For this week's blogpost, I'm going to share the process of one of the b&w illustrations from Chapter 8: Toad's Adventures:
"Toad jumped, rolled down a short embankment, picked himself up unhurt, scrambled into the woods and hid. Peeping out, he saw his train get speed again and disappear at a great pace."
It was very hard to narrow down all the moments in the book to choose to illustrate. In chapter 8 Toad has escaped from jail and is on the run from the law disguised as a washerwoman. Just before this illustration he's had the aid of a train engineer who slowed the train down to allow Toad to make a jump for it before the pursuing police catch up to the train. Many illustrators have drawn toad aboard the train shoveling coal, or the leap itself, but I chose to show the terror in Toad's eyes watching afraid he may have been seen as the surrounding wilderness eats him up visually.
The pencil rough you see above was fairly complete as-is. So, when I scanned it into photoshop to re-size for the final illustration I may have only made a slight digital tweak here or there, but mainly I wanted to add in some shading notes for myself for inking.
I inked this while on a trip to Alaska for a children's reading event & presentation tour. It was done at the breakfast table of a dear friend (and friend to all books & book-lovers) Greg Hill.
Because I was traveling as I worked on and off this piece, I didn't track my time very well. Like I said above, I know I finished the bulk of it in Greg Hill's kitchen. The inking trick with this piece was all the cross-hateched shading and knowing how much or little to add. It was as I was adding the lines to the eyes that I was the most nervous.
Here you can see the completed image as it will appear in the book along with 49 other B&W illustrations and 20 color.
Wind in the Willows from IDW will be available Fall of 2016 and is available to pre-order on Amazon.com:
For all my other Willows Process Posts: