caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

Hare, Moth, Candle

hare, moths,candle

The scans for The Midnight Hare have been sent over the Internet to the printer, I shall now have to wait until they have a space to do the proofs. I have over-run considerably the time I originally projected having the scans ready, so now need to fit in with the schedule of the printers. When I have the proofs I shall decide on an official publication day. I have now set myself to tidy my workroom, and my studio, which are in chaos, and look forward to the next batch of work. The small town of Coldstream has been deprived of bread, milk, paper, post and buses, let alone fresh fruit and vegetables, for nearly a week, but nothing like as bad as Alston, where I was once going to live, which has been cut off for five days and has had supplies dropped from a Chinook. I have a fibreglass hare outside my studio, and for days all I could see were the tips of his ears. Gradually he appeared, and the iris that was coming up so early is still flowering, despite being buried under snow for days.

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare

pages26and27

The book will be ready to go to the printers this week.  Now what?

February 26, 2018 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Midnight Hare, putting the pages together

TEXTPAGE14AND15

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

Cover Design for “The Midnight Hare”

Cover for The Midnight Hare

This is a definite idea for the cover, but I may possibly do a later version simplifying the greenery and strengthening the colours (which are anyway brighter in the original).  At this stage I am going to get postcards printed with this design, with large lettering in the centre, as a preliminary advertisement for the book. How many things there are to consider, once one has decided not try to go the route of conventional publishing.  This design does have something of the feeling of the book, though the actual book is a bit fierce and more active in places.  It is a pretty old-fashioned design, but that doesn’t matter. Up the Grannies, say I.  The specks and little blotches will be removed before making the CDs for the postcards.  The lettering is going to be in darkest blue, at this stage, though again, this may change for the final cover.  Now I need to acquire some ISBN numbers.  This is all quite fun, and I have to some extent done a lot of it before; but the strange thing is, the more one knows the more edgy it can all feel! Whilst doing ths cover, insects kept crawling across the page (I have put a portrait of one of them in there). This may account for one or two of the flecks in this scan.

October 3, 2015 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Midnight Hare: Milo up the Tree

Milo in the TreeThis is a detailed rough painting for “The Midnight Hare”. A little whimsical, the boy, he should perhaps be a bit less pretty, more sparky, as he shows plenty of energy in the story. But the slight air of melancholy is OK, and I quite like this person in the picture.  When the page is full of leaves, and with a less magenta background, it should look nice.  I am still trying to work out how to use colour to show that it is night during much of the story –  but a summer night, when much can be seen – it needs to be seen, otherwise there is no story.  I always find myself tending towards blue shades, whereas my favourite colours at the moment are sepia and golds and dusky reds, with touches of dark, almost black, green.

For a long time I have struggled with how to deal with the text: in the beginning, it was quite separate from the painting, and the paintings went off the page to a bleed.  Then I incorporated the text within the pictures, which seemed an obvious thing to do.  But then I don’t know quite how it happened, but I changed my mind again.  Most of the pictures will not have a bleed, they will fade out to a hand-drawn, not strict margin; and the text will be quite separate.  I think that then the pictures should stand out against the white background, and the text will be much easier to read and quite separate.  I have been setting this up as a rough on Photoshop and it is settling in to being like that.

This is the great advantage of having enough time to think about what I am doing, rather than having to produce work to a dealine, because I need to pay the bills.  Not very artistic, that, but nevertheless, desperation has also produced one of the books I wrote that I do actual like: “Parchment House” (though the book wasn’t published until a long time later, when that particular desperation had long passed).  However, that is for another blog.  I do have a deadline for “The Midnight Hare”. A year from now the work will be at the printers.

August 31, 2015 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Picture Book – The Midnight Hare

midnighthare 1This is a detailed but unfinished rough illustration for a book called “The Midnight Hare”. About two years ago I wrote a script in two hours, one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon.  I had deep feeling about the script, but it has taken me all this time to decide how I am going to do the illustrations for this work.

When the pens I usually use, which were fine-nibbed true sepia in colour, were discontinued, and when watercolour itself wasn’t giving me the feeling I wanted,  I decided to try new techniques. I treated myself to a real extravagance,  a big box of gouache and a big box of crayons, artist quality, they are just delicious, I drool over them, and keep them all in order, which is so unlike my somewhat chaotic manner of work (though when I was very young I had a lovely box of conte crayons, in a metal box, and  even when my father got locked in the larder and I was the only person able to rescue him – I must have been about 4 at the time – I apparently insisted on putting the crayons back in the box in the right order before trying to get him out – he was expostulating all the while through that kind of mesh they had on larder doors).

I digress.

Using new media, and drawing with a fine sable brush, the feeling of the paintings that I have been working on are at last corresponding with the feelng I had when I first wrote the script. There is a graphic quality that I want to keep, but with gouache it is possible to build up colour, and to overpaint, without the work getting muddy. Also it is possible to paint light over dark. I had always intended to send this book out to various publishers, but after listening to two agents talking about the difficulties these days of getting work published, and the very long time it took, and other limitations, I suddenly realised that I would by-pass all that.  I wouldn’t look on publishing my own work as second best but as something I would like to do in itself, and would not bother to send it out to publishers at all.

As well as having a lot of work published in the past by large publishers, here and abroad, I have quite a bit of useful experience working on small press picture books, and I know that good sales are quite possible. We have a very proficient and friendly printer locally who are proper book publishers, which is an amazing piece of luck – and I have worked with them in the past on books for Serafina Press.  So rather than trawl my work round I have decided to wade in straight away and enjoy the whole process of writing and illustrating, production, costing, publicity and sales all on my own.

I will be blogging now and then on the whole process, I might even give the book its own website nearer publication, which won’t be until 2016.  Wish me luck.

August 20, 2015 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

   

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