Sunday, April 19, 2009


The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Dummy Book Sketches

Pencil and Photoshop

The youngest Billy Goat Gruff began to cross the bridge not knowing the impossibility of what was ahead...


I am making some progress with my dummy book, and I am very excited about it. This project has made me re-think my process. I am realizing that spending a ton of time on one illustration is okay, but when there's about 14 spreads to create, each step represents time that I could spend on another project, and it minimizes my productivity.

I had thought about time vs. productivity constrains before, but didn’t give it too much importance, since at the time I was more concerned with achieving a certain level of quality regardless of time. Today, I feel that I have more control over the outcome of the illustrations, and have become more comfortable working with acrylics, pens, brushes, and pencils. However, I do spend a great deal of time on my work. 

I have been fighting going completely digital for my own comfort. I enjoy the touch and feel of the paints, brushes etc, and it makes me feel like a true artist. It probably has something to do with having the traditional stereotype of an artist holding a palette while painting on a canvas with a brush etched in my brain.

Up until now, I have used the computer mostly to scan or tighten original sketches, or create a color guide for the final illustration. I have played with some IF posts where I’ve done a quick sketch, scanned it, and then colored it in Photoshop. These quick exercises have made me realized that I can make the cross over and cut my time in half!

I’m pretty pleased with the results so far and I think I will continue in this digital path… I guess you could also say that I am working against the seeming impossibility to cross over to digital


twinklestarart said...

I love it! The poor little goat, that's a really scary looking troll.

Best of luck with the digital. Most of my work is digital now, purely for the time saving factor. The times r changing ;)

Bella Sinclair said...

Edrian, these are fantastic! And even with the digital, you've retained that traditional medium feel. It looks really excellent. I especially love the strokes on the big rocks and the bridge. It's nice to be able to do both traditional and digital and have a choice.

Linda said...

Very nice illustrations--I like the different perspectives & the color works well also...thanks for sharing your process

Amy C said...

these are so much fun I loved this book as a kid, cant wait to see the whole thing!

Roberta said...

Oh Edrian... it's progressing nicely!

I was hesitant about going digital too, but I absolutely love it! It's my preferred medium now. I'm glad to work in both traditional and digital mediums.
Great work!

froggie said...

you know what? beside the time aspect vs the physical work of just "pulling your paints out, getting the water, brushes..." the best thing about digital is that its only just another tool to add to your arsenal. you don't surrender your style to it, FIND your existing style THRU it...and enhance it, and polish it, as there isn't anything more unforgiving than "undo". really. it's not a cheat. it helps you get BETTER as you can see what you did wrong, how to address and redraw QUICKLY.

- and the other thing about it?

you may find something NEW and EXCITING in this journey...something you didn't expect to find. color play, like you've never done it before, more fluid lines, more immediate sketches and gestures. adding a digital palette to your style is like adding more chocolate sauce to an ice cream only gets better! :))

best best of luck with this dummy! and as always, thank you for the visits and the inspiration! now go get that troll, girl! ")

Edrian Thomidis said...

Thanks all for your comments...they feed my blog!
I'm glad someone reads my nonsense!

Froggie, I couldn't have said it any better. I see everything you talk about in your work which is incredible!
I noticed that I was working more losely in part because I don't have 100% control of my pen and in part because of that wonderful 'undo' command. It is liberating in some ways. It is true that you can experiment more quickly as you said.
Is this a case of "the end justifies the means?" in other words, it doesn't matter what medium you use, as long as the work is good and you become a better artist in the process, right? I think so.

Diana Evans said...

Hi Edrian!!!

I’m hosting a postcard giveaway at my blog! You can enter to win 250 of your custom printed postcards to promote your work….pop by!!!

Peter Breese said...

Wonderful! That looks like one grumpy old troll!

Heather said...

They are looking great. Digital is a time saver. The other reason I now prefer to work digitally is that I can have my work be on going and I don't have to worry that the kids will get into it :) But it is fun to pull out the traditional media once in a while--a stylus doesn't feel like a brush.

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

even without color these babies pop off the page! It's just so pleasant to see your work and the progress! You are moving along so beautifully! Great post!

artgirly said...

great perspective! you rock!

Juan said...

Genial Edrian!

D Hawk said...

Wow these are great! I love the perspectives!