Friday, February 26, 2010

An Unexpected Visitor

My first full Sabriel illustration for The Picture Book Report! Yay!
I talk about the illustration and the passage it's illustrating on the Picture Book Report, so I figured on here I would show my process...

Often when I'm first trying to puzzle out a layout, I sketch quickly into photoshop with just black and white until I get a vague idea of what I'm going for. (oftentimes this involves me erasing everything or deleting the layers afterwards when I know what I'm doing, which is why I don't have that to show you!)
As you saw in the last post, once I got the idea of Sabriel turning in her chair in the study, I started with some photo ref to set the groundrules.



Oftentimes in my editorial work, I will go straight to color after thumbnails. Since this was going to be a little more complicated, I worked out the general layout in B&W first. I've been looking at James Gurney's tips about tone & composition and Maxfield Parrish's B&W work, and I was excited about the idea of Sabriel's head being silhouetted by the fire.


From there, I worked out the colors. I imagined the room being dark and warm, that's where the tans come from. I tried out a really blue room too, but that ended up looking less elegant.


Aaaand then most of the rest of my time was spent clarifying all the details, color tweaking, rearranging things, and adding decorative elements!


Finally, I added different texture layers and final tweaks, like the outline of light or shadow on different surfaces and some detail on Sabriel's skin.

Voila! It's certainly a bit different from my very flat work, but I'm interested in where it's heading. Stay tuned for more in the future!

17 comments:

Mitch Bunt said...

It looks excellent!

Amanda said...

This is really beautiful. I love Sabriel and am so excited you chose it for your PBR work! The color palette here is very rich and the texture really gives the room that sort of dusty British library feeling I associate with Ancelstierre.

Jeremy Enecio said...

kali that is gorgeous! it's interesting to see the process on this. i'm liking the spilled tea better than the book. great job! definitely love the addition of texture in the last image.

Madiz said...

I like this direction it has a real nice feel, and the colors are spot on

James said...

Wonderful illustration! I can't wait to see where you go with the rest of these.

jen mussari said...

Thanks for sharing your process =^.^= do you have to use any guides or anything for drawing lines, like the circles in the rug? Or are you a free-handed wonder of Photoshop?

Sketchguy said...

beautiful!

Maria Filar said...

Hey,I love your work! I'm so happy I found your work through Picture Book Report.

Nancy Muller said...

*sigh*
Oh Kali. I commented over on PBR, but I think this is worthy of a double comment. I love seeing into your process. It makes me wish I had the patience to work digitally. Perhaps someday I will give it another go. Please continue to knock my socks off.

Hannah Ahn said...

sheesh kali. this is quite lovely. its always so nice to see your updates =)

Kali Ciesemier said...

You guys are the best. Thank you all. (and to answer your question Jen, I don't use guides but I do a whole lot of erasing. :))

Frank said...

it's not that different from your more graphic work. Cool process, your ref. photos are so much nicer than mine!


f.

Reed Bond said...

Like I said before, you make me want to read this book. Wonderful.

Raúl said...

Kali, I have a question: why you didn't include a projected chair shadow on the carpet, like in your general layout? I really like the illo, but I found that missing shadow distracting... and now looking at your initial grey comp, I wonder why is not there...

Kali Ciesemier said...

Haha, thanks Frank & Reed :). Raul-- I tried adding the shadow when I was working on it, but found it to be a bit distracting so I added a more subtle shadow instead. I might revisit it in the future, we'll see!

Sean Andrew Murray - aka Muttonhead - aka SAM said...

Wow, awesome work, Kali.

B.Wallz said...

I love the palette, texture, and composition. Great image all around, Kali.