Free Coloring Book Edition

In addition to the full color, hand illustrated story book, we’ve decided to release a Coloring Book Edition of Love is magic – as a free download!  You can print any or all of the pages, and color them however you like.  Print copies for your children, too!

Download your copy right now, in PDF format:
Love_is_Magic – Coloring Book Edition

The layout of this edition differs from the soft and hard cover editions, which are both square.  This version is formatted for your printer – 8.5″ x 11″.  It is similar to the Kindle edition, in that it has the text beneath each picture, rather than on the facing pages.  We felt it would be nicer that way, so that the caption would stay with each individual page as you print them.

Tell your Friends!

This download is free, and requires no registration.  We hope that you will send a link to this page to all your friends!

 

Color Illustrations Complete

The coloring of the illustrations is complete!  Mitch has done an amazing job with watercolor on all of his ink drawings.  There is still a bit of work getting the pictures ready for publication, though.  Each one needs to be cropped, with a clean white border.  Some of them need to be straightened, or even skewed to make them fit a square frame.  All of this needs to happen without detracting from the artwork.

For example, here is one of the raw scans:

090-Slept_with-orig-sm

 

After a quick retouch, it looks like this:

090-Slept_with-r-sm

 

Hopefully a subtle difference.  For variation, some of the images are not cropped on all sides.  For example:

040-Young_Fairies-r-sm

 

Others have cool little overlaps, extending beyond the crop area – I’m trying to keep these, for sure!

050-Went_to_Older_Fairies-r-sm

 

There is still plenty of work to do as we go into production.  Keep checking back!

 

Final Draft of the Story

 

There was once a scarecrow
on a farm not far from here.

It was tall and wooly
and filled with straw.

The crows were not scared of it.

Some of the young fairies, however,
were uneasy with the scarecrow.

The young fairies ran to the older fairies.
“It is full of dead things!” they cried,
“Dried straw, cut from a once
green field of living grass!”

The older fairies took the young fairies
before the King and Queen.

“We don’t understand this creature,”
the young fairies explained,
“He stands alone in the field, cold, and lifeless!”

But the Queen bade them
attend the scarecrow,
and treat it as a friend.

“Let the scarecrow be loved,”
The Queen fairy said,
“even though it is not alive.”

The young fairies returned to the scarecrow.
They looked at its shoulder, where a small bird had now built a nest of twigs and stuffing.

“What shall we do?” They asked each other
“how can we be friends with this dark and silent one?”

The young fairies felt that they should include the scarecrow in their play, so…

They brought food, water, and decorations.
They hid seeds inside the straw-filled belly.
They slept among the tattered garments,
and beneath the sun bleached hat.

When the season turned cold,
they sheltered with the scarecrow,
and played winter games.

Come spring,
they sang to the scarecrow,
and told stories to it.

They chose to pretend
that the scarecrow had a heart,
and sought to warm it.

In this spring, as every spring,
the fairies became busy
with the work of renewal.
The young fairies
– now a season older –
bent their attention to the earth,
to cherish the growing things.

One day,
they remembered
the scarecrow!

They hurried to the side
of their tall and wooly friend.

And behold: a riot of living color
was standing in the field!

From the damp and musty
straw of the scarecrow…

…the seeds of wildflowers,
planted in fairy affection,
had bloomed!

The End

Finishing – Adding Color

Tons of work going on – adding color is a multi-step process of layering.  These pics show how Mitch’s studio (em, living-room) looks while waiting for each new iteration to dry…

IMG_3376-sm

IMG_3377-sm IMG_3378-sm

IMG_3379-sm

 

IMG_3380-sm

 

Development – Color Tests

So, what is the fashion in scarecrow apparel?  Solids?  Plaids?

These tests are done on the computer, prior to applying paint to the original artwork.

sc11

scarecrow 1

scarecrow 2

scarecrow3

Stage Complete – Inks

The inks are finished, and all of them scanned as a “backup” of this stage.  Compare this fully developed ink to previous editions of the same frame:

 

090-How_to_be_friends

 

Here’s another.  These drawings will soon be transformed with the addition of color.

 

070-Before_the_king_and_queen

Aside – Bio Portrait

 

 

Like any book, it makes sense to have an author’s and illustrator’s portrait for a bio page, right?  How’s this:

Andy & Mitch

 

Development – Subtle Changes

Below are two versions of the same frame.  Mitch was not happy with the top one, but it looks like we’re going with the second one.  Some of these illustrations have been redrawn numerous times.

Group_01

Mitch wanted the faces of the fairies to be distinct, and recognizable as a particular fairy from one scene to the next.  The picture below captures all of the fairy characters together, and serves as a good baseline for their individual features.  Note also that the line-work is cleaner, the better to leave room for the colors in the next phase.

Group_02

Draft – Ink Drawings

Mitch is nearing completion of the inks!   There may be an additional drawing or two, and probably some word-work, but the sequence is nearly complete.  What’s next?  The drawings will be scanned, and then the color work begins.  As Mitch puts the polish on the art, I will be reworking the prose.  Which sentences go with each illustration?  Make it more poetic, or keep it simple?  Many things to consider.

Here are a few samples of the draft ink drawings, with related excerpts:

“The young fairies ran to the older fairies.”

04

“The older fairies took the young fairies before the King and Queen. The Queen bade them attend the scarecrow, and treat it as a friend.”

05

“They brought food, water, and decorations.  They hid seeds inside the straw-filled belly.  They slept among the tattered garments, and inside the sun bleached hat.”

08

“When the season turned cold, they sheltered with the scarecrow, and played winter games.”

09

 

Development – The King and Queen

Based on previous experiments, a style has been selected for the fairy King and Queen.  Below are a series of sketches leading up to a pre-production version of one scene from the story.  The finished work will be in full color, of course, but these sketches show the increasing detail that is developing in this particular frame.

“The older fairies took the young fairies before the King and Queen.”

Two early sketches:

2013-10-20_19-15-16_00-sm

A more refined sketch:

2013-10-20_19-15-16_08-sm6

Zooming in for a better view:

IMG_32310-cr-sm7

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