Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Using Color Wisely in Art

It's amazing the difference changing just one element, color, can make. A few months ago I finished the text of my latest story, and I intended to illustrate it and have it released before the summer.

It didn't happen.

I'm really looking for a unique style that both stands out and is enjoyable, and even a little addictive, to look at. And I want it to be a little classic, meaning it isn't immediately and easily identified to a specific time period.

I also find myself wondering about picking a genre for my stories and sticking a little more closely to it. Looking over the Wandering Koala tales, there is romance, adventure, science fiction, fantasy, supernatural, horror, drama, and the list goes on. While I love stories that jump genres, there does need to be some sort of focus and consistency so fans know what they are getting into and are not shocked in a bad way at a new story.

So that's why I'm taking so long with this latest story. I really want it to be a paradigm example of what one can expect from a Wandering Koala tale.

The above sketches are a study of a style and technique for the illustrations. I actually drew the picture in pencil a couple of weeks ago and meant to ink it, but didn't, because I wasn't sure how. I've always loved my stick work (a willow stick dipped in Sumi ink), but for some reason I worry it won't be commercial enough, so I almost never use it. But it really does create a nice line. I'm still not sure about what to do with the color. I love color, but I also love black and white, and black and white tends to draw the reader in more once they start reading. But it is harder to get a reader to start, so there is the challenge. I decided to try the same image in three styles and put them next to each other to see which works best.

What do you think?

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