This week thought I’d show you some illustrations from the other book I mentioned last week – Eco-Rangers Save The Planet: Earth-friendly missions for green kiwis, written by children’s author Maria Gill. This book is A5 size, and could be slipped into a back pocket. It’s full of ways young people can think about the their environment and finds ways to keep it healthy. I was asked to draw the two main characters first, and make the boy and girl a bit funky. The book was aimed at young teens, so I looked through a great Taschen book on recent illustrations to get an idea of styles. My work would be grades of back on white, with green and blue being the background print colours.
I used smooth illustration board, as it prints well, and cleanly. The editor had a feel for good design and that was great help, as I tried to produce images to suit his thinking. The illustrations were scattered throughout the book, and were quite small generally. I really enjoyed drawing these, as they covered everything from drawing vegetables, fish, a globe in a hothouse, hens, cartoons, a dog and the main characters.
I have always loved drawing and never use rulers to achieve my lines, as many have asked me. This image is showing graphically the effects of global warming on our earth. I use the same techniques for the next image which is highlighting the overuse of electricity in our homes.
I used grades of graphite, from H through to 2B, and pen. I did use an edge of paper to get the crisp edges in the cast shadow, but the rest is freehand.
I have always enjoyed sketching houses, or buildings of any type. Perspective is fun to do, and with these wee drawings I had a great time, as it was up to me to invent the images.
I love getting the tones right too, making sure there’s an obvious light source to create the light, middle, and dark tones, and using a middle tone for the cast shadow. I aimed for a similar effect when I drew the main characters. A more graphic, than realistic look.
And as much as I liked doing all the drawings for the book, when it was published, I also enjoyed talking in schools to students about the book and running art workshops. We worked on perspective, and I had the students draw their own boxed vegetable gardens, using examples from the book. Now, that was fun! Next week, more sea creatures.