This is the fourth post in the series. You can read the first post here.
A lot of things have come together in the past week for Falafel’s Garden that make me feel like I can finally see the finish line off in the distance! I finished up working with an editor and am finally through with revisions for the story. I also secured a printer for the book, which was surprisingly a lot more work than I had imagined. The most exciting accomplishments I made, though, were completing the layout for the cover and the first page of the book! I’m excited to give a sneak peek at them as well as a look behind-the-scenes to see what went into making them.
My studio is still cramped, so some of my pictures are at odd angles. From this view, you can see part of the set-up I made for photographing the scenes. I stacked all of my craft bins on either side of the backdrops and laid yardsticks across them. The scenery was too wide for a single yardstick to reach, so I taped three together to hang the plush from strings.
I’ve photographed black and white scenery a number of times, but in the past, I always painted foam board from the same source. With this project, I used different sizes of foam board as well as some card stock for intricate cutouts like the flowers in the window and the garden. I didn’t realize how different the reflective quality of each type of paper was until I started shooting scenes for the book and noticed the backdrops were photographing multiple shades of white. The yellow and blue hues showing up on the scenery are really distracting, so I’ve resorted to photoshopping the images for the book to have true black and white backdrops.
You can see what a difference it makes going in and removing the color from the painted cutouts. It’s a painstaking process (mainly thanks to photoshop replacing their ‘refine edge tool’ with the clumsy and practically useless ‘select and mask tool’). It easily takes a couple of hours to edit one image, but the end result is worth it.
Here’s a mock-up of what the cover of the book will look like (minus the book summary, ISBN, etc.)
I made a number of outfits for the characters in the book, but my favorite, by far, was pajamas for Falafel. In the opening of the book, Falafel is just waking up. I made him a pair of fitted pajamas to help accentuate his adorably plump body! And what stuffed animal would be complete without his own stuffed animal to sleep with?
This shot gives a better look at the set-up for how I position the animals (as well as what’s in my craft bins 😉). This image is deceiving and makes the set look narrow. The foam board for the floor is actually 40-inches wide.
Here’s a look at the first page of the book! Falafel is just waking up to see that his favorite season has finally arrived!
Stay tuned for more peeks at the book! If you would like to receive updates on Falafel’s Garden children’s book, sign up for my newsletter here.
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