The Yali team has been busy, busy, busy. While Kala has been hard at work, tweaking and editing the story, I have been creating the artwork, one spread at a time. I thought it might be fun to share the process with you, dear readers. Here is how it is done at Yali HQ.
First, a rough sketch to position the elements of a scene. The sketch acts as a guide and more often than not, the final artwork evolves in a slightly different direction.
I have chosen to illustrate Bye, Bye, Motabhai! using a paper collage technique. I use textured, colorful scrap-booking paper and construct each character (and scene) by assembling them piece-by-piece. I draw out the shapes, cut them with my trusty knife and glue some of the smaller pieces together. My pretty, pink cutting mat is pictured below.
I then scan the pieces at a very high resolution in a .tif format to ensure that the details and colors are replicated without quality losses. I love how they look on the scanning bed, don’t you?
Finally, I work on Adobe Photoshop to assemble the little pieces into a complete artwork. I do this for a number of reasons. Photoshop allows me to play with the artwork, re-position characters, play with transparencies and clean up any small mistakes. One of my finished artwork is seen below. See how the elements further in the background fade a bit more than Pavan and Motabhai in the foreground. I also added some pen-and-ink sketches to the very far horizon for buildings, streetlamps and the like.
One down, so many more to go! Now, back to work…