caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

An Experiment: The Midnight Hare

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There was a problem with margins in the book (too narrow), and problems with integration of content. When I enlarged the margins so the painting wasn’t too near the edge of the page, the whole thing looked much too brown, because of the strength of the background paper. Also I have used different browns for different scenes in the book, and this would have made the appearance of the book patchy (there is a word I am looking for here but I don’t know what it is, even after consulting Roget: harmony is the nearest I can come to it this evening – harmonisation maybe – yes, I want to harmonise the illustrations). I have decided to have a rough margin, though probably less rough than above, and include all the text within the illustration, and then have a margin round about on paler paper, and use this paler colour for every illustration.  It is quite a late stage to decide to do this, but I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders.  I think the framing enhances the painting, whereas having a wider brown border was oppressive. Having computer programmes that mean one can make experiments without repainting everything is so liberating, as is painting with gouache and neocolor wax water-soluble crayons and ordinary crayons on coloured paper, as it is so much freer than pen and ink and watercolour.  If the manufacturers hadn’t stopped making my favourite sepia drawing pens I might never have experimented, and would have done myself out of a lot of fun.

April 17, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Midnight Hare Cover 2

owlandpussycatSet with Boldini Type,think I prefer this to my slightly mimsy lettering.  Tried all sorts of lettering, still sitting in my dressing gown, but as soon as I put this up it felt right. I am also going to do a cover on paler paper, with the same imagery but with more scenery, and the lettering going over the top of the scenery (night sky, Borders landscape with towers).  I can decide later which I prefer, or ask others. Covers have never been my strong point.  I am getting to the point of setting up a mock of the book; then I have to decide what to do next! Now I need to get dressed and get back to the studio. Usually I hate finishing paintings, but this time I am enjoying it.  The mock-up won’t be of totally finished illustrations, but not roughs either.

February 22, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare Cover

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February 21, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare page 25 and 23

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Realised that I had probably posted page 25 before, and can’t trace 23, so have included that, and will probably not now post any more images of The Midnight Hare, except perhaps the cover, until the book is much nearer ready to print. One of the reasons I have posted images is that I have been a victim of plagiarism in the past and am fond of this story and don’t want this to happen; at least if the book is kind of out there I can prove my original authorship. Am still debating whether to kind of do it myself (under the aegis of a smaller publisher) or send it out to mainstream publishers; there have been developments in both practical terms and in my attitude to the book.  There are surely advantages in keeping control of one’s work, and I don’t see that an agent could not be approached to possibly deal with further rights.  We shall see.  In the meantime, after a bit of a hiatus, I am back to work.  Have to finish my Christmas card first, then it is back to finishing the pictures; or enough of them to send out, if that is what I decide. Next year I want to work more loosely on larger canvases, that should be fun. But children’s picture books are a real love, no doubt of that.

November 29, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare page 6 new version

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At last I am discovering a technique that suits the atmosphere of the book, that integrates the pages, and that I enjoy doing. Also it doesn’t take too much time.  The disadvantage is that I keep wanting to redo the pictures! I made an experiment with this picture in that the white lettering was done by hand on the old version and then cut and pasted on top of the main painting in Photoshop; then I used the eraser to clean it up a bit, though left a bit of the smoky background (from the old version) as I quite liked the accidental effect. It isn’t a good idea to put any text in illustrations in any kind of a permanent way because of the difficulties if the book is translated.  When putting in the typed text I suddenly found that it was creating a strike through effect which I certainly did not want.  But a generous lady on You Tube had been working on this effect, so I found out that I needed to highlight a scrap of text and do control/shift/slash. Thereafter the text printed out OK. The wonders of communication. The text layout is a bit dull but I can work on that; I think the basics are there now for this page.

October 19, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare page 29

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I have edited this rather than posting it as a new post.  I am repainting page 28, as I did not like the look of the lettering in the sky in either that or this painting.  This painting I like the feeling of, so have made it smaller and pasted it on to a larger background, and put the lettering underneath. The lettering itself is smaller and in a slightly lighter colour. Although I do not use computers for making images, they are very useful in other ways!

October 6, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare Page 28

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October 6, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare page 7

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Widened and shortened the images so as to get the text underneath. Still trying to get used to my all-singing, all singing, and therefore frustrating, up-to-date version of Photoshop.  Not that I use it for painting, but nothing replaces it for setting up images. If I publish the book myself I shall have to widen my repertoire of Adobe, but for the moment, beautiful complex irritating Photoshop will do.  I shall have to start reading the manual for dummies.

September 24, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Midnight Hare page 27

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Instead of putting the text on to pictures in illustrations which are quite specific as to their edges, I have decided to put the text against the background colour, so that it is quite separate.  To make the images fit thus on to the size of paper I have chosen, I widened the illustrations and then reduced them, so they are a slightly different shape than before, and there is enough space left to put in the text. It is much easier to do such alterations when using gouache, neocolor crayons and ordinary coloured pencils rather than watercolour with pen and ink, which is such an unforgiving medium.  I started to repaint the illustrations, but I like the feeling of these two, so decided to alter them.  Milo has been given a few more possessions – I liked the bareness of his room aesthetically, but thought he looked a tad deprived.

September 23, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare, page 20

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August 16, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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