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Monday, January 28, 2013

Dummy & Roughs : Ongoing Picture Book

Hi, Friends,did you have a wonderful weekend? 
Thank you so much for many warm cheers and encouragements! With them, I'll enjoy picture book illustration more than ever!

Now, I'm creating a dummy and roughs based on the story board.
Girl Has Icecream On Lips

A story board shows a visual info flow and a page break. Understanding a relation between a text and a page structure is crucial to create a book. A board reminds me of movie film cells. I often feel a picture book illustrator is very similar to a film director. We understand a scenario, set characters = actors & actresses, give them roles, choose locations, etc, etc. Get my feeling? In deed, often picture book illustrators study movies and film making.  

A dummy stands for a "dummy book." It's is experimental.
With a dummy, an illustrator checks how pictures tell a story or not and so on. Each illustrator has an individual taste and create a unique dummy.  Some illustrators make small dummies like miniatures, others make a book size ones and so on.  Some illustrators make lots at once and others produce only a few for one project. Once, I made three small dummies for one project. I chose the best page structure and combined better images from the dummies.

But this time, I'm working with "one" nearly "real book size dummy." A page or a rough should be changed, if necessary. So, alternative and potential images are ongoing, while I'm checking the storyboard,too.  

View St Mary Cathedral from Archibald Fountain side

I'll enjoy black & white roughs and colour roughs! 
I hope my lines and colours will keep dancing on papers whole through the project. 
Spontaneity is my strength.

Also, it's important to refresh myself apart from work. 
I had a wonderful time with Sydney sketch club members on Australia day, last Saturday. So nice to catch up with friends! We hugged each other and good to meet new members. We sketched many events and had lots of chats over lunch.
The fountain water showered us and made dots on the cathedral roof in the sketch. Children played around in it! Splash!
The sketching refreshed me so much. I'll enjoy drawing! Yey, we are having a long weekend right now.
Friends, Happy Painting!!



Monday, January 21, 2013

Rokia Traoré in Parra Opening

Hi, Friends, did you enjoy your weekend? 
Sydney Festival is a big event (Jan 5 to 27). I really enjoyed Sydney Festival Parramatta Opening on 19th Jan. Parramatta had many exciting "free" events last Saturday.

The most impressive concert was "Rokia Traore" late in the evening. I heard a beautiful sound from a school yard on my way home. When I went down there, I missed out more than the half of the concert. I listened to Rokia for the first time. 

Both songs content and her voice seemed to have strong messages (*I could not understand her language). One song she dedicated for African mothers was very touchy (she explained about it in English).  Her guitar sounded so sweet and caring. 
Despite patchy and slight rain, people stayed in the field and shared wonderful time with Rokia and her band. People around me began to enjoy looking at my sketching. We smiled each other.
Other day time events were for kids and parents such as "megaphones."  Children really loved them all. Hahaha. Quite cute. 
I shouted, "I luv ye~~~!" Could you hear it? 
Another nice one was a "pyrophone." That's an amazing ship and instrument! When I saw it from a distance, I mistook it for a xylophone. My friend said, "No, it's a pyrophone." He told me about the similar instruments in Fiji and other countries. Wow, he was right! My friends and I all loved this ship sailing across a dream.
I met a creator Steven in person later. He was very approachable. Steven kindly explained about the code theory and the ship design from his childhood memory. All the crew were very nice. We enjoyed a chat. This close-up sketch was done before sunset. 
Now, Friends, why did I sketch it in a day time?   

Yes, your guessing is right! "Fire!" 
The crew and the captain, Steven used "fire"! Very eye catchy. Strong visual effects, a story performance ( fire on a ship and the crew dashed to a board) and music changed into up beat. It excited all audience.  
It's really lovely to see a person pursuing a dream and making it come true.

Friends, let us sail into our dreams and enjoy our journeys. 

I really enjoyed the Parra Opening and refreshed myself.
I'll work on picture book illustrations! 
Happy Painting!!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Ongoing Picture Book Illustration

Hi, Friends, 
Good news has come! I can work on a bit "bigger" size to a real book size after consulting Windy Hollow Books and Editor Helen Chamberlin. I'm relieved. Finally, book dimension info has come to me today. 
Then, I've set the paper size for double spreads. A2 is good enough.

