Illustration Friday: “Sugary”

This week, Illustration Friday has the perfect topic to let me segue stylishly into showing some of the sugary sketches I’ve slaved over recently. “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” is in the home stretch – I’ll be submitting all the finals for proofing next week. It’s been a lot of fun doing a more zany comic style, and adding in lots of little visual storylines. I think it’s going to be a really fun book, even though it’s nearly killed me trying to get everything done. I’m getting tired of being overcommitted – it would be nice to take my time with something for once, instead of having to rush. Anyway, here’s the Sugar Plum Fairy in all her Sugar-Frosted Goodness….


This is almost entirely digital – I did the pencil linework in bits and scanned and combined the sections with Photoshop, then did all the coloring with a mix of Photoshop and Painter. For the lollipops etc, I took photos of barley sugars and colored glass marbles, suspended in a clear plastic bag in front of a sunny window. Then I used the photos as the basis for the sweets, doing lots of tweaking the colors with the channel mixer and painting on top of them. Then I ate the sweets. Thankfully, I still had it together enough not to try chewing on any of the marbles.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Illustration Friday: “Sugary”

  1. This is lovely. Perfect for the theme.
    The book is going to be amazing

  2. Hey fellow armadillo! Wonderful illustration – what a fabulous book it’s going to be. I really enjoyed reading about how you created her.

  3. wow…great style. I love her wings!

  4. Truly a wonderful illustration. . .perfect!

  5. Ooh cool style 🙂 Very sugary!

  6. She’s so sweet. Like something out of a halloween fever-dream.

  7. DK

    very very sweeeeet…

  8. gJM

    just a wonderful, clean and colorful design. my 4 year old daughter walked by and asked if she could have it…hmm she never asks for my drawings. nicely done. g

  9. It looks like the perfect book for little girls. Lovely job with her face especially. Who is the publisher for this book, and when does it come out? I’d like to look for it. Thanks!

  10. pseudoarmadillo

    Thanks, Kristi!

    It’s going to be published by New Frontier in Australia next year, but will hopefully be available online. You actually get a CD with the book too, with the story narrated by Nicole Kidman’s sister Antonia, and a recording of Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker ballet. It’s one in a series called Music Box, introducing kids to great pieces of classical music. I think it’s a great idea. If you subscribe to my RSS feed I’ll let everyon knoe via my website when it comes out.

  11. Tom Bulger

    How in the world do you come up with such inspiration? Your genius reminds me so much of myself.

  12. jrpoulter

    I’m relieved the humbugs and marbles didn’t get mixed!

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