This project starts with me busting my knee while climbing, scaring the hair off of my friend Renee, her first time belaying me. Irene called me for a project during thanksgiving week, and truth be told, I wasn’t going anywhere for a while (as Chris so kindly pointed out); So why not work on an illo for a wicked story? Plus I would never say no to Irene. If I really detail how much I like working with her, I’d have a restraining order in my hands. I’m busy handling Ted’s while we’re on that matter.

This time around, the story is called Glitches, written by Marissa Meyer. It is a prequel to her book, Cinder.

Thumbnails flowed easily this time around. They normally do with stories from Tor. Like I’ve mentioned before, Irene takes the cookie on matching stories with illustrators. This translates beneficially for the artist. Sometimes the mood of the story matches perfectly with the artist’s work, sometimes it’s the characters, or the setting. Whatever it may be, with her projects, there’s always something evident for one to latch onto. After a single read, I had collected plenty of concepts to work with, the main theme being a juxtaposition of inorganic over organic.

Number 2 being the choice, I sent Irene a somewhat cleaned/incomplete inked drawing. I’ll explain why…

Here’s what I showed Irene…

Here’s what the complete one looked like…

Irene is a seasoned art director. Far be it from me to doubt her skills at understanding what I had drawn. My reason behind it is always that I hate to leave my art directors treading on too much faith. They’re already putting a lot of trust in me by handing me a project, best not to push it. This time, it was easier to say “looks a bit empty now, but the background will be filled out” than “I’ll make some sense of this mess, please trust me”.

While on this stage we also went over some tweaks on Cinder’s mouth. When working with linework, any tiny detail makes a giant difference. Irene pointed out that the lines describing her philtrum and upper lip gave her the appearance of a more mature woman. In the end, we decided to remove them altogether since we were aiming to make her look like the young teenager that the character is.

After a couple of color schemes, we chose the green dress. By the time I was done with this illo, my knee was back to normal (ish), so I’m back to finding new ways to destroy my body against a wall.