Filed under: Illustration, Sketchbook • February 12, 2014

"Honk!" poster by Shanda McCloskey
Every now and then, an artist will get an opportunity that they just can’t pass up. That’s what happened when my friend, Anna in Brooklyn, emailed me about this job/project about a month ago. She is directing “Honk!”, a musical based on The Ugly Duckling story, and she needed a promo illustration, and 4 background illustrations (that felt like a vintage children’s story book) within 2 months. I didn’t really have time for it, but I felt in my heart it was worth squeezing into my schedule somehow. At this point, I’ve only completed 1 of 5 illustrations, but it’s a great start I think. The poster above is the completed promo piece.

Honk Sketch by Shanda McCloskey

I colored this sketch digitally with my Wacom tablet. A weakness I believe I have is color. So, I found a vintage book cover online (which happens to be an Ugly Ducking book) and selected its colors in Photoshop and used them to follow a color scheme on my own piece. I learned so much by doing that. Colors can be VERY deceiving. You may think you are seeing blue, but that’s only because of the colors around it. If you select it, it may actually be green or something.


This was also a nice challenge for me as I need more illustrations with backgrounds in my portfolio. Backgrounds don’t come all that natural to me. I’m more of a character person, and find that I avoid backgrounds… too much. I’m definitely still a work-in-progress as an illustrator, but I’m very happy with the way this turned out.

Stay tuned for the other illustrations in this project. I hope I like them as much as this one :)



Comments: »

  • Awesome!!!

    Comment by Barb McCloskey — February 12, 2014 @ 11:17 pm
  • Congrats Shanda! This is awesome! You never cease to amaze me!!!

    Comment by Ericka — February 12, 2014 @ 11:36 pm
  • WOW! This is so beautiful Shanda!! I love love love it!

    Comment by Jen — February 13, 2014 @ 12:07 am
  • Soooooo proud of you, Shanda! This is just the beginning!!!

    Comment by Kim — February 13, 2014 @ 1:53 am
  • Shanda! I love it! What a great portfolio piece too! And I love your comment about color. It’s fascinating stuff isn’t it? I’ve come up with palettes the same way. So smart of you!

    Comment by Elizabeth Dulemba — February 14, 2014 @ 1:59 am

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Shanda McCloskey, Children's Illustrator & Author