Saturday, 14 March 2009

My style- any opinons?

I've been struggling to find an effective visual langauge for picture book which I'm comfortable with, as many of you are probably aware I am quite dark/messy most of the time, which isn't really appropiate, but I have found the most success in following Raymond Brigg's and Dave Mckeans style of combining both picture book and graphic novel together. I've been doing quite a few experiments recently and this is my favourite, so I wanted to put it up to get others opinion? It's not polished to a high standard yet, but in regards to the direction I'm working in, wanted to see if other people think this is working or not?



  1. Okay, if I say anything insulting I appologise in advance...I'm just trying to be helpful! I think you have the same problem I had when I did Macmillans last year- I was predominantly black and white, making things for an adult audience and translating it into kids books, especially full page spreads was pretty difficult for me. Its also the reason I decided to not do macmillans this year.

    Firstly your colour scheme really doesn't work for reminds me of sweets, cheap 90s sweets >.>...What I'd suggest there is try something more muted and simple...Blue/green/yellow/brown are my favourites to fit with my black and white stuff but really its just a case of trying colours out.

    Also the text is pretty meh but that might be just because its a rougher version. If you're thinking about more graphic novel style you should check out The Savage by Dave Mckean and some geordie guy...I forget his name and look at the use of text and panelling as well as most of Raymond Briggs stuff.

    Lastly you've really gotta work on finishing! I had exactly the same problem with my spreads...In black and white line they worked reasonably well but once I tried to add colour I ruined them. Work on it now because i left it until the last minute and that really screwed me over >.>"

    I think you really need to push yourself if you wanna enter macmillans and try to translate how good your stuff looks in black and white into colour...its not easy...I still can't really do it o.o"

    Yeh...I ramble >.>

  2. Appreciate the honesty Jess, alot of stuff there rings true, alot of it helpful as well! I still want to have a crack at it and see if I can push myself to overcome these problems, so I'm going to go through your advice and see what I can do!

  3. Yeh you should definately still have a go, its always good to push yourself, the main reason I'm not doing it is because I'm doing so much other stuff I won't be able to do it to the level i know it has to be...but you're a 2nd year so you can XD

    Just keep at it!

  4. Hey Murray,
    me and colour also fall out quite often. applying colour doesn't really come naturally to me, since my style is a bit morbid anyway, but then i started adding just one colour in with my pencil drawings - a dark grey blue or a dark purple. I tried to push full colour onto my work but it always looked rubbish. it took me a while to realise that if you're shaky with applying colour you can't just dive in at the deep end, you need to introduce it slowly and start with your favourite colours! i spoke to this illustrator called Calef Brown whose work is ultra mega colourful, and he told me that he never ever used to use any colour in his work until he was in his late 20s. he travelled in india for a year which is obviously a very colourful, cultural place and when he got back he thought about the colour in his work a lot more, and grew to understand it.

    The point I'm trying to make I think is don't force your style into something it hasn't naturally progressed into.

    Did that make any sense?!? It's late.

    Also, the author of The Savage is David Almond. He is such a fantastic childrens author, one of my favourites.


  5. alright murray, you might not want to do this but it might be good to seehow it would look if u did that same image with just watercolour- so u havent got any black line at all, instead just tones. ur much more confident in with the inclusion of line so i wouldnt blame u if u didnt want to go down that route.

  6. Im liking the linework and design but i think it would be more effective with brighter colours, i just dont think the colour scheme really gives the most potential to the design, because its really good, but maybe some colour experimentation might help you refine it a bit more! looking good though.

  7. Just wanted to say a thanks to every one who gave advice, gave me alot to think about and what I think (hope) has pushed me into a more progressive direction!