Thursday, January 31, 2013

Monster Island Spread, Final Art

This is the final art for the Monster Island Expedition Map, which will be an orientation map for readers of my upcoming book, Monster Safari. I put 29 hours into this illustration.

The expedition begins at the helicopter, a CH-47 Chinook, in the bottom center of the spread. You then follow the dotted line through the reference points that number up to 20. You end up back at the helicopter landing and pick-up point on a small motu. This page will show the readers where the monsters were first spotted, along with some of the key reference points on the island. Following the orientation map will be the monster profile pages, which include a how-to-draw page for each monster. The relatively empty portion in the center of the map is the gutter of the book. 

Next comes the cover. It will be posted soon. I have to have this book finished in two to three weeks. I"m not sure how I'll do it, but four schools in Pennsylvania are expecting it. I will be flying to Pennsylvania on the 28th of February. 

Have you seen my other blog, The Trowbridge Chronicles?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Monster Island, Ink Line

Here's the ink line for the Monster Island Expedition Map page of my Monster Safari kids book. I threw some color in to help define the water from the land. The dotted line indicating the route that was taken over and around the island is now defined in ink. There are also a few issues with the positioning of the monsters on the map that need to be corrected in Photoshop before I start adding color. The next image that you see will be the finished color. 

This book must be finished ASAP. I have a week's worth of school assemblies in Palmyra, Pennsylvania in the end of February. They are all expecting to purchase the Monster Safari book, so I'm definitely under the gun to get this project wrapped fast. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished results very soon.                                                                                                

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monster Island Pencil Layout, no. 2

The pencil layout for the Monster Island expedition map spread is about halfway complete now. I decided to add a quick dash of color to separate the water from the land, so the sketch will be easier for you to figure out. 


You'll note a pencil line running around the island inside the lagoon as well as over the land area, showing directional arrows. This will be the track that the expedition follows. You'll note the helicopter in the lower center. That's the drop-off point, where the expedition begins. The first portion of the expedition as it tracks into Hooloo Cove is indicated by the dotted line. The next time you see this sketch, the course of the expedition will all be drawn in dotted line. (Enlarge above image for a closer look.) 

In the last sketch (scroll down one image) you'll see that the helicopter was a small size airship, similar to a LOH (light observation helicopter). I decided that in order to carry all the kayaks and other supplies that we would need a much larger airship. So I swapped the for-seater LOH ("loach") out for a Chinook. They're jumbo-size choppers, designed to carry larger numbers of people as well as supplies (It cost me a fortune to lease the Chinook, but it was worth the expense).

The Chinook lands on the small motu and unloads passengers and supplies. We immediately observe several skulls and other bone fragments in the coral sand. The skulls do not resemble any animal life that would exist on a tropical island. I make note of that in my journal. We assume this must be a feeding site for a sea creature of some kind. 

Then, with some trepidation, we step into our kayaks and the expedition is underway. We paddle single-file in a clockwise position. The expedition will be accomplished by circumnavigating the island along a course that stays inside the fringe reef, to avoid the risk of swamping the kayaks in high seas. The waters inside fringe reefs are generally quite calm.

We enter the first cove that we encounter and one of our Maori team members names it Hooloo Cove after his island of birth. There we beach the kayaks and begin our overland exploration of the island. 

I named the "Needle" peak in the upper left portion of the island after The Needle on the island of Rarotonga in the South Pacific Ocean. The last time I was on Rarotonga I had planned to climb The Needle, but ran out of time. I hope to climb it on my next visit.

We'll pick up where we left off with further development of the sketch in the next post in a few days. Check back soon to see how the expedition is progressing. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Monster Island Initial Layout

I have now begun the pencil layout for the Monster Island map page. It will be a double-page spread. I thought I would first show the page layout in its early stages, before I begin adding details and refinements. So now I know the shape of the island, but I only have a general  idea of what will follow. This is because I seldom do thumbnails. I just start drawing and wait to find out where the drawing leads me, following a rough mental picture in my mind. In art school we were taught to do thumbnails...I never got into that very much.

Next I will work on the title banner and start laying in the route that the expedition takes. I'm concerned about space. Is there enough space to include the locations of all the beasties on the map? I'll know soon when I start laying out the expedition route.

As soon as the book is completed, it will be available for sale, also as an Ebook. If you choose to buy a copy, let me know if you would like me to autograph it. I'll be glad to accomodate.

Have you seen my other blog? Check it out. It's called The Trowbridge Chronicles.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bird's-Eye View of Monster Island

This is the final art for the Monster Island bird's-eye spread. It will be the opening spread in my Monster Safari kids' book. I inked the pencil layout (below) then colored it in Photoshop with my Wacom Cintiq. Most of the graphite under-drawing is still there, mostly covered with color. I did remove the graphite in the light areas, like the beach.

At present the text remains my hand-lettering. But I will probably substitute the hand-lettering with typeset text. 

The next thing that you'll see on this blog will be the pencil layout for the next spread, which will be a straight-down view of the island. It will look more like a treasure map, in that it will show where we located the monsters, the location of the peaks, swamps, etc. There will be a dotted line which will trace the route of our expedition to the island. 

Check out my other blog: Trowbridge Chronicles.