#whenthemoonisasmile #blogtour #booksontourpr #day3

For those of you who already follow the talented Amy Calautti on social media, you will have had the fortunate visual pleasure of absorbing her incredible portfolio. Here, Amy walks us through her art process for each piece – this may of interest in particular to fellow artists out there! And find out tomorrow just how long her ‘ocean’ illustration from When the Moon is a Smile (in the video below) took to complete…

Firstly, I come up with the design of all the illustrations (a bit like a storyboard). I find that it can take a big chunk of time, because I draw several ideas before I get something that looks good on the page. Next, I prepare my watercolour paper and hand tear all my pages (I think tearing is prettier than cutting). I then trace all the illustrations onto watercolour paper. Depending on how intricate the drawings are, it will take 20 minutes to an hour for each page.

Next is my favourite part – painting! I like to paint my watercolours in one sitting, while it’s all wet. I try to get all my quicker pieces done when my son is having his nap, or if it’s going to take more than a few hours I try to wait for the weekend, so my husband can amuse the kids while I have fun! After this I add outlines in coloured pencil.

Because I need to prepare the book to be ready to be printed, I switch to working digitally. I scan all my work on my A3 scanner and digitally collage it back together. (If anyone knows of a good A2 scanner in Perth I’m all ears!) Next, I fix up all the colours for the dreaded CMYK conversion. I’ve learned that if you use adjustment layers it’s easier to retain the colours you see in real life or in RGB. I test print all the illustrations on my printer and once I’m happy with the colours I add text, and combine all the pages into one big PDF file and Dropbox it to Jen (publisher at Daisy Lane Publishing).

I’m NOT tired… You’re tired from reading all of that! LOL. It is a long process, but worth the effort.


It may be a long process, Amy, but this video is totally satisfying to watch…


Amy Calautti: website | Instagram | facebook

Teena Raffa-Mulligan: website | blog | Instagram | facebook

Daisy Lane Publishing

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