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A Little Space Update

I’m working more quickly lately, having made the decision to stop producing my book, A Little Space, with traditional media and switching to using Photoshop.

aLittleSpace_11-SM

I miss at times the fluidity that comes with using traditional media, but there is a trade off. Transferring my drawings to paper, exploring and then starting over, is a slow way to work. Still, painting with photoshop is awkward, not intuitive, and gives me no ability to work with paint in a way that I would through various techniques like dry brush, water color, drip, splatter and lets not forget impasto. Yes, there are brushes in Photoshop, but they don’t work like natural brushes or actual paint, and paint doesn’t actually blend, which is perhaps the worst sin of all.

What I like is that I can block in the look of my book much more quickly. My layout wall which was enlarged thumbnail sketches a few weeks ago, is quickly becoming full color test prints, ten out of sixteen so far.

aLittleSpace_12-SM

One of the benefits of working in Photoshop quickly is that I can experiment with the entire color palette of the book, and the overall look. I’m not just art directing each page, but how all the pages relate to each other. Does the color fit? What is the style I want to finish each image? Can i use the paper texture? These are the questions I ask myself, and the images I alter, influence the direction the story takes.

The story is about a little boy who loses his gravity, I read it to my sons recently and got some pointed feedback from them. They didn’t like the ending. At the end of the book he comes back around the moon, back towards the Earth, with the implication that he goes home happy. My sons didn’t like that solution. They want to have closure, and felt anxious that maybe he never makes it back to Earth. It was brilliant criticism and I’ve made sure the boy makes it home, even taking the story a little further thanks to their insight.

There is still more work to do, but the goal is to have an updated portfolio for the SCBWI winter conference in February, and two different books printed for the show. I have one book already done, this one doesn’t have to be fully complete, but I’m trying to get it as close as possible before then.

After I block in the rest of the pages I’m going to see if I can switch from Photoshop to a more painterly program so I can take this a little closer to what I see in my head.

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