Monday, April 14, 2014

Illustrator Saturday

A big thank THANK YOU to Kathy Temean for asking me to be a part of Illustrator Saturday! Lots of information and some process images. Click on the link below to read the full interview. As Neil Gaiman says, "WARNING:Contains me" 

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/illustrator-saturday-christopher-denise/

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bookmaps and Storyboards using Photoshop. Part 1-Why digital tools?


In January I gave a series of talk at Kindling Words east and can now share a bit of what I talked about during the breakout sessions with the illustrators. May 27th will mark the release date of Sleepytime Me by Edith Fine, my next book with Random house so it best to focus on this title for this series of posts.

First I need to address the question of why I am using digital tools. Not for myself, but because I am asked...all the time. Technique and materials are really of little interest to me. Photoshop is a tool. Pastels and charcoal are tools. I am more interested in what you create with them. However, the question is always in the air so I will give you the cliff notes version of my thinking on the debate.


I started using photoshop when I began work as a visual development artist working on animated films and have found the program to be an invaluable tool in my book production work. First a quick note to all the skeptics who ask: "Don't you miss traditional materials?"Quick answer: No. While there is a learning curve, I have been able to customize my tools to create a process that not only replicates my traditional technique but removes many of the limitations of working in pastel and acrylic. Here are two examples of work. The one on the left is from my pastel work on the Redwall  picture books, the image on the right is a detail from my book due out at the end of August 2014,  Baking Day at Grandma's by Anika Denise. The image on the right was created using only digital tools.


I am impatient with my art. I work best when I can act and react. With digital tools changing the piece as it begins to emerge is far easier and I can get to the fun stuff faster. The goal is not necessarily to shorten the production time, though in this day  of ever tightening deadlines and shrinking advances this is clearly a very good byproduct. The goal is to get as much of original inspiration down on the page as possible. With digital tools, I can cut right to the chase and then have the flexibility to edit, change, and repaint the piece to suit the needs of the entire book.

In the next post I will focus on the previously time consuming process of creating a bookmap with Photoshop.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Summer Nightsong" from "If I Could"


A few years ago I was asked to create illustrations for a lovely poem/story called "If I Could" by Susan Milord. The story had few details and once again my art director at Candlewick press gave me the freedom and support to produce a series of images that were personal and captured those special moments shared by a little one and his/her parent or grandparent. I loved this project and brought so much of my personal experiences to the finished art. The beach is the one just down the street from the studio and yes, I have bundled up in a blanket with my own kids and watched the stars!
This original painting was just posted at my ETSY shop. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Large format print is now available through my ETSY shop!


I am often asked about prints of my work but have been reluctant to partner with a printer. Finding a press that could offer the quality and consistency that I was looking for was a challenge. I am happy to announce that we finally have a print available for purchase! I teamed up with the incredible folks at Tiny Showcase to produce a gorgeous limited edition print from my much loved book, "Me With You". All of the artwork for this book was produced digitally so this is the first time that any of it is available for purchase.
This large print edition measures roughly 21.25" wide by 13.25" tall. Each print ships with a corresponding certificate of authenticity. The archival artwork has been printed on a heavy 290gsm natural white printmaking paper made from 90% bamboo fibers and 10% cotton.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/182165427/beautiful-archival-print-from-the?ref=listing-shop-header-0

Monday, January 20, 2014

Edmund Dulac

There are certain images that have inspired me over the years for any number of reasons: storytelling, color, technique, composition, feeling, drawing, etc. Usually some combination of theses elements keeps me coming back to a given piece of work again and again.
If one of these pieces has inspired you-let me know!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New website is now live!


Please stop by the new site and let me know what you think!
same address: www.christopherdenise.com but you might want to empty your cache.
I will add a few more pages for sketches and Press materials soon!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween


Yes-its true, I am the illustrator behind Mr. Pig of the fabulous Little Crooked Cottage blog. I dressed up Mr. Pig especially for Halloween last night-he was very excited. AND, by the way they are running an awesome book give away-check it out!
http://thelittlecrookedcottage.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Could be of interest

I love seeing photos of other illustrators studios-to see where they work is great but often find that I am more interested to see what sort of books they have lying around. So I have added a small sidebar section to the blog to share what I have been listening to (audiobooks and music selections) and reading when I am done for the day. When I am in the middle of a long project I can't share any of the images I have been working on so I will continue to post an occasional desktop grab and the inspiration series-images that end up on my desktop project after project as sort of touchstones.
Sorry that I do not have any current shots of my own to share just at the moment but I will soon!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

In the news, new book deal!

From this weeks Publishers Weekly Rights Report-thank you Emily van Beek! This manuscript is laugh out loud funny. Can't wait!

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/book-deals/article/59340-rights-report-week-of-october-3-2013.html

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Inspiration series

N.C. Wyeth
http://www.brandywinemuseum.org/collect.html

There are certain images that have inspired me over the years for any number of reasons: storytelling, color, technique, composition, feeling, drawing, etc. Usually some combination of theses elements keeps me coming back to a given piece of work again and again.
If one of these pieces has inspired you-let me know!