My five finished illustrations for Rev. Charles Kingsley's "The Water Babies"
This is the first draft of the scene where Tom meets the King of the Dragonflies. After looking through "The Wave", NY times book review here, I saw how using drippy, bleeding watercolors could help imply a water setting and overall "wet" tone in an illustration. I experimented with liquid watercolor mask from my favorite Seattle art store, The Artist and Craftsman, to seal the figures. I then splattered gouache paint over the top. I do kind of like this affect above, but it wasn't what I was looking for - too distracting!
This is the second draft I did, and nearly stuck with, but I found the frog legs to be too "Disney" for my taste. The Disney book version is what I grew up with and love, but I wanted to do something of my own.
I finally choose the red octopus boy on the right because the red/orange popped well against the blue (to more easily direct attention to the main character) and because I felt the tentacles reflect more of the writing's slightly creepy feel.