The season of Lent is a forty-day period mirroring Jesus' forty days of temptation in the wilderness. During this time, participants devote special attention to ... Read More
This past February, the Wolf King team hit crunch time. I was in full swing, inking one illustration per evening after work and two per day on the weekends. I was also in the throes of finalizing art for an early readers picture book. I was on the home stretch and had reached a scene with the brothers and good old Bonifer Squoon, which I was anticipating with excitement.
I began cranking away at inking the “Spidifer” scene and was about 75% finished when it happened. After one of my frequent dips into the inkwell I realized there was a small cat hair resting on my nib. Without a second thought, I blew a quick puff at the hair to toss it off. And then my eyes focused on the illustration below and the spray of black acrylic ink that freckled its once-pristine surface. My heart cramped. My instinct was to somehow brush this dust off of my drawing. But it wasn’t dust, and I knew it. It was there to stay. I could barely believe it had happened.
I pride myself on not making errors when I ink, and even if I do, I work it into the art. Some illustrators splatter ink all over their art because it suits their style, but I was going for a classic ink style that needed to look sharp and clean. I realized that I didn’t have time at this point to worry about fixing it with white paint and re-inking, so I trudged on. Making matters worse, when I showed my wife the final illustration she pointed at Kal’s silhouette and asked, “Why did you give him black eyes?” I hadn’t, but ironically the spray had fallen into the spots where his eye sockets would have been. I had to laugh at that point.
Thankfully, Photoshop is awesome. I scanned the image in, optimized it, and then precision-erased spots and clone-stamped lines until only I knew it had ever happened. But now, I really enjoy sharing the original piece, with its flaws, and telling the untold tale of Bonifer Squoon and the Cat Hair of Doom!