Project Update: Ten Tiny Piggies

June 1, 2015

I am currently creating the illustrations for author Lorna Fisher's "Ten Tiny Piggies." Lorna will also be creating finger puppets for this children's book. She showed me a prototype of the piggie finger puppet. How cute is this?!?!

I'm in love with her finger puppet and I cannot wait to get my portin of the project done.


In my previous update, I discussed how the project began, how I designed the characters, and the process of creating preliminary sketches. In the weeks following, I have started on the final images. 


When I create a final image, I start by creating the border of the image with pencil on watercolor paper. I add an extra 1/8" to the border just to be safe.


I then sketch the image onto the paper. Afterward, I use a permanent black marker to draw the lines. The image to the left is an example of this stage.


Afterward, I erase the background pencil and begin to paint! Originally, I finished each illustration one at a time. However, I then listened to a lecture about illustrating a kid's book. The author suggested painting the same features on each page at the same time. He posited that this would provide consistency in style and color.


I went ahead and tried this technique. Thus, I sketched all of the pages, added the marker, erased the pencil, and then painted all the pigs.  


I also quickly learned that when painting a large area of a page, I need to tape the paper down. If too much water is used on the page, it buckles. However, if the page is taped down first, the page will buckle slightly and then return to its original size when dry. Thus, with the mama pig I painted on the right, I taped the picture to a board first.

I've also been experimenting with different snow styles to use throughout the book. I finally came up with a snow style that you can see in the picture on the left. I apologize for the yellow hue of the picture. This is what happens when you take a picture with indoor lighting. When I take finalized pictures of each of the images, I will use the proper lighting.


My next step in the process will be to add the snow coloring to the remaining pictures.


I will then add the sky. I've been experimenting with various sky colors and cloud formations options and have finally found one that I like. The pictures on the right were some of my experiments. I like the clouds in the top right the best. They are made by painting the entire sky and then going back in with tissue to suck up the paint while it is still wet. For the color of the sky, I will go for the color on the bottom right. 


When I paint the sky, I will have to tape each image down so the paper doesn't permanently buckle.


Throughout the story, the sky gradually becomes night, so I will also be painting a sunset, a darkening sky, and then a pitch black sky with a full moon. 


In my next update, I'll have final images to share! 

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