Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol 3, #2

Last Wednesday was the release of Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol3, #2 published by Archaia. I have followed the Mouse Guard series by creator David Petersen for many years and was incredibly touched to be asked to illustrate a story for his Legends series! This is the third volume of "Legends" where select guest artists get to play in David's world of mice, battles and storytellers. Mouse Guard is also celebrating it's 10 year anniversary, congrats David!

My husband, C.M. Galdre (Matt) and I teamed up for our short story contribution, where he wrote the storyline and I did the illustrations to match. We've always played around with collaborations but this is the first time we've had a published project of this type. It was really nice to sit down on a focused project and flush out this story together for Mouse Guard.

Here are some process photos of our story "Fall of Brierwall". It was really wonderful to have David (creator) and Rebecca (editor) walk us through the process and give their insights as the work progressed.

After receiving the outlined script from Matt I roughed out thumbnails to get a better idea of movement from panel to panel and here I started to develop the looks of the main characters "Ivytha" and her father "Rond". Something that I always loved about David's Mouse Guard pieces is how he developed kingdoms of mice with their own heraldry, clothing, and type of weapons that would be local to their area.

If you look closely at our finished piece you can see elements of Brierwall in their clothing--from a briar crown, to a Brier celtic knot on King Ronds shield.

At this stage we had a good idea from the thumbnails on each panel, so this is a rough pencil of the first page of our tale at full size. Giant brier branches work their way though the city, and mice go about their daily lives.

Here is a cleaned up pencil drawing on my good paper that I will use for the final painting (I prefer to use Rives BFK printmaking paper for painting on these days. It's super soft and absorbs the paint in a way I really like).

From the pencil drawing I paint in the color using Holbein Acryla Gouache. I try to use the paint lightly like watercolor and build the layers to create shadows and light. One of the main reasons why I like this specific paint is how well it layers and can be used transparent or opaque.

A look at a page completely colored and inked. I then scan this and insert the type digitally in Photoshop.

Finished page how it appears in Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol 3, #2. 

Animated gif of the process from start to finish!

Cover artwork by David Petersen
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume Three: Issue Two features work by David Petersen, Nicole Gustafsson, C.M. Galdre, Dustin Nguyen, and Kyla Vanderklugt. Issues 3 will be out later this summer and all the issues put together in a hardcover volume! Huge thanks to David, Rebecca, Archaia and everyone involved for this wonderful opportunity.

A little look at the final publication. Visit your local comics shop or purchase online to read our whole story!

Visit: for more information about Mouse Guard, Legends of the Guard, and other projects by David Petersen.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I've been perusing your site and I want to say how awesome your work is! It reminds me a little of Hayao Miyazaki - the way you're creating these beautifully intricate worlds that captivate the imagination. The Book Keeper and The Lantern Lighter are some of my favorites.

I'm curious - what scanner are you using to scan your work?