The Enchanted Library: a Place where Reading comes to life
Created by using a combination of Digital Artistry Techniques, specifically created within Adobe Illustrator, Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop for Texturing.
Some recent work in progress:
Something fun I've been working on for a literacy project, called Secret World of Reading ... (This started with a line drawing in Adobe Illustrator using 2-point perspective, then progressed to a Charcoal value drawing in Corel Painter, Now I'm in the acrylic painting phase (in Corel Painter) and adding in Photographic textures in layers using Adobe Photoshop..
The concept is to inspire kids about books, and have them understand a world of imagination lives inside of libraries. With characters jumping out of books, books forming buildings and magical whimsical decorations surrounding the books, this visual idea is communicated through this fun illustration.
Artistic Process: Illustrating with "Digital Paint" while using a Microsoft Surface Laptop and Pen is a lovely experience for any artist, especially this one! #adobeillustrator #microsoftsurface #kidlitartist #puzzles #illustration #illustrators
I'm still adding imagery and fooling with colors on this illustration. I may go back and add some photographic imagery and textures into this images as well. The majority of this image has been hand-drawn rather than me cutting up photographs, which is something I usually do. This project was created as a result of me exploring working in a more illustration drawing medium than photo-illustration.
Here is the most recent version (below) of this project:
You can see how much was added in, by looking at my earlier illustration below (similar to an underpainting) where I have focused on color, composition and trying to get the Value lighting set using colors. Also visually solving the Visual hierarchy, as in where do I want the viewer's focus to be first? Ideally, I wanted the viewer's eye to go to the bright light coming out of the book on the podium. The brightest light is supposed to be coming out of the center front book.
Figuring out where my lights and dark shadows would be if the center book was the main light source, meant I did an exercise in black and white called a Value sketch to determine how to shade everything in the image. (see the black and white sketch below). I don't always do a Value sketch for my illustration imaging, however I find when I take the time to do one, the overall image has a more realistic feel to it.
Here you can see my original perspective line drawing completed below that I used Adobe Illustrator to create. Now drawing with Adobe Illustrator requires alot of technical work in order to be familiar with clicking anchor points, using the pen tool etc. Adobe Illustrator, is one of the best tools for getting precise line art. I do prefer to color and paint with my stylus pen using Corel Painter (which is similar to Procreate) using a Microsoft Surface Studio which really feels alot like traditional drawing and painting media, despite it being digital. The Vector line drawing is how I started the image, you can see it below. I did decide not to continue coloring it within Illustrator, simply because I was in the mood to color with my stylus pen. Sometimes Vectors are fun, however they are extremely time consuming to work with. Check out my other blog post showing my Vector Ice-Cream store to see an example of a full Vector scene.
Now over the summer, I took an illustration class which involved us using the technique for 2 point perspective. This included 1, 2 and 3 point perspective. I didn't honestly enjoy the technique and it reminded me of my first art class during my freshman year of college, which I found unpleasant. There was so much discipline required to draw with precise perspective to get it all looking correct. Fast forward many years later and for my graduate studies MFA degree (in picture book writing & illustration) that I've been working on, I found myself once again having to re-learn the drawing techniques of perspective. We drew and drew different items with varying points of perspective, all in black and white and with charcoal. I'm really interested in drawing with color, and if you've seen any of my artwork, you would see its filled with the brightest colors of every shade on the color spectrum. After the class, it took me some time to creatively digest all of the techniques used for drawing. I needed to have some fun with perspective and see if I could make something colorful, bright and happy, while still using the drawing techniques for perspective.
I decided an illustration with the idea of an enchanted library with dozens of books, as a new interpretation of my Reading themed images would work to have some fun with this new technique.
The theme of Reading comes to life and creating Enchanted Libraries is something I have explored several times, but never with drawing perspective. You can really see the different below where the images are not drawn with persptive and instead have a flatter effect for the overal composition of the library.
This piece above is the first one which is more of a drawing and illustration (Painted) styled piece, where my previous Reading Libraries where more photographic in nature, as in I cut up 50+ photographs I had taken and composited them all together to make the images. Those images have been published on different Jigsaw puzzles & completed with Photo-Illustration, more photographic than painting, though there is still painting on top of images in Adobe Photoshop involved.
Here are some of them below! Now that I have created a few projects in perspective, I might try again to mix it up with my photographic photo-illustration subjects combined with vector-drawn perspective as it gives me alot of artistic possibilities and different ideas for compositions.
Here is a fun library images published by Schmidt puzzles in Europe.
Bluebird Puzzle also picked up my Adventures in Reading artwork for a Jigsaw.
Sunsout also published one of my Reading images in North America. This puzzle is 1000 pieces, I tried to do it once, but I couldn't put it together as I am much better at making images for Puzzles than attempting to do them.