Final Frontispiece (part 3)
I continue my progress on inking the final colored frontispiece for The Spiderwick Chronicles finale, The Wyrm King…
My desk is actually a light table. Its large size allows me to transfer images onto the Bristol board which I use for most all of my artwork. Here is a shot of my desk with the frontispiece in progress. Also present is some of the reference used in this final drawing stage.
First off, you’ll notice Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide (ASFG). I am referencing the mermaid designs so that these are continuous with the look of the story. Also present is the last S’wick book, A Giant Problem, in which I illustrated only bobbing heads. In this new illustration, we will now see the merfolk in all of their underwater glory, and you’ll be able to match faces from Giant Problem to faces here in The Wyrm King. Lastly, the paper behind ASFG is the printout sketch that I refined and sized on the computer.
This shot shows how the lines transfer from the rough sketch and get detailed and reworked as I prepare for inking. Nick has simply been traced and slightly refined, while the mermaids are almost complete. All of this is done simply with a #2 Ticonderoga pencil.
Here the final drawing is almost completed. I’ve also added lines to aspects of the image that will only be dictated in color, such as the ocean surface and the light rays. Note that forms are drawn through others to continue their lines correctly, even off of the border.
Here’s a detail of the mermaids’ faces. Though they are individuals, they are rendered as one formation to retain the sweeping movement of the composition.
And here is a detail shot of Nick. Unlike the fluid, dynamic shapes of the merfolk, Nick’s arms and legs are sprawled out in a clumsy (helpless turtle) pose as he drifts to the ocean floor.
As I’ve mentioned before, the basic shapes are in place and SOME of the details are worked out. However, I’ve purposely left room for me to render with the inks only. Simply tracing perfect pencil lines creates a static, non-energized line for me. I have to do some of the final spontaneous drawing with the pen.
Next stage: inking. Including a warm-up study courtesy of Mr. Rackham…