Once again, I am slightly changing my original post since it fits so well with this week's Illustration Friday theme, Legendary. Princess Moonbeam comes from a Japanese Folk Tale/ Legend. When I posted this illustration at first, I forgot that I had planned on showing a couple steps of my acrylic process. So I am now posting those below.
Here's an illustration I finished for Story Book Art's ad in the 2010 Picture Book. It's a illustration of Princess Moonbeam from the Japanese folk tale. The moon is calling her back and she is about to drink the elixir of immortality and go back to live in the moon with her moon mother once more. She is sad because she must leave her earthly parents. I painted it in acrylics all except for the the moonbeam. I did that digitally. It just seemed like too much of a bother to try and figure out how to do it in acrylics.
Step one: The first step is thumbnails. It is important to work out how your composition will look in a thumbnail. Unfortunately, my thumbnail sketches are long gone, used as scratch paper for my kids to draw on.
Step two: Get the sketch right! This saves so much trouble in later stages. Sometimes I need to draw and redraw until I feel happy about it. Sometimes I even need to stop and go back to thumbnails. I was lucky on this illustration that I only had to tweek a couple things to get the sketch right.
Step three: Color study. I do this on photoshop. I even use colors from other acrylic illustrations I have done and scanned in, picked up from the eye dropper tool.
Step four: First I transfer the sketch to a gessobord by tracing it over graphite paper. (Even though I LOVE gessobord, I am wanting to change this to a kind of paper, since I know art directors don't like illustrations on a board because they like to use drum scanners. Does anyone have a wonderful paper that they use? I would love suggestions.) Then I do an underpainting. In this painting I used purple first then quickly painted in the rest of the colors where they were supposed to go.
Step Five: Finished acrylic painting. Step six on this one was to scan in the painting and add the digital magic, which you can see in my finished piece at the top.
Just for fun, here is a couple of photos of my pallet, since a lot of my friends get a kick out of how high the paint is getting. The photos are not very clear, but it's pretty funny.