The Neighborhood’s Night – Page 3

Here’s the first illustration for the book project I just finished for Learning A-Z. Page 3 of The Neighborhood’s Night by Juliana Catherine. Like with all the interior illustrations in this project, this one’s a spot illustration that will be the width of one page without any bleed. The image has a half inch on either side that will likely be cut off, but allows the publisher some room to shift the image left or right or to adjust the size a bit if they like. Like the cover image, the lighting was quite important on this one too. I rather like the swirling smoke.

An illustration for page 3 of The Neighborhood's Night by Juliana Catherine.  The image shows an interior shot of a girl's bedroom.  A worried girl in bed has the covers pulled up to her chin and is looking out the window.  Outside, it is nighttime, but the sky is red and there is smoke swirling around a streetlight;

Project Complete! The Neighborhood’s Night

I just finished illustrating a graded reader from Learning A-Z. The Neighborhood’s Night by Juliana Catherine. It’s about a family who has to evacuate their home due to forest fires near their neighborhood. Here’s a mock-up of the cover. It was work-for-hire, so it’s copyright Learning A-Z.

A mock-up of the cover of the book The Neighborhood's Night by Juliana Catherine Illustrated by Karen B. Jones.  The image includes text over an illustration of people and vehicles on a street during an evacuation due to a nighttime forest fire.

I sure got practice drawing vehicles on this one and the changing perspective along the curve was challenging, but the most important part of this illustration was the lighting. I wanted it bright enough to show what was going on and all the people and such, but still look like it’s actually nighttime. An argument could be made that maybe it should have been more smoky, but the haze would have obscured more of the background details, so I went light on the smoke. This image took longer than all the rest of the images in the book.

The full cover image actually wraps around the back. I’ll share that later.

I’m going to dole out the interior illustrations over the next few days here, so keep an eye out if that interests you.

Final Image – Giant Robot Invasion!

And here is the final version of the piece I’ve been working on!  So much excitement going on here.   You’ve got the rockets blasting off behind, probably an emergency evacuation.  Are the searchlights searching for her, specifically?  You have the abandoned motorcycle, maybe it was hers and it ran out of gas or something?  That would explain the goggles.  Looks like she must have met with an accident on her right side at some point in the past because she’s got a prosthetic arm and leg.  They must be good tech, though, since they don’t seem to be slowing her down any.  Notice the blue light on her arm?  That’s a power indicator.  She still has a full charge.  It’ll turn orange, then red as it runs dead.  At which point she becomes a lefty.  I’m not sure what the earpiece is.  Maybe just communications equipment, maybe a hearing aid of some sort?  It is on her injured side.  What’s in her bag do you think?  Tools for maintaining her prosthetics?  Or the plans to the enemy’s base that she has to deliver into rebel hands?  It doesn’t look like she has any offensive weapons.  Just that energy shield, but I think it’s underpowered to stop that robot hand.  Maybe it will buy her a crucial second to slip out of its grip, though!

Giant Hand
Here’s an Easter egg.  You can’t tell at the resolution above, but this is in the background.  The search light washes it out, but you can see that she’s not the only one running.
Easter Egg

And here’s a behind-the-scenes from way back when I first started this piece.  This little mannequin helped me work out her pose.
model

This piece was a personal project, not one meant for any particular client.  I wanted to add a detailed sci-fi piece in my portfolio, one with a lot of action.  So, that’s the reason for it.  I’ll get it up on the portfolio in a couple of days here. [Edit: It’s up now.]

I had not really intended it to be as involved as it ended up, but the concept demanded certain elements and complex lighting.  Luckily, since I had no real deadline, I was free to take as long as I liked.  It was fun and I really like how it turned out.  :)