No matter how hard you try on your sketches, there are going to be revisions. Revisions are like the weird aunt at a family reunion that you try to avoid, but when they come along it is best to be nice and just hope you can get it over with without too much pain.
I got a call from the Art Director and we went through the changes on the book sketches. I picked up a red pencil and as we talked, I made some quick notes on the sketches of what the changes were. I was writing really fast and just jotted down some key words that I hoped would remind me later of what to do. Here is the sketch for page 4.
The mother guppy is watching the baby guppies hatch. They don't seem to like empty space in an illustration (I should know that by now), so the suggestion was to put in a few more guppies and to have the mother patting one on the head.
(click to enlarge) You can see my notes in red that say "3 more" and "petting one." I erased one fin on the mother fish and redrew it so she could be patting one of the little buggers. Next, I fired up my copy machine and made a copy of the original. Now I had some little fish that I could cut and paste. I put one under the mom's fin and placed the others to fill up that blank space a bit.
This is a typical change. Out of 21 pages, 14 had some kind of change made to them. But it wasn't too bad. Some things only needed to be shifted a bit, or a character needed to be enlarged some. My old copy machine, scissors, and scotch tape made it all happen. I know what you are thinking, and yes, I COULD have done the changes in Photoshop. But I realized that I could make all of the changes with my copier and scissors, and it is so much fun to actually cut and paste... so that's how I rolled on this one.
It took an afternoon to make the changes and the evening to scan them again. There was nothing on TV that was of much interest to me, so it was no problem to sit around scanning while keeping one eye on the TV.
So here is the bottom line. It is a bit of a bother to make revisions, but it usually results in some better illustrations and a better looking book... and that is what we are all after. Right?
The scanned revisions go back and then all the final images are presented to a group of editors for final approval. After that, I get the "GO" signal and begin on the final art. I'm not sure when this will be, but when it happens I will return to show you my coloring process.