Oh oh, Little Ramona

Another screen print! This is the most complex print I’ve done so far. It’s wrought with imperfections, but making it taught me a lot about how to (and how not to) prepare my transparencies in the future.

I wanted to make something that felt more like a show poster, but I’m way more of a dork for books than I am music or movies, so I went for a mock book cover. Having recently watched the surprisingly good Ramona & Beezus movie, and then rereading the book for the first time since elementary school, I was feeling like Ramona Quimby was worthy of my fandom. Plus I’m pretty disgusted with their current covers. Bleh. For me, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 has always been the quintessential Beverly Cleary title. If you only read one, make it that one, I say. That book is completely entwined in my experience of the third grade. Ramona was 8, and so was I. We were mastering cursive at the same time.

Curious and looking for inspiration, I found old Ramona covers. While there have been several illustrators (Louis Darling, Alan Tiegreen, and most recently Tracy Dockray), I grew up with the Dell Yearling Norman Rockwell-esque covers by Louis Darling, and those are still the illustrations I favor, though Tiegreen’s stick-figure-like Ramonas, particularly on the Age 8 cover, is nicely designed.

Initially, I drew my image in Photoshop, saved each color/layer as a PDF, and had transparencies printed. I treated my layers like puzzle pieces, with very little overlap. With each color being it’s own very distinct shape, that meant, for the image to come out “right”, everything would need to be perfectly aligned. Which didn’t happen. For one thing, my registration just isn’t that good, and for another, the second layer I pulled had very little detail, which made finding the proper placement for it pretty difficult. So I learned a lot about sequence with this project; what layers and colors to do first. And to overlap. Overlap, Nicole!

Here’s what my transparencies looked like:

And here’s how they came out:


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