Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Butterfly Book - 3

In these two pieces, I needed to show the contrast of the butterfly sheltering from the rain and then starting to dry out his wings after the storm passed. As I worked through sketching out this project, I decided that, in to make it easier to execute, I would reuse or modify any elements that made sense. For instance, at least one sky was cropped and reused, two butterflies were flopped and made a second appearance, and in these two illustrations, I made good use of the leaves that the butterfly is using for shelter. I kept the leaf layer separate from the sky which made it simple to swap the rain for a nice cloudy sky. Then I made some modifications to the colors and added a few highlights to the leaves as the butterfly from another spread made a command performance.

This type of planning made the execution of this project go much faster and only really observant kids (and adults for that matter) will ever notice that some of the elements repeat. Although this example is the most obvious repeat, it made total sense in the context of the book, so I was okay with it.

It's tempting to mine your digital archives for things that might speed up a project, but whenever I do reuse elements, I try to disguise them as much as possible. This includes, cropping, changing colors, flopping, rotating and more to make the old element new and to integrate it into the new piece. I only do this when I am either, short of time, short on budget, or both, but it's one more trick that can be helpful if not abused. Don't get sucked into the habit of constantly using shortcuts though, or your art will suffer. There's still no substitute for good drawing and original thinking.

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