About Me

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Indiana, United States
I have done pictures since I can remember. I took all the art classes in junior high and high school I could and naturally became an art major in college. I graduated with a BFA in art and writing and marry the two by writing and illustrating children's books.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rikki Panel 1 Finished

While developing my portfolio for children's illustration, I have drawn Rikki Tikki Tavi.

This is the first of three panels I plan to do. I haven't drawn in charcoal for many years and decided to get back into it to create a noir atmosphere and because it's so quick to get coverage in large areas, and easy to build up dark darks.
I haven't just drawn a full picture in a long time. I normally draw enough for a template for my digital work. As I drew, I relearned a lot of things. Trying to cast highlights back into shadow areas, which means to leave areas light or white. Going back and erasing out to get those highlights, or drawing back in with white pencil is just not as clean. Also, I had to get used to using one of those paper smudging stumps again in order to blend small detail areas. I think I was in junior high last time I fiddled with one of those.
One thing I'd like to overcome is the amount of sparkly white texture you can see throughout the dark areas. This was done on cold press 300 illustration board, medium texture, and I wonder if I went with the lighter texture, if it would still grab the charcoal as well.
The next pieces in this series will be Rikki first encountering the cobra Nag, in the garden under the tailor-bird's nest, and the deadly fight scene in the bathroom. We'll see.
The next posting should be the color piece I'm nearly done with for Old King Cole.


Joyce said...

Wow! You really are good, you know. I am always amazed and super impressed with illustrators! I've done enough drawing and painting to know how good I am not!

I love all the detail in this piece.

Nathan said...

Joyce, you are too kind. And, very faithful at reading and commenting. I'm going to get better at that soon and very soon.

Nathan said...

And, I have done enough writing to know how so-so I am at that. I find myself thinking--when I'm reading writers such as Joyce--how do they do this??

Joyce said...

Oh, well it's all about practice. You practice illustration. And it shows.

I practice novel writing and it shows (At least I think it does!)

But I also love your ability to write such spare and powerfully packed picture books!

Kevin Spear said...

I like how the composition flows. It flows from the parents, to Riki to the sleeping boy. It has a good flow.

Keep up the great work, Nathan.