Friday, August 21, 2009

One of my favorite spreads

I thought I'd post some more of the Saddle Ridge artwork. This is from Jack's Busy Day, a book about the day in the life of a ranch dog and his family. This is my favorite spread. One of the difficult things to keep in mind when designing a spread for a book is where the gutter (the space where the pages are bound) falls. I don't want to put anything important anywhere near it! So even though I may be working on a long horizontal composition, it's actually two vertical images because the action has to take place on the left and right sides of the page. In this spread I decided to put the cow's body in the gutter. I wanted to give a sense of drama, because this would be a really fast paced scene in real life. So I decided to put the viewer down right in the action, in the dust being churned up, to make it seem like the cow is coming right off the page at you. Here's my process:

I did several small thumbnails, just for approval, to show where the major "players" would be in each scene:

Then i did a tighter sketch, to get the expressions right. I wanted the cow to have the most personality in the picture and I wanted her to not look too happy about this turn of events:

The final. This scene takes place in the middle of the day, so no possibility of big dramatic ground shadows. I decided to shadow the cow's body, to let the contrast between her red and white hide and the shadow push her farther into the foreground:

I was quite happy with how this spread came out and will probably use it for promos later in the year.

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