Monday, January 25, 2016

I'm In Charge!

The title of this blog post is referring to a book I just illustrated and not my own proud declaration to the world. Though I do try to be in charge when ever I get a chance and think things are usually the better for it.
One of the writers for H├órn, a game I am the art director for, knew about an author- a friend of a friend, who was looking for an illustrator for a children's book he was working on (was that sentence  more confusing than it needed to be?).
Henry Vogel was working an series of stories based on old medieval folk tales. I have wanted to illustrated a book for kids for a while now, so I inquired. After a some back and forth emails, we agreed to work together on this project.

I'm In Charge cover, © 2016, Henry Vogel and Richard Luschek
Henry had 6 stories, and we chose 3 to be in this first book: I'm in Charge, the Seven Silly Brothers and The Three questions.
I would tell you more, but I am going to have you read the description on the Amazon page for the book. Click Here to read and to order piles of books for your family! It is available in print and for the Kindle (PDF).


I worked on the cover and interior art pretty much at the same time. I wanted this book to have an old timey, classic look. I love Arthur Rackham's work and wanted emulate that style.
I sent Henry a quick sketch done in photo shop to see what he thought.
I'm In Charge, digital sketch, © 2016, Henry Vogel and Richard Luschek
He gave me some notes, a few sketches went back and forth and I then assembled my reference. I like to use the best looking and most handsomest models I can find for the money.

I'm In Charge, reference photo, © 2016, Henry Vogel and Richard Luschek
I did a pencil sketch and then inked the drawing.

I'm In Charge, ink drawing, © 2016, Henry Vogel and Richard Luschek
This is scanned into Photoshop and then colored digitally. I usually start by adding some texture to the image- I set a photo of parchment on a multiply layer and did laid a tone in.

I'm In Charge, digital value scheme, © 2016, Henry Vogel and Richard Luschek
I select all the parts out on different layers and start adding color. Using my initial color sketch to select colors from.
I'm In Charge, early color layers, © 2016, Henry Vogel and Richard Luschek
I keep painting and pushing things around till I like it. I didnt like how the spear touched the edge, so I selected it and angled it out to match the shield. I added the Seven Silly Brothers walking by the castle outside on their way to some adventures. The princes hand was a bit too manly and the face too harsh. I made the crown bigger and finished the painting. The text was added and then tweaked a bit by hand, painting around it to give it a more natural look.

I'm In Charge, cover, © 2016, Henry Vogel and Richard Luschek
For the interior art I decided a set of simple silhouettes would look nice.

I'm In Charge, Interior, pen and ink, © 2016, Henry Vogel and Richard Luschek
Here we see the power hungry prince is ordering his friend's mother to jail for not letting them play together.

Seven Silly Brothers, Interior, Pen and Ink, © 2016, Henry Vogel and Richard Luschek
The Seven Silly Brothers are not the brightest lot. They get themselves into all kinds of trouble.

3 Questions, Interior, Pen and Ink, © 2016, Henry Vogel and Richard Luschek

In Three Questions, the princess and her father the king, do not agree on the qualities that will make for a good husband and prince.

No spoilers here, you will have to find out how they end on your own by reading the book yourself or preferably aloud to your kids.
So, go get the book and write some glowing reviews.