I thought for my next post I'd talk about artwork trials. However the trial always leads on to the final artwork so this post is about that whole stage, working on the image until you have 'the one'.
I've always thought 'trial' was an accurate word for it. It's often not only challenging, but you've now stepped from the land of roughs into the choppy seas of doing real artwork... and undoubtedly your final deadline is now a lot closer than you'd first planned. This is what you've been working towards, and as the artwork begins I tend to feel a panic rising.The artwork of my dreams isn't what is appearing on the page, I convince myself my new batch of paper is more absorbent than the last, my inks are all the wrong colours, and that drinking four cups of coffee is essential. At this stage I'm like a hermit, locked away, either busily drawing or gazing out the window searching the horizon for ideas.
I've looked out some examples from Otto of the artwork stage. These three pieces all have a different story, and I suppose I wanted to do this blog-post to show that I didn't draw Otto in half an hour whilst having my lunch.
The window scene as I've mentioned before, was important as it's a sad moment in the story. The image on the left below is the first proper trial I did, and I wanted it to be muted, wintery and a little desolate. However as the text is already making you feel sad, it was felt the image could be a bit brighter. So I turned the snow into rain, I put leaves on the trees, and took away a lot of the blue and the image on the right is the final from the book.
These two images are of a city scene from the story, this was a spread I was excited to draw as I had lots of ideas of how it could be. It started off with not many characters, but quickly became a large bustling scene. It's one of my favourites from the book, because it was a challenge to do.
The image above is an early colour piece, which even though we didn't use it, the palette I chose was just what I was aiming for, so it proved useful. (The image on the right is a section of the final image we used instead.)
I hope this gives you a little taste of how the images develop, and that some just flow together easily, whilst others are trial and error.