Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Step by Step Illustration

I had a friend ask me to share some tips on the way I create digital illustrations with Pages on the Mac.

To explain the way I illustrate on the computer, I would like to describe the steps I used to create this particular illustration from The Little Pink Whale:

I had a lot of fun with this illustration and it is one of my favorite.  I use Pages from iWork to create my illustrations, but, I believe you could use the same technique in a other programs as well.

First I will explain how I created the background.

For the sky in the background, I used a snapshot of some blue fabric from my sister’s shop.

For the water, I drew a shape that I thought resembeled water.   

Then I “masked” the image with a snapshot of another piece of fabric from my sister’s shop.  I also added a shadow to the fabric. 

I copied and pasted the water multiple times.  I varied the size and brightness of each layer to give the water some dimension.   

Next, I varied the opacity of each layer of water.  And trimmed the edges of the water for a perfect rectangle background.  Now my background is complete! 

Now for my subject, whales!  First, I asked my sister to take a few snap shots of the whale she created: 

For this particular illustration, I used the 3rd and 4th images featured above.

I used my mouse to trace and cut out the whale’s tail from one image and the whale’s face from the other image.

Then I rotated the tail and layered the images to 
make them look like one whale:

For multiple whales, I copied and pasted the same whale.  I varied the sizes (length and width) of each whale.

I also varied the colors using the Adjust image tool in my Pages program.  

Finally, I combined the whales with the background.  I placed the whales between the different layers of water and now my picture is complete!  

Thanks again for the awesome opportunity to share ideas and a love for children’s stories.  
You can see more illustrations and the complete story of The Little Pink whale here.
For more info about how I draw in Pages or any other questions,
please email me at madebybedtimetales@gmail.com


Donna Perugini said...

Hi, Carrie!
When I found your story and the illustrations with fabric through Blog Frog (MckMaMa Group), I was just blown away by such an adorable creation!

The story is not just fun for toddlers and preschoolers, but it is educational too. I loved the way you used fabric, colors and the computer to illustrate the book so beautifully.

People, when you're done reading the book she posted on her site here, if you don't want to just pick up monkey, seagull, and the little pink whale and smooch them...you must have your maternal instincts turned off!
Seriously, it's a winning combination!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

I'm going to look into that book! We could ALWAYS use new books around our house!

Ms. Understood said...

CK . . . . I swear you amaze me. It started with that card, LOL. How you can turn a stuffed whale and some snapshots of fabric into a book cover is beyond me (no matter how clearly you described it, graphic design is not my calling, LOL). Where is your book for sale?

Carrie K said...

Hey Ms Understood! I have not published the whale story. I made it as a gift for my son. I ordered prints of each illustration and have plans to bind them. Hopefully they will arrive in the mail this week. Depending on how well it prints I may make more copies. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Ms. Understood said...

Okay . . .how about I didn't realize I couldn't email you back and I sent you one earlier today and only just now realized that beside your name the email address was noreply, LOL.

From your earlier comment, both of the previous and current header pics were from pics taken the day after our wedding. Because we had both the ceremony and reception at the same location, we didn't want to leave and come back so our photographers came back and did a day after photoshoot with just us.

Oh, and I mentioned since both of us fumbled through our first dates with our husbands, fumbling must be a sign of a keeper.

Lastly (gosh this is a long comment), I hope that the book turns out the way you want it too. I'll be waiting to hear.

Ms. Understood said...

Crap, for got one last thing. That story is such an amazing way to teach your child about family. They can identify who the different people/whales are in their family and learn about how family takes care of each other. Love it. Okay. For real, I'm gone now and I'll stop hogging all your comment space, LOL.


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