Eileen McKenna Art & Design

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My Claddagh Fairy illustration made into a doll!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I am so happy today (in honor of St. Patrick’s Day) to bring you the doll version of my Claddagh Fairy. All thanks to my niece, Ryan, my illustration has come to life – in doll form! Thank you Ryan!

claddagh fairy doll 2 back irish fairy doll flying irish fairy doll

See more illustrations from the Claddagh Fairy and my journey to develop a children’s book illustration style.

claddaghfairy

The Claddagh Fairy is copyrighted. Unauthorized use of this blog’s content, text and artwork is prohibited. Re-blogging and/or sharing links is allowed provided that http://www.mycreativeresolution.com is credited and a direct link to the original content is included. Thank you.


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Developing a Children’s Book Illustration Style (Part III)

I finally developed an illustration style for my Claddagh fairy! Now what? Time to illustrate the whole book. Wow, intimidating. As a graphic designer I had the knowledge (and the software) to design the layout of the book, so that helped. I started with thumbnail sketches (a storyboard) of where the copy would fall and what the illustrations should be.

thumbnails

Even though I had my fairy design, how exactly was I illustrating the book? Watercolor? Acrylic? And I was very worried about getting the fairy right from all angles and keeping her consistent. I read online, about Illustrator, Will Hillenbrand, who draws on vellum (paper) and paints the paper (from the back side). Thank you Will for sharing your technique! I thought that sounded interesting especially because I thought if I drew on the computer, I’d have more luck keeping my fairy consistent.

If you decide to try this technique – printing the illustrations and then painting the back of the vellum – make sure you buy vellum that is compatible with your printer type: vellum for inkjet or vellum for laser.

11 Art Supplies I can't paint without

My Illustration Process:

  • Loose, quick sketch with pencil and paper
  • Scan sketch (to use as guide) and “draw” outlines in Adobe Illustrator using the pen tool
  • Print the drawings on vellum (vellum for inkjet or vellum for laser)
  • Paint the back side of the vellum using Liquitex acrylic paints
  • Scan the drawings and retouch if necessary
  • Using layout program (Adobe Indesign), import artwork and add text
  • Print final book spreads

Vellum with illustration from the computer and back side of vellum painted:

vellum

Using more finalized illustrations, I super sized my thumbnails and arranged them on a giant bulletin board to map out the book. At that point, the type and illustrations were different pieces of paper, so I could move things around. Several times I created an illustration only to move copy around and change what the illustration should be.

It was a very fun project illustrating “The Claddagh Fairy.” But it was a lot of work. So far, no one wants to publish it though! lol! In my mind getting it published was out of my control, but sticking with it and illustrating the whole book, was in my control. It felt like a huge accomplishment! It was a great learning process and I don’t regret spending time on it, even if it never gets published. One of these days I’d like to illustrate another children’s book. Although this time, I’d like to do more of the illustrations with pen and brush instead of the computer.

Here are a couple of my favorite Claddagh Fairy spreads:

castlespread

irishmeadow

claddaghfairy

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Copyright Eileen McKenna 2017. Unauthorized use of this blog’s content, text and artwork is prohibited. Re-blogging and/or sharing links is allowed provided that http://www.mycreativeresolution.com is credited and a direct link to the original content is included. Thank you.


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Developing a Children’s Book Illustration Style (Part II)

In my quest to develop a children’s book illustration style, I continued to look at the work of other illustrators and practice drawing. Each exercise made a difference in the evolution of my character and the birth of a drawing style. My character, is an Irish Fairy, called the Claddagh Fairy. I invented her when I wrote my children’s book, “The Claddagh Fairy.” She spreads the message of the Irish Claddagh – friendship, loyalty and love!

Phase 1

phaseone

Phase 2

phasetwo

Phase 3

phasethree

Phase Four – I have a look for my fairy! Now the question was – how was I going to illustrate an entire book?! How was I going to make the Claddagh Fairy from different angles, but still look the same?! Read Part III to find out.

Claddagh Fairy

Related Posts you may enjoy reading:

11 Art Supplies I can't paint without

The Claddagh Fairy is copyrighted. Unauthorized use of this blog’s content, text and artwork is prohibited. Re-blogging and/or sharing links is allowed provided that http://www.mycreativeresolution.com is credited and a direct link to the original content is included. Thank you.