Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Truth About Witches

The Truth About Witches, a book I illustrated for Capstone Press, is out!

The book, written by Eric Braun, is a fun overview of witchiness–from folklore to the latest Hollywood blockbuster. I got to draw characters from The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel, Harry Potter and even Tomie dePaola's Strega Nona!

While working on this book I came to the realization that drawing ugly is FUN! Fun and liberating. When drawing a witch, if I made the nose too big – who cares?! Heck, make it bigger! While creating these witch characters, the more exaggerated or twisted the better.

Drawing normal people–and in particular children–is more restrictive. If I draw a child with a big nose, there's a good chance that will age him or her; the child can quickly start looking like a diminutive adult.

I altered my digital-painting approach with this project by skipping a step. Rather than make one last precise and clean pencil drawing, and paint over that, I used my somewhat sketchy "rough" drawing underneath the digital color.

Why skip a step? Partially, it was a time-management issue. Also, I felt that my sketchy, "rough" drawings had more energy and life than the clean, traced versions. I'm happy with the final artwork and am glad I decided to streamline my process in this way.

Copyright page (and cover image) with a couple witches concocting a spell.

What does a Witch look like? This spread sums it up: pointy hat, rotten teeth, hairy wart and a pointy chin.

A witch with her familiar. And a very unlucky centipede.

The Sea Witch and the Little Mermaid. I dig the eels and crabs in the witches seaweed hair!


4 comments:

Hog Wild said...

Awesome art as always Robert.

John B. Watson said...

Great work. This is my personal favorite of the books you've illustrated. I love the exaggerated character design and moody atmosphere. Congrats!

SANDRA L said...

Your illustrations are amazing!

Chuck said...

Sorry I missed this post. Wonderful work, Robert! I LOVE the illo of the with flying on the broomstick- the atmosphere is awesome.