Sunday, June 26, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: Witch Nazel

UPDATE: B+W Image Colorized
Digitally colored in Photoshop
Quick note on the information below. I mention publishing an eBook version of the story, but after reading up on the market, eBooks aren't really catching fire . . . especially with children's books. Parents still want higher quality printed books and are willing to pay for that quality.

The major problem with eBooks is that everyone can make one - and it seems like they do. This creates a huge glut of poorly edited, poorly drawn and unprofessional picture books, which in turn makes any worthy eBook harder to find among all the clutter.

Bottomline: I'm no longer considering eBook publishing . . . going to try the old fashion way of submitting and waiting. We'll see if I can break into the business the proper way.

Originally Posted on Friday, December 20, 2013

I just purchased a new set of Copic Cool Gray markers and wanted to test them out.

I already had Warm and Neutral Grays . . . so I thought it would be best to try to create a wintry image with the cool grays. This was also a good opportunity for me to develop one of my supporting characters, Witch Nazel.

This version of Witch Nazel is more feminine, friendly and less freakish looking.
Marketing wise, this would be a better choice for her design since she would be accepted by more people. But the wacky side of me prefers a weirder looking Witch Nazel, (or at least not as clean cut as she appears in this image.) So, this may not be the version of Witch Nazel once the eBook is published. (. . . or . . . maybe it is . . . too early to tell.)

Gray toned image of Witch Nazel made with a cool gray set of Copic markers

This image of Witch Nazel is taken from one of the pages in my eBook, Worm Wire Glasses. I altered the background to make it more of a winter scene. Below is the original pencil sketch. You can slightly see a hint of the monster, Bladimir, flailing about in the lower right corner -- kicking a garbage can. This is from the scene where Witch Nazel floats over the ruckus that Bladimir is causing below on Halloween.   

Original pencil sketch of Witch Nazel flying on her broom during a Halloween night

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Milo

Here's an old character I have been keeping for a certain story I wrote over 20 years ago. I named him Milo, after the main character from my favorite story when I was a kid . . . (Norton Juster's) The Phantom Tollbooth. That story captivated me like no other book, filled with crazy characters, wordplay, and imagination.

Old color comp of my character Milo for a picture book story

My character, Milo, is a smart nerdy little kid with a troublesome baby sister. Their story takes place on a Saturday morning, the time of the week when Mom & Dad sleep late -- appointing Milo the "Saturday Morning Boss of the House."

The first pencil sketch of Milo wearing pajamas
I originally pictured Milo differently with a big blockhead and very angular features. I was never satisfied by his look. Years later, looking at random sketches in a pad, I added big glasses to a doodle of a little boy's face . . . and that created the Milo character I was searching for all this time.

Pencil sketch of Milo readying for a major confrontation in the kitchen
One of the first major changes to the character was his clothing. I originally had drawn him wearing shorts, sneakers and a t-shirt (even a baseball cap in some sketches.) But since this story happens during the early hours of a Saturday morning, Milo should be wearing his pajamas. It made sense, though it never dawned on me until years later. Sometimes figuring out little details takes time . . .

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: More Monstas and Bunnies sketch stuff

Had this sketch laying around since the end of last year. The sketch was an idea I had envisioned and quickly jotted down on paper before forgetting it. It helped that it was the holiday season, which inspires this type of work. Looking at the image now, a half-year later, there are many changes needed to improve the composition. Mostly the sizing of everything is off. The characters and the tree need to be bigger with less emphasis/detail to the background.
Inked rough sketch of a concept for a Monsta and Bunnies calendar

I would like to create a calendar of this subject one day. This one would be December's image. I know the subject and images would work well, but I'm still undecided on what style medium I would want to use for final images. Time will tell.
Original pencil sketch of the holiday concept

Monday, June 6, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: Zookeeper Earl and The Burpy Bear

UPDATE: Color version
Updated the post with a color version of the image below

These characters are a part of a silly little poem/story I have about a burping bear in a city zoo. The story needs to be longer and several other characters will need to be developed. That'll take time which I never seem to have anymore.

Zookeeper Earl and Burpy Bear inked with a pen brush and gray toned with markers
I tried to alter my usual style a little here, especially with Earl who is very inspired by The Far Side cartoonist, Gary Larson. I think the Burpy Bear needs some work. He needs to be more comical and likable (and the big tooth just isn't doing it for me.)

The inked version of Burpy Bear
Inked version of Zookeeper Earl

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Old Sketch found: Bladimir Blarfarg Trick or Treating (from the story Worm-Wire Glasses)

Found this image on a memory stick. It's a scan of my character Bladimir Blarfarg from my Halloween picture book story, "Worm-Wire Glasses". This was done with pencil, brush pen and finished with markers.
Marker sketch of the star character from "Worm-Wire Glasses", Bladimir Blarfarg trick or treating

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: Doggie Doodle

Found this doodle among pages in a lined paper pad. I don't remember doing this image, so it's a true doodle. A typical dog doodle with many features I usually draw. It's really just a smaller and more compact version of my character, Woger (from Bobby's Biggest Bubble.)

Sketchy ink pen doodle of a dog on lined notebook paper
The loose and angular line strokes make this image look different enough for me to archive and possibly use for future work one day.