Hello all! First off, I'd like to remind you about our first readers' poll. Please take a look over to the left and cast your vote for the character you'd most like to see interviewed. This is just a basic poll, no log in required, no one tracking your online movements or anything like that!
And now, I'm pleased to introduce the first ever guest blogger to The Deliverers blog, Daniel Vogel. Daniel is our intrepid illustrator. This is one talented young man. He did the cover illustration, the map, and the chapter header illustration...and he doesn't even drive yet! So now, heeeere's Daniel!
Hello everyone, (or the percentage of the population that will read this). I'm Dan, and I'm here to talk, or type, about the illustrations for The Deliverers.
I really like drawing, and my Mom and Dad (who are good friends of Mr. Slomba) [Mr.?!-ed.] thought it would be a good idea to turn this into an art assignment for my schoolwork (I am home schooled).
Of course, reading the book was the first step. Uncle Greg (he is not really my Uncle, our family just calls him that--long story for another time) let some of my cousins and I have advanced copies of the final manuscript for a "test" reading.
It was a very good book!
Coming up with an idea for the cover illustration was tricky. I had to develop a drawing that captured the gist of the story, not give away the story too much, yet make a potential buyer say "Huh! This book looks interesting, I wonder what this story is about."
To me, The Deliverers entering the Dead Forest was an iconic scene, and I chose that as my starting point. I had trouble placing Stig in the drawing, trying to put him on Eric's shoulder. He seemed to get lost in the scene, but was too important a character, so I compromised by making him flying above the trees. I did numerous owl studies and tried a whole bunch of angles. It was a good exercise, and I learned a lot about owls in the process.
For the chapter drawings, I first tried to do individual drawings for each of them. That didn't work out quite the way I wanted. Over-thinking the ideas killed my momentum (my mom calls me a lazy artist).
The obvious solution: one chapter illustration that captures what the book is about. After more study sketches, I settled on a drawing of a ring, with two swords crossed behind it, with two flags flying on top of it all.
That was only the beginning. After Uncle Greg approved the sketches, I scanned them into the computer and my Mom (a graphic designer by trade) and I worked together to spruce up the art on Photoshop and add the glow effects. We took out eraser lines, added contrast and brightened color, and then she showed me how to put in the fancy gold type used in the title.
Uncle Greg also wanted a map of Calendria. First try, the perspective was horrible and I got the places mixed up. Second try, I got the places right but I messed up the perspective. My Mom worked with me to manipulate the image to the right perspective in, you guessed it, Photoshop. I really like that program!
Overall, illustrating this book was a great experience, and I want to thank Uncle Greg for letting me participate in the process.
And if there is a sequel, I will pull out my pencils once again!
Thanks, Daniel. Keep those pencils handy!