Monday, October 10, 2011

Paradise Lost and a sketchbook found!

My most recent order from the Fountain Pen Hospital included this complimentary Libelle Leather ID Card Case. It's stitched leather with a snap enclosure and came with a little chrome ballpoint pen. To be honest, I really didn't have a need for it. It was too nice to throw away so I just put a few of my business cards in it.
I don't know what made me think to cut down a little scratch pad and slide it into the business card slot; but it worked perfectly. Then I replaced the ballpoint with the short nub of a General's Woodless pencil and I had a mini sketch pad that fits neatly into a pocket. Now I love it!
It really came in handy when I had a looming Penguin USA deadline for Milton's Paradise Lost. I spent some long hours in a hospital waiting room just before I needed to get some sketches off. This little book kept me occupied, and sane during that time; and I was able to knock out a series of thumbnails. With these done I knew I had the project underway in my head. 
Once again, some sloppy little drawings come to the rescue!
The little nubs from some General's Woodless pencils 
were a perfect fit for this new notebook. 

These are a couple of my finished paintings from my thumbnails. The art still needed to be scanned and the type design added.

Some other thumbnail sketches of my type designs and a
serpent design scrawled with crayon on a legal pad.

I used Apple Barrel liquid acrylics for these drawings. They're very loose, smooth and splattery and the bold primary colors are what I had in mind while I was thumbnailing.

These are the final layouts along with my type designs that I submitted to Penguin for approval. The whole project started with that little pocket sketchbook.

I think I might try adding nicer paper to this little gem of a sketchbook; it's the only thing that might need improvment.

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