Tuesday, August 19, 2008

sally ann thunder ann whirlwind crockett!

Hey! It's Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett!

Back eons ago when I was in ye olde illustration school, we had an assignment to illustrate a scene from a tall tale. Somehow I stumbled across the story of Sally Ann, and illustrated her twirling her rattlesnake lasso. And no, I won't be digging that out to share. Earlier this year when we were coming up with ideas for the next batch of stories at Imagine Learning, I pitched the idea of Sally Ann. One of our writers Shar did a great job putting her own spin on the story, and I staked my claim on getting to illustrate it.

So here are a few scenes from the story. Young Sally Ann asks a panther to dance, and they become best friends. A bit older, she runs across this poor feller with his head stuck in the fork of a tree (who knows how he managed that). Turns out it's Davy Crockett! Once she saves him with her rattlesnake lasso, they get married and live happily ever after. Uh... apparently they didn't remember the Alamo.

Technical notes... done in Photoshop. I kept the characters on a separate layer from the background so I could blur out areas. Using the Gaussian Blur (in Filter > Blur...) was a great trick since I could reuse other backgrounds and copy/paste all over the place. I think it helped make the characters pop a bit more as well, so a nice added benefit of trying to save time.

I pretty much stuck with three brushes for these illos. I made a custom brush for drawing the lines. I started with a default preset spatter brush, then adjusted the spacing, size jitter and angle jitter (in the brushes palette) until I got a brush that draws a bit like a crayon. For the shading I used the non-customized spatter brushes, and then did all the touch-ups with my crayon-ish spatter brush.

I also tried making another custom brush using a round airbrush. I used that one to make all the leaves on the trees and background bushes. It didn't work exactly how I wanted, but it got the job done.

Once the illustrations were done, I put a layer of a sandstone-type texture over the top, and set it to soft light. Sweet as sugar!


Carol H. said...

These are beautiful! I just love the way you get that soft shading with the linework together, everything flows together so smoothly. I love the characters, too!

that girl (shelly) said...

my little ones came rushing to the computer screen with an, "oooh ahhhh" response to these, so consider yourself complimented!

Brava ;)

Heather Shepherd said...

I want to be Sally Ann!

Ken Chandler said...

Fantastic work!

Anonymous said...

I am playing as Sally Ann in a play!

Anupam said...

Thats a very interesting post. I have been inspired. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The images are very nice. I like the images. Free Web Directory

Anonymous said...

My spouse and I stumbled over here different web address and thought
I should check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
Look forward to looking at your web page repeatedly.
Review my web-site :: her latest blog

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't mind if i use these pictures for my project :)

Anonymous said...

I got this web site from my friend who told me regarding
this web page and now this time I am visiting this website and reading very
informative articles at this place.
Also see my webpage > now herbal products