For this week's blogpost, I'm going to share the process of one of the color illustrations from Chapter 1: The River Bank:
"..and after a short interval reappeared staggering under a fat wicker luncheon-basket. 'Shove that under your feet,' he observed to the Mole as he passed it down into the boat."
I then scanned those pencil sketches and in photoshop, composited them into a layout that told the story. I tinted rat and mole different colors to make them easier to spot as well as to make them stand out against the very busy background drawing. The boat is a model I made and photographed. Knowing how many illustrations in this book would require me to draw Rat's boat, I decided to make a model...but that's a post for another time.
You will note that in addition to adjusting the character's angles, positions, and color, I also mirrored Mole from the original drawing.
The final inked piece took quite some time to do. I'd planned on the color pieces having less line work and detail than the B&W illustrations, but as I went on with this piece, I didn't see any way to not go into all the detail of the bracken, weeds, grasses, bark, bricks, and wood of Rat's home.
While I knew the added texture linework would only make the illustration process longer on the next 19 pieces, I opted to push forward with the details because it felt the most like my work. I rarely let color do the heavy lifting in my illustrations, and I didn't feel like Wind in the Willows was the right place to start trying out something new in that regard.
The coloring process was as I've detailed it out on my past color blogposts. The first step was to block out all the color areas (Rat's fur, Mole's fur, Rat's clothes, Mole's clothes, the river, the boat, the door, the plantlife, etc.) and then render the image using Dodge & Burn tools with a textured brush (these allow me to highlight and shade while adding a pebbled texture).
Here you can see the completed color image as it will appear in the book along with 19 other color illustrations and 50 B&W.
For all my other Willows Process Posts:
Emerald City Comic Con: Mar. 2-5
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24
New York Comic Con: Oct. 5-8