Step 1. First rough sketch
All Flinflins covers start with an image. It could be a photo, a drawing, a travel sketch or simply a the memory of an intense emotion. It can mature in my mind until its blurred contours become sharper. Then i usually would draft very hastily a first sketch within 15 to 30 mn.
Step 2. Finalizing pencil drawing
Then comes a longer work to get to the final work, experiencing different layouts, trying to find the right attitude of the characters, placing them correctly into the landscape and detailing elements within the decor. I usually work during this phase with a lot of photos, mostly extracted from our travels, pictures cut out in magazines or found on the Internet.
If the drawing is very clear in my mind, this step can take only a few hours of drawing. But sometimes, I can tweak for days before finding the right final composition. I may even drop this drawing and start again with a very different one.
Step 3. inking the final drawing
Once the drawing is satisfactory, i ink the final drawing, mostly with Faber Castell artist pens. Not my preferred step: you need to be very focused if you don’t want to spoil your drawing.
Step 4. Looking for the right colors
Once the drawing is ready, i usually make a small copy on a A4 standard sheet of paper to try different ways of coloring it.
This step avoids making huge blunders on the final artwork believe me.
In this case i realized the final cover would be too sunny and blue and even more in full contradiction with the title (“The white Hell”).
Step 5. Coloring the drawing
Once i’m done with various color trials, then i start coloring the drawing with watercolor ink.It’s a very meticulous process, very similar to what we were doing in color books when we were young: filling areas with colors without exceeding lines.
Step 6. Correcting mistakes
And sometimes, guess what? Your color is awful and you need to do it all again. On a PC or a tablet you can just hit the undo key on the keyboard. However, since i i still do it the old way: cut and paste paper ! 😦
Step 7. Finalizing colors
Sometimes, once the colors are finalized, i may add last minute details. In this drawing i was not satisfied with the result, not reflecting exactly the emotions i wanted to express. I hesitated to add snowflakes to suggest a snow storm. I made a trial in the corner of a separate sheet and finally got enthusiastic with the result.