SCBWI Canada East Blog

December 3, 2017
Easy DIY Holiday GIF

I’d been thinking it would be fun to make a gif from one of my illustrations for a while & the Make Art That Sells Holiday contest prompt inspired me to make it happen!

 (MATS will have the winning entry animated but I wanted to try making a gif on my own.)

I'd love to see more SCBWI Canada East holiday GIF's! 

If you haven't done this before it's quite easy, all you need are your illustrations & some basic photoshop skills. To assist you (& as an aide-memoire pour moi) here is a step-by-step guide:

1. Add the elements you want to animate on separate labelled layers. For my illustration - the "glow" from the light & the steam. 

2. Open Timeline by selecting Window - Timeline. The timeline tool will open at the bottom of the screen.

3. Click on Create Frame Animation.

4. Click on the little bar icon just under the thumbnail of your illustration.

5. These little bars are the layers you want to adjust & arrange. 
You can drag the edges to make the bars smaller (less time or fewer frames). 

            You can also slide them apart so that the different layers appear at different times as I've done below.

6. Click the play button to view your animation. To have a continuous loop, check the Loop Playback box under the settings icon.

7.  When you're satisfied with your animation, select File - Export - Save for Web

8. This screen will pop up - Change the preset to GIF 128 Dithered. At the bottom, under animation select Forever for your Looping Option. Don't forget to click SAVE!

I painted my illustration traditionally using watercolour, ink, & copics. Then used a Kyle Webster watercolour brush & a Wacom tablet to add the "glow" & steam in their appropriate layers. Plan ahead and use those layers to your full advantage. If you look carefully I missed a light - luckily the rest of the strand still lights up despite the dud.

Happy Gif-ing!

And don't forget to share if you do one of your own. (To share on FaceBook you'll need an image url - paste that in your status update. I think it's straightforward to post them on Twitter but Instagram you'll need to do a work around.)

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November 3, 2017
Now that Inktober is officially over, I wanted to check in with my fellow SCBWI illustrators. Here is what they had to say:

June Steube

This was my first time participating in Inktober. I had a blast! My submissions were few and sporadic but it was so inspiring checking out the work of other illustrators. I haven’t worked with pen and ink for around 25 years. Back then I used a quill pen but after running out of ink with my trusty Delta Hotels ball point in early October, I bought a snappy new ink pen and some bristol :0)

I discovered that I still need to work on loosening up which I find especially difficult in this unforgiving medium. The stark contrast forced me to focus more about shape and negative space. 

The four crows are actually a grouping of 4 Inktober submissions. Looking forward to Inktober 2018! 


Marla Lesage

Initially I participated daily, except for a day off for Thanksgiving. But the past week I probably only did a couple of illustrations. I have a couple of other projects on the go so this past week I think I only did maybe 3 illustrations. Unless you count my urban sketching which also involves ink! There are several illustrations that I didn't get a chance to share online. 
I definitely acheived my goal of becoming more comfortable with my brush pens. I'll probably do Inktober again next year - I'm already thinking that exploring ink washes would be fun.


Lauren Soloy

Here is one of my final Inktober images. The prompt was "Owl." 
I managed to post one drawing every day for the month of October, which was pretty exciting.  I did them all on weekdays, and took the weekends off, so whenever  I ended up with a little extra time, I would work on the weekend pieces.  Also, I typically was a day or two ahead of schedule, so I didn't have to stress about it.  I had so much fun exploring my characters and their world, and just playing with the ink line and colour.  I've even been doing some portfolio pieces in the same style, which I hadn't expected. I am so glad that I participated in Inktober this year, and I plan on doing it again next year! 
Thanks for looking!


My inktober 2017 was a little different this year. I decided to use Inktober to develop one of my characters. Each day I would illustrate Crunch. I couldn't wait to get started each day.  I now have an idea of who he is, what his personality is like and can draw his story. 


Julie Prescesky

I worked daily, increasingly late at night. Once, finishing less than 10 minutes to midnight. 
I learned that committing to a routine can be a valuable tool in helping to shape a story.  
It went places I hadn't planned.

I will very likely participate next year. 


Alice Carter

I inked daily. I found it to be a good exercise in discipline, making time
everyday for creating something purely for the joy of it.

I experimented with some different techniques that I will continue to use
as I work on some new portfolio pieces. I also discovered some new
characters and kernels of new stories that I am excited to expand on.

I will definitely participate next year! I truly love sharing my
imagination and this was a fun and challenging way to do so.

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