Once, the lecturers showed us their bigger original works (*They were pastel work on A2 for a tall book and other A2s were for landscape books). Their work surprised at us, students.

However, an original work size should depend on medium, an illustrator's taste and  how a book will be -- a tall book or a landscape? (I actually rang up the old teacher and got whys.)
My watercolour work will be a bit landscape book and nearly a square. So, it's not necessary to create a huge work for a single page. Also, it's important to keep a same ratio throughout the work.

OK, if so, Sadami will certainly have fun in making "roughs"! 
Thank you for warm cheers. 
Sadami's advenutre will continue.

Friends, have a wonderful week and 
Happy Painting!!
(*Ehum, I did not put colours in communion..., although, yes, a drawing is my prayer. I put colours in the studio ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ).  



Ongoing Picture Book Illustration

Now, I'll chat over picture book illustration and a paper size. As the positive feedback came back to my story board, I'm working on black and white on an A2 or a sheet paper ( Arches, smooth,356 gsm, 65cm x 102cm -- I'll cut it into a half!).
Some people might think picture book illustrators create images on A4 or on a reasonably easy smaller size papers. As far as I know, illustrators use bigger size papers than books. Quite "large," even though a real book size is smaller than original work. 
*Above is a doodle just for fun. It's nothing to do with the ongoing project. 
To avoid stress, I always enjoy varied style at once. 
Or I should say do something different from a main ongoing work.
Why do picture book illustrators make big work?
Because a reduced size image will come up beautifully = a big work comes up nice in a real printing size. So, we work on large papers. It's really "huge efforts." I bravely stand in front of a drawing board and challenge a big paper. Physically, mentally, it's a demanding work. Gulp?! Sounds like a battle? Furthermore, these big papers are expensive. It makes an artist a bit nervous. 

Well, hopefully, not the battle with papers, but I'll embrace papers and kiss them all. My dear friend says, "Papers are your dear friends, Sadami!" Great. What smart advice! That has relaxed my high tension to poshed papers. (*Her email is on the drawing board. Thank you, dear!) Other admiring illustrators encourage me so much such as Tohby Riddle, Elise Hurst, Anne Spudvilas, PJ Lynch and Ann James. What a lucky illustrator I am! 

Above all, joy must come first. My editor/publisher Helen Chamberlin is so caring and lovely. Helen says, "Have fun! Enjoy it!" "Do what you think right!" Brilliant cheers. That's the main thing in my illustration. Helen knows me very well. Otherwise, my hand gets stiff and brushes and lines will never dance on papers. What a blessing I can work with that Publisher/Editor!

In 2013, the goal is to accomplish 32 pages plus, a front cover and a back cover. (Friends, besides the mentioned above, illustration requires experiments and lots of other drawings.) Also, technically, I hope my most strength, "spontaneity" will come up in a picture book. If I really cannot make it on a big paper, I'll use a smaller and kinder size to me. Be flexible.

To be honest with you, the ongoing project and other projects occupy me more and more. A bit hard to find enough time for this blogging. If this blogging becomes irregular, please understand it. At weekend, I saw many friends and swam a very long distance in an ocean pool. It was a very good refreshing my heart and body between work. 
Friends, have fun! Thank you for wonderful friendship. 
Happy Painting!! 


Monday, January 7, 2013

Tips to Sketch Moving Children

Hi, Friends, how have you been? 
I've submitted the story board. Feedback is very positive. I'm very happy! Thank you for warm cheers that enable me go forward. 
This week, I'll chat over the tips to sketch moving children. Case study : Two swimming boys in a very shallow fountain, less than a knee deep. 

1) Catch pattern of movement.
Often children repeat the same pattern in moving such as playing, gaming, sporting etc. So, closely look at them.

Yesterday, I saw the two boys swimming in a very shallow fountain. The boys could not swim well, but "moved around" with hands. Oh, brilliant subject. While sketching, the boys and I kept laughing! (A4)
I observed them carefully. Both took a breath, put their heads under water and moved with hands, paddling "some." It was repeated. 
Friensd, pick up a most favorite moment = most impressive movement = make a drama. I chose their different moment and made a contrast. 

