When I’m not painting I’m working on illustration commissions like this ladybug illustration.
My favourite Finnish children music artist Ville Karttunen won the national The Best New Kid’s Song -contest this year with his song Leppäkertun sadelaulu. The title means Ladybug’s Rainy Day Song. The song is cute and cosy and made me remember that rainy days can be fun too.
I started the design progress with pencil on paper. I doodled the first ideas on the bus on my way to my mother-in-law while listening to the sweet song. In the chorus the song tells about a ladybug resting underneath a leaf while the rain drops are falling.
Before I started working digitally I drew several thumbnail sketches of ladybug in different positions. I liked the one above in left the most. I wanted to keep the colour palette very limited: just couple of colours complimenting each other. Going for a feel-good retro vibes with this ladybug illustration.
After I was happy with the composition and storytelling I sent the digital sketch to Ville Karttunen (below the artist himself). He was happy with the look but only hoped that the smile would be little bigger so it would be easier to “read” the happy feeling even in a small scale. I agreed.
After Karttunen approved the sketch I worked in Adobe Illustration to get beautiful smooth lines. I changed the position of the eyebrows to get more open and cheerful expression. I also made the face little wider but other that that I pretty much replicated the sketch.
When I was happy with it I opened the illustration in Photoshop and tried some tricks with textures and shadows. I came to conclusion that this artwork works best in it’s pure clean form. The simplest look is not always the simplest to make. It takes time to find the sweet point of just right amount of details and position to keep it clean but interesting.
I’m really pleased with the final illustration. If you have kids or you’r feeling like a kid yourself go listen to the lovely song Leppäkertun sadelaulu in Spotify or iTunes. Also check out Ville Karttunen’s webpage.