Back to Mad Grandadding

He has become an old friend. And though I can sometimes stumble or struggle when I first go back to an illustration style I haven’t used in a while, it doesn’t happen as much with Mad Grandad. Perhaps it’s because I’ve drawn him hundreds, if not thousands of times, both for the books and in sessions.
Interesting then, that I still enjoy working on these books so much.
Doppelganger-Front CoverThe cover artwork for ‘Mad Grandad’s Doppelganger’ is now done and the folks at O’Brien Press will be setting up the cover design while I get on with the pencil roughs for the internal illustrations. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover elements.
I used to use a lot more acrylic paint years ago, but ended up switching over to gouache to get stronger colours and a bit more flexibility – for those who don’t know, gouache is water soluble and acrylic isn’t, which makes them very different to work with. Doppelganger-Back CoverThe other Mad Grandad covers were painted with a little acrylic, but mostly gouache. For the first time in ages, I did this entirely in acrylic – with the usual bit of black shellac ink for the linework – and  I think I’ll be sticking with this approach for a while.
The smaller square picture will go on the front cover, against the usual yellow background. The bigger ‘wallpaper’ picture is for the back cover, where it will lie behind the blurb, the logos and barcode etc. The bits of frame at the top and bottom of the front cover design are cut from the back cover illustration. If you look at the other Mad Grandad books carefully, you’ll see this is true of all of them. Most, if not all, of the O’Brien’s Flyer range are done this way. It’s quite a constricting format to work in – particularly for the central illustration on the front – but the Flyer covers are immediately identifiable in Ireland.
We’re aiming to get this book out by March, which means getting all the illustrations finished by January. Less blogging (and dawdling), more drawing, Oisin.