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Sometimes You Just Have to Start Over!

My Process: A Spread from The Queen of Sheep Baa's Royal Birthday

Although I have somewhat of a standard work flow, it's interesting how my process changes from piece to piece, depending on the problems I need to sort out.

If I can get things right from the thumbnail stage, things often go a lot smoother...

Which was not the case with this spread I painted from my currentpicture book project: The Queen of Sheep Baa's Royal Birthday...

Here's the Original Thumbnail. I somehow thought things were working out okay. either that, or I was in a hurry.

Here is my first sketch. It ended up finishing it in a hurry. I did do some research, but perhaps not as much as I should have. I took the sketch to my critique group and here are some comments they gave to me:

-The clouds in the background are distracting

-There are several things that are taking away from the main story, including too many details in some of the plants, and the fountain.

-Rethink the castle design.

-Since I am going for an Egyptian look, research more pictures of Middle Eastern flora and fauna.

-The trees look a bit like Christmas trees.

-Research birthday decorations more.

My critique group is amazing. And they were totally right.

So instead of trying to fix that sketch, I decided to start over.

My first step was to figure out where to place things to make the more readable. I messed around with some messy shapes, and liked this idea best.

I did a lot more research. I filled up a Pinterest board with a ton more Middle Eastern and Mediterranean landscapes and birthday decorations. Then I started placing things in a rough sketch.

Then I made a tighter sketch. One of the reasons I'm glad I started over is because I like how The Queen of Sheep Baa character turned out better in the new sketch. She has more energy and better proportions. You never know where starting over can lead you!

After that, I changed a couple things in the background to have better perspective. Then I finished a few color studies. This one was my favorite.

Since I liked it so much, I just ended up using my color study to paint over for the final painting.

Here's the finished painting, and I think I really like how it tunred out!

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