Wednesday, May 16, 2012


The Adventures of the Little Monkey is the second book I illustrated for Ghayaat to be displayed in the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. It revolves around a young boy who learns about rules by going on a (possibly imagined) adventure to a jungle with his toy monkey. The lessons about following rules weren't particularly interesting but the adventure itself was very informative (I actually learned a lot about chimps from this story) and also very fun to draw... mostly because of the baby chimps.

On another positive note, I probably learned more on this book than on any other project I ever worked on mostly because of an unexpected scheduling issue that came up. The original plan was to illustrate this book completely digitally in the same manner as the previous book but given the time constraints, it was necessary to find a faster way to shade everything. I decided to do the entire book in ink wash and then add the colors digitally. I’ve done a lot of work with this technique before but never for a project of this size so I started with a certain amount of trepidation, as I was unsure I could maintain a consistent look. The great thing about having to work with a near impossible deadline is that you don’t get the chance to reconsider or second-guess yourself, and that forces you to stick with every decision you make. Having to constantly adapt to unexpected strokes or shades ended up teaching me a lot about the medium of ink wash that I hadn’t previously considered, so although it would have probably been easier to teach a baby seal how to mingle in high society, this project ended up being a highlight in terms of practical application. I’m also very happy with it because out of all the kid’s books I’ve worked on so far, this one has the most manual work.

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