on creating... I'm off to do some laundry!

Friday, October 14, 2011

T-Rex Commission Finished!


Today I finally completed the T-Rex painting I had been commissioned for by my aunt and uncle. They really liked my original T-Rex (found below) and hired me to paint one for a baby gift!

The baby's room is light blue, with red and orange accents, so I wanted this piece to have a lot of color and warmth. I chose to work with acrylic and caran d'ache crayons, however I struggled for a long time how to work out my lines in this style, so I had put the painting away for a bit while I thought about it.

Anyhow, successful or not, this is how I solved my problem:

I'm pretty pleased with the results, and it's one of those pictures that make me happy, so that's a plus! It's neat to see my style change, but it still looks like my own art. My only drawback is that I'm still undecided whether to include the "Rex + Tree" carving in the bark. I feel almost as if it's a tad too much, but I'll see what my artist friends think!

Thanks for reading! It's super rainy out today, and I have to go run errands in it! Yuck! :P
See you soon!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Children's Book Illustration 3: Project 1, Part 3

Well I finished the Final Piece tonight! *yayyy!*
But I haven't finished all my character art yet. *booo*

Oh well. Anyhow, here are my painting stages (all images are copyright Melanie Linden Chan):

My original line drawing...

...transferred to canvas paper and painted the values in...
...figuring out my colors...

...cooling down the snow...


...checking my values...


"Snow Dog" by Melanie Linden Chan

Monday, October 3, 2011

Children's Book Illustration 3: Project 1, Part 2

Greetings, Creative Peoples!

Here is the second installment on the process of our first project for Children's Book Illustration III. This week, we narrowed down our choices for the final spread and did value and color studies. And mixed colors! Woo! Our final goal for this project is to have the following:
1) Three double-page spread sketches from our storyboard.
2) A page of consistent character art, depicting three different action poses, and three different emotions. Color.
3) A finished portfolio-ready piece of art, single page OR double page spread.
4) Do it all in a style and/or medium that we are working to perfect.

I went back through my storyboard and picked some pages to draw a bit clearer and less sketchy:

And then I drew an angry little girl to fulfill the requirement for three emotions:

I've decided to work on a style I've be tweaking here and there, and I really love playing with the colors. It's done in acrylic paint, lots of glazed layers using matte medium, and also involves caran d'ache crayons. I was inspired by the following illustrator's styles:
Judy Schachner, for her use of texture
Mike Wohnoutka, for his cutesy style and use of color
Kelly Murphy, a mixture of textures and bold use of color
Mark Teague, for his clean but cute look
John Rocco, for his textures
Dan Santat, Dani JonesWill Terry, Megumi Lemons....all very awesome illustrators

And here are some of the pieces I've done in the past as I whittle down on my process:

still have to figure out how to polish the line work on this one...

I like how I handled the line here in this
SECRET image from Project #2!

I was undecided whether I should use a warm or cool under painting, because I wanted the painting to feel wintry cold but also have a bit of electricity to it. So I stuck with the warm colors, because I used a warm brown for the lines. (Also, here's a little lesson on composition from Dan Santat: click here!)

Finally I figured it all out, did my color comps and value study, and found my color palette:

And here is my final piece in its work-in-progress state:

Thanks for visiting! I'll post the rest of the process when I'm done! :)