Saturday, November 13, 2010

revising old art for CBIG, burning for IF, and my secret NaNoWriMo novel

I love creating new art, but once in a while I like to take an old piece and breathe new life into it.
The CBIG blog is celebrating NYC illustrator’s week by asking members to share a tip and an illustration. My tip is about revising old art to give it new life. When people think of revision, they usually think of text, but pictures can be revised as well. Many times the image gets revised as it goes from sketch to final, but sometimes you have a piece that just doesn’t work out, or a piece you always loved that doesn’t fit your current style. Those are prime candidates for revision.

Things to consider when revising old art: composition, emotion, color, character, and what the illustration is for (fun, portfolio, job, etc.).

Here are a few pieces I’ve revised recently:

First Snow of the Season

First Snow of the Season

What’s new: snow (instead of rain), the cat (instead of a stuffed toy moose and stuffed toy bunny), and multiple changes to the girl on the right. It’s a lot better than it was before, but not perfect. Maybe some day I’ll revise it again!

Paisley Whale Singing

Paisley Whale Singing

What’s new: almost everything! All I kept from the original image was the shape of the whale and the water. This is one of my favorite revisions. I also did a second paisley whale image. See all three pictures here. (Note: the original whale image was inspired by a whale I had done years earlier, but that image only showed the face, not the entire whale.)

Never play with a lit firecracker!

Never play with a lit firecracker!

What’s new: the clouds and grass (plain blue BG before), the expression on the dog’s face, and the caption. This revision is for Illustration Friday this week; the prompt is, “burning.” A person running into this dog might say, “The firecracker is about to go off! The wick is already burning! Everybody run!” (Note: the old drawing was based on an even older watercolor painting of a firecracker wielding wiener dog.)

Secret NaNoWriMo Novel: Speaking of revision, I decided to let my zombie novel sit for a while before rewriting it. I started writing a new novel for NaNoWriMo that I’m really excited about (I officially started Nov. 8th). I’m keeping most of the details secret for now, but I can tell you that it’s YA and it’s a romance. 

Do you ever revise an old image or story that didn’t quite work out the first time? Have you had success with it?

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