Des509- Printed Book & Character Cards

Today I collected two copies of my book and a few sets of cards from a local printer. Overall they turned out well but I’m glad I didn’t place a large order. Most of the digital paintings have printed very dark in comparison to what I see on screen, this is of course to be expected when working on a RGB screen and printing in CMYK but I thought it would have been fairly close.
Negative points aside, I’m happy how everything else turned out. It’s a good feeling to hold a book in your hand that you made by yourself, I just hope it’s as good as I think it is!

Below are some shots of the book and character cards, as you can see from some of the pages it close to impossible to see the detail on Mr. Thunder and Mr. Lightning. Now that I have these ‘test’ prints I know now what to tweak to get it right on the next print.



Des509- Rhyming Story Draft

I’d been thinking about it for awhile and after it was suggested to me, I decided to have a go at writing a rhyming story. Most children’s story books rhyme so I suppose it makes sense for mine to rhyme too.
Similar to when I was writing the draft for my first story, I wasn’t very confident in my ability to write a good rhyming story but once I finished the first few stanzas I was quite pleased.
Below is the handwritten draft and it’s pretty good (if I say so myself), next step is to get it wrote up on the computer and iron out any stanzas that aren’t working

Rhyming Draft


Des509- Story First Draft

Finally I’ve got round to penning a first draft of the story. I’d been putting it off as writing wouldn’t be my strong point but I must admit. I did enjoy it when I got into it. At first I was writing the story as it would appear in the book but then I realised it was reading more like a screenplay. Since it was only a first draft I decided to leave it that way, it’s better to have too much detail at this point anyway.
Below is my handwritten first draft;

Story Draft


Des509- Magic Strawberry Character Development

Strawberry Concepts


So Gavin has come up with a magic strawberry who protects and keeps the zoo safe, he’s a God-like figure within the zoo. I feel like he’s missing a full name, there’s ‘Ollie the duck’ and Oscar the gorilla’ so sounds like he should have a first name too. With the opportunity to name a character I’m going to search about for various names that would suit a God-like figure, I’ll save that to another post…

Unlike Ollie and Oscar, which are anatomically stylised, I figured that it makes sense to draw a fairly realistic strawberry. While sketching I started with very subdued and relaxed expressions but I then thought it would be funny if the magic strawberry made really over the top facial expressions throughout the story. Maybe it’s just me that gets a giggle out of it…

Below is painted concept of the magic strawberry;

Sammy Painting


Des509- Oscar Character Development

Oscar Concepts

As mentioned in the post with Gavin’s drawings, this is Oscar the gorilla. Similar to Ollie, he has the ability to ride a skateboard and chucks bananas at enemies.

Developing the character concepts of Oscar was difficult at first from Gavin’s drawing because it doesn’t look alot like a gorilla. I drew a few sketches and took them to him and he decided on the sketch on the top right.
To try and keep some resemblance to Gavin’s drawing, I’ve made Oscar a stylised version of a gorilla; To me it’s half human anatomy, half gorilla anatomy.

Oscar Painting

I showed this painted concept of Oscar and it got the thumbs up from Gavin. Although he did point out that his hair was similar to mine…


Des509- Ollie Digital Painting (Finished)

Ollie Painting


I finished up the digital painting of Ollie and I’m very pleased about how he turned out. As mentioned in a previous post I used a similar colour scheme to ‘Big Bird’  from Sesame Street, this meant it was quicker to get stuck into painting since I didn’t need to worry about colours. I like the style that I’ve ended up with, there’s enough detail to define all the features and it’s not too complex for a children’s book.


Des509- Ollie Character Development

Ollie Concepts
Above shows the concept progression of Ollie the Duck.  As briefly explained to me by Gavin, Ollie is one of the main characters of the story. He is the best friend of Oscar the Gorilla and can shoot exploding pineapples. Instead of walking he rolls around on rollerblades.

Using Gavin’s drawing as a starting point, I wasn’t sure if Gavin drew him looking to the side or if his eyes/beak are crooked on his face. I thought that it would make the character more comical looking if the eyes weren’t symmetrical and the beak was crooked.

I started roughing Ollie out based on the pear shape drawn by Gavin and tried out different body proportions. After playing about with different eyes & beak combinations, I settled on giving Ollie a large and small eye with a crooked beak.

While sketching I thought that it would be funny if Ollie had little ‘quirks’ throughout the story;

  • The beak could randomly point in different directions.
  • His eyes could changes size or slide up and down his face.
  • While on his roller blades his legs would stay perfectly straight but he’d be moving forward.

The sketches on the bottom right are the last concepts that I sketched of Ollie, he’s came together great and hopefully I can flesh out the rest of the characters just as quick.