Category Archives: Pete and the Enchanted Book
Been working on the nature (grass, trees etc.) on this illustration and it’s coming along nicely.
Blender does not always play nice. For some strange reason it decided my little character was having a bad hair day 🙂
Lighting is something that I’ve been paying more attention to when illustrating my latest picture book. And lately, I’ve also been reading about colour schemes and colour theory.
I’m reworking some of my illustrations from my book to employ what I’ve learnt in the last few weeks. The idea is to go back and recolour and re do the lightning to improve the illustrations.
Below are two pics that I’ve been working on this month (click to view whole image).
It’s been almost three years since I started working on my book “Pete and the Enchanted Book”. And it was only today that it hit me – I’m actually getting somewhere. Writing and illustrating a picture book is such a humongous project that getting to the end is not something I care to think about because the end always feels so far away.
But today I realised that I’ve reached an important milestone. The drafts for most illustrations are done. I still have loads of work left – but we’re talking months not years now. Not even a year! Now that put a smile on my face.
Anyway, here’s the latest illustration that I completed this evening.
Work in progress! After a three months break I am slowly getting back to working on my picture book; “Pete and the enchanted book.” So… watch this space 🙂
Designing a grumpy, spoiled little kid called Pete. So this is what the main character in my new picture book will look like. Maybe I make a few minor modifications before I complete the design, but it’s more or less finished now… phew!
When I first started thinking about Willisa, the witch in my picture book, I knew I didn’t want her to look like a typical witch. You know; long black hair, green skin, big pointy nose, black clothes, striped witch-tights, pointy witch hat, a cat companion, etc. The only traditional witch paraphernalia that I wanted in Willisa was a flying broom.
But I didn’t have much success in designing a new kind of witch. No matter how much I tried, it just didn’t work. I ended up with a witch that has pretty much the same characteristics as your traditional witch.
I kept the long black unruly witch hair. I didn’t make her skin green but I gave her a pointy witch-nose and a pointy witch hat! She may not have a cat companion, but she does wear an outfit that has cat paws all over it. A subtle (?) reference that she does love her cats maybe?
In terms of her personality, I imagine Willisa young and very outgoing, full of energy and with a positive outlook in life. Willisa is not an evil witch, she can be mischievous, as most people with a young mind tend to be, but I did write her as naïve. And it is her naivety and her inabilities to foresee the consequences of her actions that lands poor little Pete in huge trouble and drives the plot of my story.
If you observe children on a monkey bar or playing on a balance bar, you will note that more often than not they’re fearless, blissfully unaware of any danger. Gymnasts have a fierce attitude and look amazingly confident when performing. I wanted to combine these two qualities in Willisa; the child and the professional. So to convey her youthfulness, confidence and child-like energy, I decided that, whenever Willisa appears in my book she will be riding her flying broom posed in a way only a professional gymnast would be able to pose, but with the facial expression of an excited child.
According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, our traditional TV viewing habits are changing dramatically. It is noted that: “major shift in viewing patterns persists after so-called millennials get their own home and have kids”.
I came across the article just as I had just started to illustrate the part in my book where millions of people across the world fall under the spell of Pete’s enchanted book, when the spell is broadcasted around the world.
Personally, I don’t consume media exclusively on one device and these days it’s pretty safe to say, that’s true for most people. I guess that how we consume our media depends entirely on the type of media and the situation / environment we’re in, so my illustrations reflect that, I hope.
Although the Telegraph article is mainly talking about the millennial generation (people born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s) I would argue that today’s major shift in viewing patterns is not exclusively applicable to them. I’ve seen the changing viewing patterns of my parents who, in their early 70s, have abandoned the traditional way of consuming media (newspapers and TV) for the internet, devouring their news and entertainment on laptops, mobiles and tablets.
Go “Silent Generation” go!
Changes in the way we consume and share information have changed at incredible pace. Just think – in 1982 in the UK, there were just three TV channels that, like the pubs, usually ‘closed down’ at about 11pm. By 2002 major consumer brand owners could no longer advertise on TV effectively anymore – not only were there numerous competing channels, but a wide number of media appliances competed for the general public’s time too, like DVDs and with the arrival of the internet, computers.
Then came social media and suddenly people spent more time in front of the computer screen than the TV, interacting and connecting instead of sitting passively on the couch. By 2014, there were six billion mobile phones in operation, worldwide. Thirty-two percent of the world’s population has Internet access, and is rising faster because you no longer need a computer for media consumption.
This fast pace of change has a moral for artists. Certainly, what I’ve learned from illustrating this particular section of my picture book is that including today’s gadget is not necessarily a very good idea if you want your story to have relevance and longevity. I’m certain that in a few years’ time my illustrations will look very dated. But I’m curious to see how thechnology and the way we interact with it, will develop over the years to come. I’m sure a revised edition of my book will be necessary in the not too distant future.