It’s the tiny details…

that always draw my attention.  I find that with each book I publish, I am paying more and more attention to those and I am finding ways of making the book not ‘so plain’ looking.  I’m not up to my ‘grande’ expectations yet but I’m reaching and will keep doing so.

I wanted to ‘add’ something special to my latest picture book so I decided instead of the usual drop case lettering, I would make one.  Since the book is ‘fallish’, I chose to draw a moon and a vine that would surround the letter.  Eh, that description is a bit awkward–

I started with a capital ‘A’  drop case ltr s1

Then used the drawing tool (felt pen selection) to draw a thin vine.  After I was satisfied w/the leaves, I used the ‘fill’ to color them in with fall colors.

drop case ltr s3

On my Corel program it allows you to ‘blink’ (in other words, you can temporarily shut the layer you were working on so you can add a new one without it getting in the way).  I drew a circle, I didn’t want it to completely surround the letter.  I then used the fill to color in the moon–a deep golden yellow is my favorite for a ‘harvest-type’ moon.

drop case ltr s2

Drop Cap

  “At a breath past midnight…” Only the ‘A’ (of course) is the drop case picture.

I also decided on the text pages that I wanted a border.  I’m a fan of all things celtic so here’s a bit of my interpretation…

border v2
Text page border

Okay, it looks less blah with the words incorporated and it gives a weird 3d-ish type effect.  Now, how I did the effect is a mystery to even me but each time I look closely at the finished page (maybe it’s the text being on the page too and it does a mind/eye trick) it looks like there’s more to it than my mere little lines had originally thought to give off.  This was a tricky design but I found a way to ‘fix’ my inability to have ‘equal’ or ‘even’ lines–do one portion (which was the top) and then ‘copy’ and ‘paste’.  I did need to use the ‘rotate’ and ‘scale’ on my Corel Painter to flip the one strand for the sides and even the bottom (notice how it curves in the middle to the inside?).  I also corrected any flaws from the original design–I can’t walk a straight line let alone draw one so trying to make things even or equal is very much a task for me-luckily I’ve a bit of knowledge and a decent drawing program that helps.

Ok, next is my little page number ‘details’.  I didn’t think a plain look would make me happy.  I wanted to dress up the plain text pages–they can’t compete with the picture pages but they can look ‘dressy’.  I used three leaves from my yard.  One leaf I was really quite impressed with (the first one).  If you look closely at it’s shape, you might see an ‘owl’.  The story is about an owl by the way.

Start w/a simple leaf    Different leaf, I know, but same concept (I had to do the same steps for each leaf)-I did not want a ‘background’ so I erased the shadowy background.Leaf before numbering


I did decide to leave ‘a little’ shadow and ‘trimmed’ a bit off here and there.  On the ‘owl leaf’ I emphasized the holes a little more.

leaf blog 3
Ready for numbering
Adding the number

On this leaf, I also emphasized the holes a bit more.  I used ‘chiller’ font – stretching and twisting it to fit inside the leaf.  Ok, despite the book being 32+pages, I only made leaves for the text pages (thankfully–after a while it can get tedious changing, then saving, then repeating).

Voila!  I’m still thinking to add a bit more.  I did put a few bare sketches on the copyright page–those tend to be too plain for me but I don’t feel they need color to be catchy.  I’m still compiling, copy/pasting, etc.  so there may be more to add later on.  Actually, I’ll upload a ‘finalized’ text page next.


13 thoughts on “It’s the tiny details…

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