DPI’s,PDF’s, JPEG’s, and XCF!! oh my!

THe easy part, was producing the illustrations. Now I had to photograph them and send them in a particular format so that they would reproduce cleanly.

I didn’t know what a ride that would turn out to be for me. I was told that photographs were 72 DPI or dots per inch. The needed to be 300. How did I do that?! The Editor couldn’t help me. I was on my own, or needed to find someone to do that for me. Well I found someone, but got stubborn and thought I needed to learn this myself.

Photoshop was of course the perfect software to use. But there were several versions, and it was quite expensive. While cruising the internet, I found Gimp and it was free! Now I just had to learn how it worked. I don’t know how I stumbled through it all, but I did learn how to change the DPI’s, except that in Gimp, they called it PPI. I learned how to manipulate colors and enhance the drawings.

The next test was sending them in. The Editor couldn’t open the attachments. It was unknown! I had to send them as JPEG’s and Gimp sent them as XCF. I did figure it out. I did get 5 illustrations sent to Tate. They are going into an insert at the back of the book, so that they will be in full color. Tate has been wonderful to work with, and I can’t wait to see the end result.

Here is one of my Illustrations, The Hatcher Farm.


On to the Illustrations!

Well, I am the perfect example of needing to work under pressure, I guess.  Somehow, I lost the month of February. I didn’t get much done, except finalizing the edits, and cover ideas. As for the illustrations, nada.

I wasn’t sure how to proceed.  I finally decided to use illustration board which I found at Hobby Lobby and an assortment of Cansen pastel paper, so purchased a supply. I had some photos of children that I would use for reference. In fact little Mariah, was a perfect young Fairy Bright!

But to get the muse flowing, was hard indeed.

I ended up using a piece of board, with a mixture of pastel, colored pencil and marker for my first painting. Fairy Bright and her friends emerged on the board. Not bad.

I called my daughter and her best friend to pose for me for a portrait of an older Fairy Bright. This was on pastel paper with straight pastel. When I started drawing, it was like I was directed to draw things a certain way, and not as any particular person. It was remarkable. I am so used to doing a total likeness, and this was a unique person.

That night I walked up into my studio, and saw the unfinished portrait on the easel. I got chills and the hair stood up on the back of my neck. It was if she was telling me, I had captured her likeness! Well the finished portrait is not like anyone I know.  Wouldn’t it be something if she actually looked like my painting?!

I accomplished two more illustrations as I sequestered myself in the house for two weeks. I even cancelled a needed massage!

The result, four unique paintings that helps capture the elements of the story. I’m pretty proud. They will be added as a color insert in the book. I can’t wait!