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October 22, 2012

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.

You can click the above image to see more detail. Also, I’ve added more of the sketches and color studies to my Art Gallery under Sketchbook. Enjoy!

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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.