Any good writer knows you have to have backstory, background. It's the same for illustrators. In this new venture of ebooks, the great hope is to animate the books. In order to do that, all the characters have to be made separately so they can be activated as it were. So thinking about the illustrations for this has been a different process. I was lucky through a series of posts to have found Tom Bancroft's books mentioned earlier. They've not only helped with considerations of how to build and animate the characters, but also with how those characters act within their environment. In this case, I'm trying to think of the background (and approaching it) as another character.
Because of time constraints, consistency and my computer's limitations, my plan has been (we'll see if it actually works out that way, HA!) to paint one overall background. I can crop for closeups and build on it. This is the very early planning stages, but I can already visualize Oscar's sleeping log, and where he looks in the waters edge while Kingfisher dives for a meal. Have to reference more flowers and mulberry bush and gum trees, and place them within, will also need to RENDER this (this is a very rough sketch). I also found a great blog on Background art... just a mighty fine thing (coming from someone who always resented having to concentrate her drawing on anything she didn't want to and that would be surroundings, until I realized that surroundings ARE part and parcel to story and character): animation backgrounds with Rob Richards
I need to get new ear buds, I think when I do, I'll put on some outdoor sounds (maybe I can find an actual billabong recording ala Edgar Winter?) when I do the finished renderings, but I'm loving the process! I think I will also include my thoughts on my own book (Duke Day for Annie) as I'm working on them simultaneously and hoping they will both be presentable before Christmas. Yeah, when I take a bit of the pie it's not a small bite, I oftenshove the whole thing into my open maw!
So the ROUGH background!