About this time last year I took on a client commission for a pair two page spreads illustrating Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky poem. It was for an elementary school textbook so I’m not sure when (if ever) those illustrations might be released but suffice it to say, I really enjoyed them!
Moreover, it got me thinking, hey, I can’t help but add things to my own personal project calendar, why not illustrate the rest of those Alice poems?
Why not, indeed. I decided that I would create spot illustrations. Full pieces would be counter-productive with regards the rest of my work, but spots, I could handle spots. And so! As I have time, here and there, I’ve been working my way through all of the poems collected in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
You might recall a certain fastidious crocodile from a few months ago but this time I’m here with a starry bat.
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a teatray in the sky.
First, some scribbles. There were more pages but this was the one where I hit on the idea to have the wings full of stars. Also, sharp-eyed readers might notice that I was also scrawling out some waterfalls and trolls.
On to the actual sketch.
And the final, stars and all. General’s Kimberly 2B with some touches of 8B on Strathmore 500 series Bristol. Vellum.
For this one I brought the drawing into Photoshop and set the drawing layer to Multiply. This let me begin my work underneath the line art.
All the flat colors. I started off with what’s basically local color for a normal bat. It looked ok but nothing felt unique or said “starry sky” to me.
Working above the drawing now, laying in some highlights. Focusing mostly on the ears and face at this stage.
And here’s where it clicked! Once I started working with a cool “glaze” of Multiply it began to feel like night to me.
Some simple highlights and subtle finishing touches.
And there you have it! I’ve got plans for the next one to touch upon the “teatray” mentioned in the poem. Or I might just move on to another poem entirely. This little collection is meant to be a relaxing one so I’m not going to stress myself out over it, by any means.