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Work resumes on Hollybee Hope


Hollybee Hope continues to challenge me.

Actually that's not quite true, it's just been difficult to have solid blocks of time to work on it. An overdue deadline for Scholastic, my first ever, (the title took a lot longer to illustrate than I anticipated due to all the detail in each spread) has meant I've had to push the self-imposed deadline out by another few weeks. I'll know in a few days whether this will affect the publication date of end of August - fingers crossed it won't.

In the meantime I've been slowly working my way through each of the pages and making little tweaks to the ones I had already completed before sending the dummy off to Bologna. Speaking of Bologna, while there were plenty of positive comments around the illustration and story, nobody has contacted me for the rights, although a publisher in the USA would like to see the completed illustrations. So not all bad news, but it does make me wonder about these book fairs and whether or not it’s worth the expense of either sending my books, or actually attending. I guess until I actually do go to one, or two, I can’t really have an opinion. So I’ve decided I’ll just keep doing what I love doing and reaching out to contacts I’ve made over the last few years and you never know, something may just come of it all.

Photoshop is my go to app for working digitally. I do miss the physicality of working with paint and brushes and have recently purchased an A3 scanner to play around with mixing both methods somehow, something I am really looking forward to exploring.

I work on layers, lots of layers. I find it easier to break the image down into parts so sky would be on one layer, background trees on another layer and so on. I block out the characters in a solid white and build up the layers over the top of that and then at the end go in and work on the finer details. Sounds easy doesn’t it – it’s more time consuming than anything and it usually takes me one to two days to complete each spread. I work in RGB mode as that makes for a smaller file size and then, when the illustrations are all completed, I’ll save a copy of each spread as a flattened CMYK tiff image set to the printers colour specifications.

The image below shows a page I'm working on at the moment. You can see all the layers and my pencil sketch is just visible. You can see the blocked in characters with no detail and a nearly completed Hollybee.

So, I think I'll leave it there for now, but will share more images next month. Toodlepip.


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