Hello! I'm Katie Chappell, an illustrator and designer living in Newcastle upon Tyne with a cat and a boy. I've been freelancing for just over 18 months now, and I am about to graduate with a BA(hons) degree in Illustration & Design. I've always loved drawing and being paid to do it is rather nice. I also have a Foundation Degree in animation, and enjoy travelling and cooking. I have been told i'd make a good wife. Hah.
I'm going to show you how I create children's book illustrations. I'm currently doing some work for a client in Portugal, and have been asked to create characters to go to a presentation.
So... when I'm working my studio gets messier and messier. I usually need to do a good tidy up before starting on a new project. Here's a before and after so you can see the contrast, haha.
1. It almost always starts with an email. In this case I've been asked to create a Finnish little boy called Kai. This client is particularly nice and sends me a reference image.
2. Once i've received the image I get started on some pencil linework. A good old mechanical pencil does the job nicely. I'll then go over it in pen. My personal favourite pen is the Uniball Fine Eye in fade-proof black. It's got a good inkyness level.
3. I'll then rub out the pencil lines (if they're visible under the pen) and colour up using my graphic markers.
4. Once that's all done it's scanner time (I've just got a super basic A4 Kodak all-in-one jobby. It works well and the ink is dirt cheap). I scan in at 600dpi so the image is nice and clear and big. Pooki the kitten is always chilling out on my knee absorbing my body heat.
5. On Photoshop i'll rotate and crop the image.
6. Then i'll edit the levels to get a white background and clear crisp black lines, with punchy colour.
7. Finally, i'll unlock the layer and delete the background by using the magic wand at a tolerance of 15. This makes the background transparent so it's easier to use alongside other images.
8. I save a .tiff file for myself and keep all the layers, and make sure I check save transparency. This is my own copy :)
9. I save two versions to email to the client. A high resolution version for print, which is 300dpi, using a CMYK colour space, and a low resolution version for web at 72dpi using RGB.
And that's it! Here is 12 year old Kai, ready to go to his presentation in Portugal.
And that was Katie's Insight! I had no idea you could get that kind of effect with Copic Markers! Now I want some... Thank you so much for sharing Katie!
Fancy following Katie's work? Take a look at some of these links!