Thursday, October 20, 2011

Percy2 update

While it is true that I seem to be moving steadily in many different directions lately, I haven't yet given up on this painting. But there's been so much going on! I tell you it feels like a whirlwind surrounding me each and every day! There's our new house to consider - it's about to close, my coloring book to promote, several holiday cards to complete, and what(!) I also seem to be making Kindle book covers! Not to mention working on several logos and editing old short story collections! Phew! But I am still working on "Percy2," albeit slowly.

It may take me a while to finish this one but it will get done. Maybe it'll even be the first piece I finish in our new house. Now wouldn't that be something?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One more Kindle cover

Because they're like tasty snacks...once you start in on's hard to stop! ;-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kindle and Creativity

Kindle book cover in the style of
the pulp covers of the 1930's.

I am a fiction writer! There I’ve said it. I’m out of the closet at long last. *phew* Now we can move on to other things…

I have been writing and publishing non-fiction for many years. I have been writing fiction for easily as long. But to me, fiction is very personal and written as part of my own process of play. I have been asked many times to share my stories (sometimes for group critique) but I rarely agree to do so. There are some pieces you do just for yourself.

My sister gave me a Kindle for my birthday this year. I had been wanting one to skinny down my book collection (especially future purchases) as I am an avid reader. Once I got it I realized that I could upload my own stories to read whenever and wherever I wanted. *Squeee!* So that first night I couldn’t resist enlisting Matt’s assistance in reformatting my stories into Kindle-friendly documents and uploading them. The first one was one I had recently finished called, “The Witch Queen of Algiers.” It takes place in the world of our web comic “Privateer Princess” and even has cameos by several of the PP cast. I uploaded it and then thought…it doesn’t have a cover!

At that moment I decided to put together covers for the four volumes I have added thus far. All are different genre covers and Matt and I had a great time designing them. We laughed and laughed and laughed! It was great! We have two more to do, another shared story collection and a novel of Matt’s. Great fun!

All of the covers have been created to be best viewed in black and white, as the color Kindle isn't out yet. Good black and white design presents it's own delights, like black and white photography. One of the tricks is to make the viewer see the fullness of the "color" in the black and white contrast alone.

In the style of a "University Press" book cover.

In the genre of humorous history a la
the "Uppity Women" series by Vicky Leon.

The least genre specific cover, I just
thought the design fit the book.

On Amazon I have seen some of the slapdash and poorly designed Kindle covers that are available for some very noble books. That makes me sad. A good book should have a good cover. That’s just right and proper!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Because who doesn't want a pony...?

I've been working on "Percy2" a bit sporadically this week. But here's the latest update. I have been adding layers of Neocolor II to the horse but have thus far left the background as an underpainting done in Inktense pencils.

Here's a close-up showing the smoothing process of the Neocolor II crayons with a q-tip.

I'm pleased with the amount of realism that I have been achieving with the crayons. Here's hoping the rest of the piece goes as well. :-)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Percy comes into further view

I have decided that this is a very fun piece! I've been working on it a bit further and am really enjoying the larger size (12"x16"). The DS watercolor ground-treated background is lending itself more to the brush than the q-tip thus far, but I expect to be using the q-tips more when I start adding Neocolor crayons pretty soon.

I've started adding the background
with dry Inktense pencils.

I've wet the top part of the background
and added dry Inktense to the bottom section.

At this point all the Inktense pencil has been wet
in the background and I've done some more
detailing on the horse's eye and the rest of
his face, also with Inktense.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back to painting

Now that the coloring book is officially launched(!!!) I get back to painting while I promote it. For my newest piece I have returned to the world of Inktense/Neocolor II painting. This will be my second piece in these media, the first being my “Chickadee” which I finished over the Summer.

“Chickadee” was painted on Aquabord which I found to be quite a nice "toothy” surface to work with. For this piece (which has a working title of "Percy 2") I have treated a 12" x 16" piece of canvas board with Daniel Smith’s watercolor ground and am trying that out as a surface. So far so good, I think…but we’ll see how it holds up for the finished piece.

Here is the palette I have chosen.

Derwent Inktense pencils for the under painting: Fuchsia, Leaf Green, Beech Green, Oak, Sepia Ink, Bark, Willow, Saddle Brown.

Caran d'Ache Neocolor II for the over painting: White, Salmon, Pink, Mauve, Light Blue, Light Olive, Moss Green, Venetian Red, English Red, Cinnamon, Burnt Sienna, Sepia, Ochre, Light Ochre, Orangish Yellow, Light Beige, Mouse Grey, Dark Grey, Greyish Black, Payne’s Grey.

My palette

1. Here's the progress thus far. We start with the line drawing.

"Percy 2" part 1

2. Then add Inktense (still dry) to start the under painting.

"Percy 2" part 2

3. Here is the Inktense wet with brush and q-tip.

Now that it's officially on it's way, please check back and follow this piece's journey along with me. :-)