As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been busy these last couple of of months rendering new artwork to adorn the dustjackets of the 10-year anniversary of The Spiderwick Chronicles. Early next year, Simon & Schuster will unveil the new jackets, along with news about the re-release of the original five chapter books.
The art for the Spiderwick jackets was created with a combination of traditional inks and washes along with Photoshop. After the work was complete, the inertia to continue onwards with my daily sketch exercises was still within me. Free of any contractual restraints, I started drawing fairies.
Some were old designs revisited…
…others were new ideas altogether.
Are they Spiderwick sprites? They certainly share the same style and design as the art rendered for the books, but I think these studies are a bit further developed. There’s a more mature aesthetic infused in them that I am satisfied with (for the moment).
The sketches were traced onto Strathmore smooth Bristol using a light table. From there, reference was gathered (with help from my little 5-year old sprite) from the outdoors and from my bookshelf.
Once the drawing was complete, I inked the image with my usual Hunts 102 nib and sepia FW ink. Though I will erase the heavy pencil work after the ink dries, I leave some of the underlying sketch to reveal a bit of my process.
Color was applied with Yarka St. Petersburg Watercolors over a thin wash of Burnt Sienna Holbein Acryla-Gouache. The Bristol board isn’t really the best for watercolors – its quite porous with little (if any) sizing on it – but I like soaking the color into the drawing to enhance the line. These are more tinted drawings than paintings to me.
Finally, since I hardly ever release my art for sale anymore, I thought it would be fun to make these available for purchase. Details on acquiring the original artwork will be posted here (and on facebook and twitter) this Wednesday (10/24) at 12 noon EST. Perhaps one of these little studies will find its way into your collection.