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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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How WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? Was Made (Part 4): More Process, Final Art and Cover Art

Making Of A Picture Book posts so far: Main Index/ResourcesPart 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 -

Back to Where Are My Books? Bonus Page

Even though I did the early sketches for Where Are My Books? by hand, I did the final art entirely digitally. I like working with two monitors:

For those curious, I was using Photoshop CS6, and my main computer is a 27-inch iMac with a 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 memory. Don't ask me exactly what all that means; I just copied it off my "About This Mac" info. :-)

I draw using a medium-sized Intuos 5-Touch pen Tablet. I still haven't gotten around to taking advantage of the 5-Touch shortcuts.

Every so often, I print off my current art and hang it up on string that Jeff has rigged up for me across my office ceiling. I find this helps in (1) helping me check overall flow and consistency, and (2) helping me feel like I'm making progress. When I revise any particular illustration, I'll replace it with the newer one:

I'll also sometimes create PDFs of the whole book, whatever stage I've reached, and then flip through the PDF on my iPad. The text is just a placeholder until my art director, Laurent Linn, can work his design magic.

When the sketches were close to being finished, Laurent asked me to come up with some cover ideas. Here are a few:

We settled on the last image, so I worked on turning that into cover quality:

Getting closer, but we decided the overall color was too dark (brown bed, brown hair, shadows, etc.) and Laurent encouraged me to go for a wilder, brighter color:

And it worked!

Of course this meant I needed to go through all the illustrations and change the color of the bed, but that's one of the advantages of digital art -- I had kept the bed color on a separate layer, so could change it without having to re-draw everything.

Note the bored Potato from I'M BORED in the lower left corner:

Then Laurent Linn worked his magic with the design and text placement, and here's how the final cover turned out:

 To be continued in Part 5.

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