Hot on the heels of sending one book for printing, my mother has completed a set of books for 7-8 year old children. Each booklet draws attention to some interesting information about an element of nature. Altogether, there will be seven booklets, each measuring 12" x 4", printed on laminated artboard and folded accordion style. The booklets will be marketed as a boxed set.
As you can see from the photograph above, the booklets call for some interesting visual elements—especially to hold the attention of hyper- active youngsters! Hitting on a style which could be used effectively for 14 strips was my initial challenge. The text is not too wordy, bearing in mind the intended readership. There is plenty of action in the descriptions though, some of which I felt compelled to illustrate, like the bananas being swept away by a gush of wind.
I decided to use a curvy style, given the subject matter comprising gusts of wind, floods, rays of sunshine and similar elements. Thinking of drawing curves repeatedly in disciplined fashion made me think of...French curves! So, I got my late mentor’s set of Rotring French curves out of storage and decided to have a go at experimenting. What happened thereafter took me by surprise as I found various shapes coming to mind whenever I placed one of the curves on my rough sketching paper.
My Huion LED light pad has played a big role in getting these illustrations transferred from rough paper to 180gsm watercolour paper. Watercolours, together with Staedtler Watercolour Pencils and Derwent Inktense Blocks are my choice of media for this project. Virtually all the colouring was done using 2 waterbrushes which I got recently from China—a flat one by Zig and a medium-size round one by Touchnem. The Touchnem has lovely synthetic bristles which are a joy to paint with.
Unfortunately, none of these waterbrushes seem to withstand the drubbing they get when used with watercolour cakes. I will have to stop using watercolours in any form other than tubes if I want these waterbrushes to last! I am waiting until the Chinese New year is over to find out if there is a possibility of getting replacements for the brush tip. However I doubt it (sigh). Anyhow with another 6 more strips of illustrations to be drawn and painted I have my work cut out for me!
I will be posting some photographs of the work-in-progress on my Facebook page in the days ahead. So, do pop over to my Facebook page next week for some updates on this project!