An Ice-Witch who's desperately afraid of melting teams up with a girl made of fire and a stubborn stone golem and embark on a dangerous adventure in order to get their one wish granted.

Started on January 1st, 2015, Tales of Three is a collaborative project that consists on a series of 3 illustrated books.

Me, Lise Sofie Hopland and Frederic Daelemans met online at The Oatley Academy of Visual Storytelling while looking to hone our artistic skills.

A dear friend of ours, Emanuel Daniels, suggested we three started a project, and thus ToT was born.

read it online here

Getting Started

We started everything by brainstorming story ideas. Once we had an idea of what we were going for, everyone started working on the concepts.

First step was sillhoueting. We all knew what the characters were: Ânia, Fred and Lise. We would be our own heroes.

All of us styarted working on the sillhouetes for them.

Here you can see my silhouetes for Ânia, my own character. We were going for the youngest character - a child of 8. She’s super energetic, positive and bright. Her hair is a flame.

Second step was character design. We picked the best sillhouetes and did some drawings and loose concepts.

This was a super fun step. It made me think more about myself and my character.

I also experimented with some colours just for the fun, thought he actual colour choices only came later.

The third step made us decide on some of our roles as an actual team. After analysing everyone’s solo work, we decided on how each character would look like and moved on to the lines and colours.

Fred was clearly the strongest at doing lines, so he went ahead and created these lovely lines for each character.

Then, all of us gave our takes on colour choices. With Ânia, the decision was easier, since we all had already agreed her shirt would be yellow.

After deciding on all the characters, we had to decide who was actually going to write everything. We played by our strenghts, so we picked Lise. She’s great at writing.

Here’s the final lines, done by Fred, for the three heroes: Ânia, the Fire Girl; Lise, the Ice-Witch and Fred, the Golem.

Painting Process

Remember the very first image on this page? That’s a finished piece from our collaboration. Here’s what I do on those:

At this point, Lise is finished with the text and we already decided on which scenes of the book we’re going to illustrate.

The thumbnailing begins.

Since we’re playing by our strengths, we decided I was the one reponsible for doing this step. I try to exhaust all the possibilities in my head and then come up with some more for every scene.

Every scene has a message and my job is to tel its story the best way I possibly can.

After Fred does the lines, me or Lise go ahead and work on the values for the image.

I try to them them clean and simple. Too much work in here and we end up losing time overall. I keep the values just complex enough so the mood of the paintings shines through. This way, Lise has less trouble finding the right colours for the image.

On the left, the lines Fred did and the painting after Lise and Fred work on it.

When the painting comes back to me, it’s looking gorgeous already. All there’s left for me to do is paint my favouurite part: the textures.

Then, together with my friend Raquel, from SigmaSense, we plan the editorial and prep the page for the online release.

Hope you enjoyed watching our process!