The Seven Bearded Dwarfs

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This piece was created as an assignment for the Illustrator Intensive at the 2014 SCBWI Winter Conference in February, and is based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I got some really great reactions and feedback on it, definitely things that I should to keep in mind when creating new work. Here are a few close ups and process shots, as well.

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Here are a couple shots of my sketchbook while I was ideating characters and settings, and creating thumbnails of the overall scene.

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These are the scanned in drawings of the final characters, plus a scan of some extras that I drew and scanned in after realizing something was missing.

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Above are the original pencil drawings for the background/setting. I really enjoy creating intricate pencil textures like these. I like to draw the simple outline of the layout, and then draw the textures/details each separately using a light box. That way, I can scan them in as separate images and piece them together digitally, allowing me to easily manipulate and play around with them.MC-heigh-ho-process-D-blog

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Here’s the scanned in typography that I drew in pen. I drew many different versions, and this one was my favorite in terms of having personality but still being highly legible.

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I also made digital value studies to test the values and ensure they had enough contrast. My illustrations are usually pretty light in color and values, but this scene was set at night (which was a challenge I wanted to give myself), so I new I really needed to nail the values. I made a few of these studies, and found that it really helped in planning out the illustration and made the final values and color choices way more successful than if I hadn’t done the studies.

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And that’s it! Now I’m off to go write some more of my in-progress PB manuscript! I’m on version 11 of the manuscript, and am just about ready to move on to storyboarding. I’m super excited to see where the visuals take the story, and how it evolves from here. The main character has already started leaking out of my pencil, even though I’m still in the writing stage!