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Hi Joel - wow - it sounds like a lot of us are in similar
situations!! It's all excellent advice and stuff I find really worked
for me and this project I'm currently cranking through... I'd only
add that if you're like me and terrified to put anything on paper
that's less than perfect, to let yourself experiment. Britt and
Amelia et al. are right that the more you experiment and get to know
these characters on paper, the better the final illustrations will
look. Try to let them evolve on paper (as goofy as that sounds). When
you feel good enough about them show the sketches to your friend to
see what he/she twigs to. It also might not be a bad idea to go to a
bookstore like Aurore suggested WITH your friend to get an idea of
what color palettes/styles/feels you both like. For me, Calvin and
Hobbes is the ultimate in cartooning. Actually, come to think of it,
if you pull out the earliest C&H's and compare them with the later
ones, you can really see how Watterson's characters evolved and were
refined over the course of his career the better he got to know them.
Pretty cool.

If you're having trouble "loosening up" from your regular tight
style, maybe some exercises with a big sloppy brush and giant roll of
newsprint will help. There was a thread about this a while back with
some great suggestions for doing just that. Anyone remember? Or if
you think it'll be hard to translate that to a smaller size, use a
less-precise tool to draw on a regular-sized piece of paper. The
point is just to loosen up and get out of the finniky details. I like
doing gesture drawings of people and animals in some busy place - the
zoo was a great suggestion. You might find it's easier to ignore the
details you're so used to paying attention to if you have more of a
moving target!

Hope that helps. Good luck!
Kapi
>
>>Hello everyone,
>>
>>I've agreed (begrudgingly) to illustrating a children's book for a friend
>>of mine.  It's been so long since I've done any cartooning and was
>>wondering if anyone would have any suggestions or could direct me to some
>>helpful reference material.  I've been staring at blank illustration board
>>or throwing it across the room in fits of anger since I attempted to
>>begin.  I'm near the end of my rope.  Thanks for any assistance or advice
>>(other than I shouldn't have agreed to do it).
>>
>>Joel
>>
>>
>>This email has been scanned for all viruses by the
>>E.U.P. Telecommunications Consortium Internet service.
>
>
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>Amelia Hansen
>Corvus Art, Natural History Illustration
>PO Box 19434
>Kalamazoo, MI  49019
>(269) 353-2052
>http://www.corvus-art.com


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________________________
Kalliopi Monoyios
Scientific Illustrator
Department of Anatomy
1027 E. 57th Street
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL  60637

phone: 773/ 834.4774
fax:    773/ 702.0037
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