2) Trust in your eyes and be brave.
We, all, have good eye to tell the accuracy of drawings. It means only if our hands could respond well to eyes. Try simple lines to respond your eyes' order. 
An original quick sketch is below. Quite simple. Small matters are no matter.

3) Value is vital.
I added colours and emphasized value in a studio. High light and darkest areas in the sketch are the key. I did NOT mean to draw meticulously AT ALL. The point was how I could send a mood to viewers.

Also, to create the image of water was challenging, but I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. Next time, certainly, I can more enjoy water, shadow, moving waves, reflections of light!

4) Stick Figure -- Alternative Approach
I use very simple lines, too. When value is added, it becomes a lively sketch! So, Friends, stick figure is brilliant and helpful to capture movement. Go for it!

Yes, once I sketched a girl at that fountain. You get how shallow it is. Sketching moving children is a joy. After being models for me, children come and see my sketches with a great respect. Children are so polite and well behave. We become friends around the fountain. Nice!
Friends, have fun and never be tough on yourself. Please love your each work. 
Now, I'll get back to the picture book illustration.
Friends, let's enjoy drawing. 
Happy Painting!!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Hi, Friends, Happy New Year!
Are you enjoying a New Year? What did you do a New Years Eve? We had big dinner and enjoyed fire work! So beautiful and popular spots were over crowded. Now, I hope all Friends have a wonderful start. This is my first work in 2013. 

Did you make resolutions? Here, my new year's resolutions. 

1)  Put Heart or Message in Work 
I'll do my best to work on the ongoing picture book project! (*only the shame is I cannot upload the work.)
The point is how illustrations successfully send the message or depict the text for readers. 

In my personal opinion, the message already-put in work is more eye catchy than technical stuff. Sounds strange? I believe so. Or I should say, a message captures viewers' hearts.

A Japanese proverb says, "A brilliantly sculptured Buddha, BUT an artist forgot putting a soul in." That wise say is spot on any art work and particularly, it's true of picture book illustration.
A stunningly beautiful work without heart, will neither move readers nor bear time. On the contrary, technically, it might be not so sophisticated, but if it has a precious message, the work reaches viewers souls. Example, the work is done by young children and people with intellectual disabilities. I always learn from anyone's work.
2) Explore Caricatures As Well As Portraits 
As well as world famous people, I'll make academic people's caricatures, as I'm fond of literature and history etc.   
But I NEVER want to make a caricature that might hurt a personal feeling. I want to make a model and viewers smile. 

I cannot resist uploading my mentor, Ann James's caricature again. Anyone loves this work in our publishing industry!
Caricature, also, is a good practice for character design. The key is how to pick up the essence of a personality.  

3) Sketch everything, anything interests me
Sketching brings ideas for studio work and different approaches.  They become my references and precious daily exercises. Sydney Sketch Club sketched the organ recital at Town Hall last week. On the way to Town Hall, I sketched a couple in train. The work pleased them so much! I'll put colours later for fun!

Below, the organ and the practice of changing "perception."
The subject was too huge. Although on the same seat, I changed the perception in mind and tried to capture a whole. The bottom and the centre were emphasized to show a monstrous mass, but the wings were omitted. After the recital, we climbed up to a stage. My perception was correct! The real sketch location was very near to the organ and just under it from the left. Interesting and handy approach. It deepens my understanding of perception and develops drawing skills. 
I'll explore more interesting approaches in sketches.  

4) Life Drawing
I'll enjoy it and try different techniques. We, members will run workshops this year. I'm in charge of figure by watercolour. Teaching is learning.  I hope I will have a wonderful time with members.   

Well, finally... I'll do exercise lots such as yoga or taichi on the ground. Ah, only the issue is "putting on weight" in this festive season... gulp!  Even though I love swimming and do 1km often, it does not help weight loss at all.  A physio answered with a sympathetic smile, "Swimming is a very gentle exercise that does not consume calories." So, Friends, I'll do exercise "on the ground"  more! ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ Girls, go unite! and ... crash calories?!

I heartily hope 2013 will be a wonderful year for all of you!
Happy Painting!!!