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Book Layout Time!


Now that PETER o'Meter's manuscript has been finalized, I have been digging extra deep into illustrating.

I set up a document where I made rough draft thumbnails on each page leaving space for text and the gutter. Now that the story isn't changing, I'm ready to make may final illustrations.

I've been working in procreate app on iPad using every layer possible to give myself the flexibility to scoot, resize, redraw, recolor, light, or texturize any piece of the artwork as I go.

Some of my canvases are so big that I only get 30 layers to work with. At first I thought that wouldn't be a problem, but it is. For example, this book cover image has 9 characters. Each character has a black and white drawing, a poured color layer, a highlight/shadow layer. Then the background was made from two layers (solid color + pattern). Then the text above is one layer. the text below is two layers. You see how that adds up. Then there is the animation stuff-that's a whole other story (for another time).

From Sketch to final Illustration

There has been a LOT to learn about creating illustrations for the book. I already was comfortable with working digitally, but I had used a limited range of tools and techniques. I'm still learning tricks that make my work more efficient, add richness to the compositions, and help me organize all those layers. I started following illustrators on instagram and run through tutorials on youtube from Procreate artists who inspire me. One thing I learned right away, as you can see from the sketch -vs- Final images above, that i need to pay attention to my line thickness. When I was zoomed in and working, I didn't think about how my black lines would become blurred and dark in a smaller scale. All of my original sketches couldn't be reworked into final art. They were made in the wrong color profile, canvas size, and line thickness. (ugh!)


Here is another sketch from a scene in the book where I wanted to imagine PETER's bathroom. I drew it without PETER so I could fully imagine it and then layer PETER into the scene and be able to move him compared to the sink and medicine cabinet and adjust his relative size. I focused on what we might see in his cabinet and on his counter, then I played with how to add morning light into the space. I ended up changing this image when I finalized it to make room for text and PETER's cat. You'll see that image when it's released.

Before the manuscript ever entered editing, I began imagining PETER's World. Many of the artistic decisions were made during this time. I chose my color palette, My style (retro futurism), invented each character, and designed the robot environment. I put all these ideas together in this interactive genially:

The layout designer will be working with me and the publisher to put all the art, text, and graphics into the book design. As this is happening, I'll be finishing up my illustrations, start on my animations for the augmented reality, and cook up my ideas for creating education material to go along with this book. I have so many since this book connects SEL, Art, Science, language arts, animation, and augmented reality.

Join my launch TEAm

did you make it all the way down here? Then, YOU are definitely someone who should be on my

PETER o'Meter

Launch Team!

Please consider helping me get this book about a robot who becomes emotional when his buttons are pushed into the hands of students and families everywhere.

Thank you

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