Saturday, January 30, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Cat and The Monkey - O Gato E O Macaco Animated Gif!!!

So many chestnuts!

Check out the book at Trinta Por Uma Linha!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

David Bowie

We will miss you David Bowie!!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Making of the Characters for "O Gato e O Macaco" (The Cat and The Monkey)

Last year I illustrated the picture book "O Gato e O Macaco"  (The Cat and The Monkey) written by João Manuel Ribeiro and published by Trinta Por Uma Linha in Portugal.

The picture book is in Portuguese and I was given an English translation by the publishers to illustrate.  One day I hope to learn Portuguese!!
I will share the long step-by-step process of the Characters, Storyboarding and Final Artwork in the next three blog posts.
First, I was given the manuscript by João Manuel Ribeiro.  The story was simple with two main characters taking place inside a house.  The text was mostly dialog between the Cat and the Monkey, conveying the relationship between the two personalities, the gullible Cat and the sly and smart Monkey.
I thought about comedic pairs, such as Ren and Stimpy:

Laurel and Hardy:

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I thought about size relationship and decided the Monkey will be skinny and the Cat will be fat. Silhouette was also very important.

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I painted loose sketches with watercolor and drew with my five year old nephew.

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I studied my friend's house cat (Rafi).  I also studied some lemurs at the Bronx Zoo:

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I looked at illustrations, engravings, and photos of monkeys and cats on the internet. The key was to understand the way they move their bodies and their animal mannerisms.

In addition to pictures, I watched a great documentary from PBS Nature about monkeys in Japan called, "Snow Monkeys".  These monkeys survive in the cold weather by bathing in natural hot springs during the winter months. They spend a lot of time grooming each other and the little ones ride on the older monkey's backs.

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Also, inspiration came from photos of family friends:

Making of the Storyboard and Sketches for "O Gato e O Macaco" (The Cat and The Monkey)


When I am satisfied with the identity of the characters, I begin the process of storyboarding.

The text by João Manuel Ribeiro was already broken up into pages, so I planned the drawings around the amount of space given for the illustrations.

During this process, added the two mice as extra characters for more visual storytelling.

The book was going to be small and square in format and simple in the narrative.  I admired the simple formatting and size of Beatrix Potter's books, with text on one page and a vignette on the other:

Keeping the same idea for vignettes and white space for text, I began to make a storyboard of all 28 pages of the book, trying to keep the characters and background consistent.

Below are the final drawings:

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Making of the Final Artwork for "O Gato e O Macaco" (The Cat and The Monkey)

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Before starting the final artwork, I made some small color studies to decide on a consistent color palette for the entire book.  The Cat is a Fire Cat - so I wanted him to be reddish while the blue background contrasts the warm characters and the fire place.

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Once the drawings for the book were all finalized, I transferred the drawings to smooth hot press watercolor paper in a light pencil.  Then I used waterproof colored acrylic inks and a 102 nib crow quill dip pen to ink all the line work.

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After I finished inking all the line work, I taped the paper to large masonite boards to keep the paper from wrinkling due to water washes. Then, I painted with watercolor and ink washes on top of the inked line work to create shadows and more color to the paintings.

And then after lots of painting.....the finished illustration!