Vita Lane • illustration


MATS week 3 assignment - cranky grumpy ornery snail

Last week's focus for Make Art That Sells was on the children's book market, and our assignment was to create a cover or a double page spread for the Hans Christian Andersen tale "The Snail and The Rose Tree", based on our snail sketches from earlier in the week, and hand-drawn lettering.

My double page spread

The story is pretty bleak - it features an ornery, selfish, dark, mean snail, who cares for no one, puts down those around him, and never changes. A lot of people in the class didn't care for how dark and bleak the message was, but I enjoyed it. I liked drawing a crotchety snail, and I wanted to show with color, how gray and depressing his outlook was. I had a great time drawing the type, and will definitely try that again in future pieces.

I tried again the scan-on-my-sketches-and-use-Live-Trace technique that I did back in week 1 for bolt fabric, and I really like the sketchiness of my snail character. I added color and texure and pattern in Illustrator - and that was a big deal for me, since I normally NEVER use texture in my work, only flat shapes. Its opened up a whole new world!

Overall, I like my piece. It conveys what I wanted it to convey, and I branched out with texture. As I was finishing it though, I wished I had done it in traditional mediums - either pen and ink with some collage or paint, or pastel or something.... I wish I had left more white space, and really focused more on the bleakness of the snail. It was hard to juggle how much life and color of the rose tree to show, in correlation with the grayness of the snail's life... And I wished I had used funkier colors - I'm still having so much trouble branching away from my usual palette - aurgh! (Though its a lot more neutral and gray colors than I normally use.) This is one assignment that I think I will do again after the class is over.