Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mice! Color Process

I recently had an art director ask me if I had any mice in my portfolio. Nope! The only mice in my portfolio at the time were microscopic. Cue mouse sketches!
Copyright Jen Betton 2015
I drew up a bunch of sketches, both to figure out ideas and compositions, but also to get used to mousey anatomy. I decided to develop this one into a full-color piece. 

For the color studies I knew I wanted something warm and sunset-feeling (partially because I'd been doing a lot of cold paintings – tons of night and underwater scenes). I collected some color palette images I liked on Pinterest, and did a few color studies.

Copyright Jen Betton 2015
The general palette didn't change much, but I experimented with values – middle study is dark mice against a light background, bottom is dark background (to better show the rim lighting), and top is in between. It really helps me think about composition to remember it is just an arrangement of light and dark shapes – so each shape is either light on dark or dark on light. I decided to go with the center study.

Copyright Jen Betton 2015
Process is my friend – I really love approaching a finish with confidence because I know what colors and values I'm using, and I have a refined drawing for a foundation and good reference to look at while I paint. I know lots of other people who don't work this way, but for me, it makes everything smoother and faster. 

For more info about color, see my blog series here.

Jen Betton illustrates and writes for children. You can see more of Jen Betton's mousey sketches here www.facebook.com/jenbettonillustration

More of her work is at these locations online:
Twitter: @jenbetton

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this—I work through a similar process and it's always interesting to read about how other illustrators tackle things. "Process is my friend—indeed" Cheers!