Today I'm happy to feature Erika Barriga, whose new book, Queen Quail is Quiet: and Other ABC Tongue Twisters, comes out today! Her illustrations are truly delightful, and she was kind enough to stop by and share a bit of her process.
Queen Quail is Quiet: and other ABC Tongue Twisters came out today for e-readers for Kindle and in print! Queen Quail is Quiet grew out of my love of learning and drawing. I wanted to be a little different to approaching learning the alphabet. Creating a sentence illustrating each sound for every letter sounded challenging. I started out by thinking of words for the letters and then forming a sentence I could illustrate. Sketching of thumbnail ideas came next and was much easier to do once I realized this would no longer be just a project, but a book. Most of the sketching was just on plain computer paper and once I refined the sketches into final artwork, I scanned in the images onto my computer.
The sketches were brought over to Adobe Illustrator as a layer. Then I outlined everything in a bright color (easy to see and stands out) on another layer. At this stage I think of colors and what would work for the entire book.
Then I made a copy of the outline layer and this is the layer that becomes the color layer.
Usually there is tweaking with the image just a bit (the swim cap for the duck is different from sketch to final), but I try to stay true to the original sketch since that is the foundation. I believe it is better to sketch and erase than to work out those changes digitally on the computer. When the color is complete, I'll bring the image into Photoshop for additional little changes and finally end with applying a texture.
This book took over four years to complete from start to finish and I can't wait for my baby girl to flip through the pages. I hope other kids will enjoy it too!