I'm working on the next illustration for my rediscovered kid's book.
As with the spider print, I had the pencil sketch for this one worked out from years ago. I only made small changes to it, although I still have to give the snails some more breathing room on either side, but deciding on the colours turned out to be trickier than I expected. I really want to keep the number of colours for all the images in this series simple and limited to just a few. Otherwise, I can see this project waiting for completion for another 15 years and by then I might just not be a spry as I am now.
I used five colours for the spider, but two were white and black so, really, I only used three actual colours. And that's what I was aiming for with this next print too. But damned if I can make three colours (and black and white) work so that I like it. Not unless I make the background all one colour and I'm just not sold on that idea. So, after a weekend of fiddling around, I decided on six colours for this next one.
Except, after hours spent the old-fashioned way, pencil-colouring, I also decided I don't like the colour combination all that labour resulted in.
It happens to me every time. I'm not crazy about working out my colours in Photoshop. It may be nuts but I like the smell of pencil shavings and I have a huge set of good pencil crayons so I start my colouring with them. But I get impatient and restless; it takes too long. I then switch to markers which, invariably, because I don't have as many colours to choose from, end up overpowering everything. And they can't be lightened up. Like in the picture above. It's way too bold and way too dull for a kid's book. Too terra-cotta somehow.
At this point, having spent my free hours on the weekend colouring, I don't have the patience to do it again. So, in search of instant gratification, I Photoshopped a few other versions.
#1 - I tried making the green lighter...
#2 - And changing the rust into blue...
#3 - And then the blue into tan...
All of which, of course, took me a fraction of the time it took to colour the thing in with pencils!
Anyway. I think I'm leaning toward the tan version for now. I think. I guess I have time to ponder still. I doubt I'll be ready to print by this weekend since I don't even have the lino glued to the support for now.