New Story in the Works

Gentleman Walrus Sketch Erika Schnatz

It’s been some time since I’ve worked on a children’s book idea, so today my goal is to draft a story for this proper gentleman:

Gentleman Walrus Sketch Erika Schnatz

He was a character I created for another writer’s manuscript in my children’s book publishing course, and I really enjoyed drawing him. It’s likely he’ll evolve a great deal over the drafting and revision processes, but I’m looking forward to writing a story around a character. Should be fun!

Here are a few more images of him from the dummy children’s book I created:

Gentleman Walrus Sketch Erika Schnatz

Gentleman Walrus Sketch Erika Schnatz

With a face like that, wacky hijinks are sure to ensue.

Work in Progress!

Work in Progress

As you may have noticed, my website is getting a complete makeover right now. I’m currently on spring break and Portland is its usual gloomy self, so it’s the perfect time to sit in front of my computer all day and Photoshop until I can’t Photoshop anymore (bright side: I’m becoming a master of keyboard shortcuts!). Since this is the first time I’ve worked on this website by myself, it’s becoming quite the learning experience. Please bear with me as I work out the kinks! More projects will be popping up tomorrow.

Here Be Dragons!

For my Book Design class this term, I had to design an entire book (it was awesome!) so here are the cover comps I came up with:

This first one had some nice elements, but it looked a bit old for the target audience of this book (middle-grade level readers).

I really liked this design as well, but it looks like an adult book.

This one was the clear favorite of my peers. It was by far the most age appropriate, and since it’s a book for younger audiences, I could get away with having an image-based back cover. The author photo and bio is much more of an adult book element anyway.

Here’s the final! I made some suggested improvements, like handlettering the text on the cover and adding the dragon’s arms to hold the banner. I obviously redrew the front and back illustrations as well, and added some cracks around the dragon butt to add to the illusion of the dragon breaking through the back of the book cover. My classmates liked where the colors bled outside the lines in the comp, so I replicated that in the final. I moved the ISBN box to a more sensible place as well.

I had some trouble finding reference images for the dragon’s butt, but as multiple people reminded me, dragons aren’t real so I could draw it however I liked.

Dancing Cats

Continuing the week of cuteness, here are more cats (if you need more cats drawings, just scroll through past blog posts). I was supposed to have a finished spread for the SCBWI-Oregon conference, but grad school got in the way, so I only finished the line art. This summer I need to color it in. Of course, nothing I do is going to compare to Jon Klassen’s work, but a girl can dream.

Initial sketch:

The text from the spread I picked to illustrate: 
“Eight cats tap…tip bowler hats in pink tuxedos, canvas spats”
Left page refined sketch:
Right page refined sketch:
Left page line art:
Right page line art: