I decided to then go and illustrate the page in which the villain, see’s through her magic ball the young mer Princess interacting with the human boy. Once again I completed a storyboard I believed to be of a high enough standard to draw directly on top of with the pen tool in illustrator and bring the spread to life.
I decided to keep working away at the spreads. A scene I was keen to get going on was the scene in which the Mer Princess saves the Surfer(Zach) from a shark attack. At first I had difficulty sketching the body shapes of the two in the water. I used human models to act out the scene in order to capture the shapes of their body’s as best as I could. This technique proved extremely helpful in the end.
I then completed the storyboard of this spread in order to digitise it. In my storyboard the Shark looks a lot scarier than in the actual digitised version, I want to fix this as I feel he looks a little happy in the illustrated spread.
This was a scene that was originally going to appear in the book from last semester. I used this particular scene as my prototype back in January. However, my illustration style and characters have changed a lot so I decided to revamp this scene and include it into my project.
Again I have not included text in the digitised version of the scene, I am extremely happy with the outcome compared to my original prototype. There will also be slight changes and improvements made to this scene, before the book goes to print. I want to place more texture on the sand and put shadows where the two characters lie.
Next I chose to add a page that was not originally in the book, I felt the book with flow a lot better if I added this page. The addition of the page also slightly adjusted the story. It is based just after the two meet as children they bond and make a discovery. Again, I tried to complete the storyboard to a high enough standard to input directly to Illustrator and begin to digitise.
I feel I am at a place in the project where I can start working on the actual book. I began by storyboarding the first page. The pages will be done in spreads, Whatever the passage on each spread there will be an illustration to accompany it and show what is going on. Below I have the story board for the first page I decided to illustrate. This will be the first page in the book. It is when the young Jellyfish and the young King meet for the very first time. I wanted to complete each storyboard to a high standard, in doing so I could import it directly to illustrator and begin digitising it.
I then began to illustrate the storyboard and bring the spread to life. Below I have placed the finished digital version of the spread. Some tweaks may be made before the final book gets sent to the printers. I have not yet added text to the spread as I am still undecided over font.
After scanning the internet for possible tutorials that would allow me to digitally create a water colour effect on my backgrounds, I found one on Youtube that was not too difficult to follow and decided to give it a go. The tutorial was done using Adobe Illustrator, this was extremely convenient for me as I am using this software to design every aspect of the book before bringing it into InDesign.
I found an image of a pice of water colour paint applied to a white sheet of paper, I then brought the image into Illustrator, Rasterized it,made it grey scale, clicked an option to ignore the white paper and hit expand to make to shape of the water colour a vector. I then dragged the new vector into my symbols panel, clicked on it, chose the spray tool and proceeded to spray this effect onto my backgrounds.
Here I have, again different gradients and two different water colour symbol options I personally preferred the second on and will implement it while i design the final book to see how it looks.
When it came to designing the backgrounds, I knew in my head exactly what I wanted them to look like. First and foremost I wanted to keep them quite simplistic using gradients to depth and different shades of blues as the story is for the most part under water. Like in a lot of children’s book the paper almost looks like water paper and I love this effect so I knew that is what I wanted within my own book.
Here I have some examples of what I mean, I really like the look of the water colour it gives the image a nice wash of colour with added detail. I, at first did not know how I would achieve this unless I hand painted backgrounds with water colour, scanned the image into photoshop and cleverly manipulated the image until I was happy with the outcome.
I decided to try some illustrator effects first as I they would not take too long and I may have liked the outcome, Below I have two images both gradients going from dark blue to a lighter blue to represent depth at the bottom of the sea. In the image on the right I placed an Adobe Illustrator effect called water paper to see if this would achieve the water colour effect I was going for. In the end these effects did not achieve the outcome I would have liked so I must now look at alternative options.
Now that I had all of my characters pretty much designed, I decided to do some user testing to gain some feedback on what I have so far and to see if any changes could and should be made. I have a niece within my target audiences age group, I would have liked to maybe do a little workshop with her class in school. With it being the Easter holidays that just was not possible.
My sister approached some of my nieces friends parents and invited them to attend a session in which I told the story and showed the children the characters. This was a great opportunity for me to see how children in my target audience engaged with the story and the visuals.
I got a lot of feedback, first and foremost the children really liked the story. A few comments where made that I fully took into consideration and have applied them to my project. First the children where not big fans of the Villains name, Veronica. After me asking for options on what to call her the children came to a decision of Sirena. Which I thought worked quite well.
Most of the comments made where regarding names, as I had not yet decided on names for the sea horse I decided to ask the children what they wanted him to be called. One of them said Frank, I thought this name was really unexpected and could work well. The children also named the two minion characters Fang and bate.
Completing something like this proved to be extremely useful and there is a lot to take into consideration now as I go onto design the actual book.
Here is the finalised illustration of the shark. I did not go into a whole lot of major detail as the shark is only featured on one page in the entire book.
Once I chose the shark I wanted to proceed with, I began to play around with different colour options, Although I think I will go ahead and use a generic colour palette of different shades of grey I had fun making it bright colours and seeing what it would look like.