Endsheets Complete!

 

It was both a blessing and curse to find out that Procreate keeps track of how long I’ve been working on illustrations. I average about 8 hours on the larger ones. Endsheet #2 took over 12 hours. That’s real time, pen in hand.

These days, I don’t have hours at a time to really work, so I’ve been making the time. 10 minutes here. 30 minutes there. It works because I get tired out when it comes to adding the tonality — I start rushing and it shows. It’s better that I work in smaller stints an take a break.

Two Color

These illustrations will be printed letterpress 12″ x 8″ in 2-color, for a limited run. 5 casebound books will have them, and the rest I’ll keep for later.  They’ve ended up being two of my favorites — demonstrating an evolution of all the best parts of the other works.

 

The Characters of Tamaishi: Tama

Tama is a tiny, round pebble. He’s full of hope and optimism, and almost always sees the bright side of things. His curiosity and fear often argue in his head, making him insatiably curious, but it sometimes gets him into trouble.

As the main character in Tama, the entire story centers around his journey across the valley as he learns there is more to himself and others than he thought.

He most certainly has a melancholy side, but all his friends, the grass in the valley always by his side, he never feels truly alone.

The Characters of Tamaishi : The Three

The Three is one of those “they came to me in a dream” stories. I woke up with  a vague memory of long, spiny creatures and I scribbled down the idea:

I simply wrote “the prickle grass”. They were reminiscent of the long, twisted horned grasses the were often on the edge of the beaches up north.

The Three went through a lot of transformation.  I deviated away from the initial sketch, thinking perhaps they would be friendly and helpful. As their conversation with Tama panned out, I realized their intentions are far more self-motivated. It’s lonely out on the edge of the Great Sea, and they wouldn’t want anyone to else to get away.

I went back to the drawing board, looking at more creepy eyes. Other characters have deliberately big, human-like eyes to make them friendly. The Three needed more animal eyes that were more disturbing. I studied the eyes of insects, birds and fish, which look fra more alient and menacing when you look at them closely .

The final results are one of my favorite characters in the book — with their ubiquitous thorns, beady eyes, and enormous size — they tower over Tama. My kids both get creeped out by the final image, and now there are four images that include them.