Oct 21

For the Birds

by Hannah Holt »


Here’s a peek at a few of my current projects…

This duck doesn’t understand the concept of personal space:

This sparrow teaches math:

This goose has control issues:

Sep 15

It’s a Digital World

by Hannah Holt »

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My last post summarized the illustration process using traditional methods.

However, digitally created illustrations are becoming common. The latest addition to the bookshelf, The Sun Came Out, is a digital collage. Here’s a behind the scenes look at “illustrating” that book.

1) My digital template.

I created a digital template that was proportional to (although larger than) the final size for my book. Above is my basic digital double spread template (reduced of course). The pink and blue colors represent individual pages. This layout made it easier to create balanced double spreads, while keeping track of the gutter or page crease.

2) Planning the story layout and pacing.

Because this story is about change and the progression of time, I had to stage my photo shoots carefully. However, I couldn’t plan the pictures exactly because the outcomes depended on on weather, growth, etc. Still, I planned the themes and pacing on paper.

3) The raw digital photos.

I took 200 or so digital photos over nine months to provide the content for this book. Here is one unaltered photo I took:

4) Cut, copy, paste, and manipulate

I used a photo editing software to create the final illustrations. Within each illustration are many layers. A double page spread might required 10 or more different photos. Below is a more simple illustration (it required the blending of only two photos):

5) Divide the double page spreads into individual pages.

Then I resized the individual pages for the final book, imported them into the flash program Josh created, uploaded the book to my website, and “ta da!” The Sun Came Out.

Of course it also helped that I had two cute and willing models:

Sep 08

Creating an illustration

by Hannah Holt »

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Step 1) Make rough thumbnail sketches for every page.

Step 2) Sketch the full size pages.

Step 3) If necessary, change the perspective of the drawing and add details.

Step 4) Paint.

Step 5) If I’m having trouble with a subject, I might create a clay model.

Step 6) Put on the finishing touches and remove any smudges/imperfections.

You might have noticed that most of the books in the free reading library stop after Step 3. Steps 4-6 take A LOT of time and require a significant investment of energy and resources. A book at Stage 3 of development is often referred to as a “dummy book.” A dummy book is essentially a sketch book of the future completed book.

Just for kicks, here’s an example of what a finished Ziggermajig “might” look like: