Here's a quick glimpse into my sketchbook for the Tell-Tale Heart project. After figuring out the basic imagery and deciding what size my watercolour paper would neatly fold into, I started drawing out the book itself.
A page for fonts. Art Nouveau on the left, Gothic variations on the right. And then my scribbles as I try to figure out how to combine the two.
This is my first draft, so to speak, of what a finished page will look like. The background scribbles, drips, and colours I like, but the font was still very Art Nouveau and much too pretty to be appropriate.
So I tried it again in the font that I ended up deciding on. Imagine this, but with the red opening letter, and muted background. I've penciled in the cut out bottom corner as well.
I planned out the entire book on tracing paper. The page layout is the same on all of them, so it's on one sheet (so I don't have to draw and erase pencil lines on each sheet), and the text itself is all planned out on these sheets (because the spacing and layout is all odd and different) ahead of time. I'm going to be using a light table, and basically just trace all of this onto the proper sheets.
This is where it's advantageous that I work in a boring store no one ever come into. There's no way I would have this all done, or possibly ever finish, if I'd started it at home only a week ago.
Here's the layout so I know how many pages, signatures etc there will be total, and what pages go together. The paper will be 90lb cold press, so decently thick enough that there will only be 2 pages per signature. This is to help me keep track of everything, since the folding pages mean the consecutive pages will actually be on different sheets, and it's easy to get it all mixed up.
Not that I really needed anything, but I popped in The Paper Umbrella because it's fabulous, and ended up finding some paper I had to have. Surprise! But sarcasm aside, this is a terrific find. The dark red colour is close to that of blood and it has raised ridges that look like veins. It also has woven threads visible on the back side. So I can't use this two-sided but I may take advantage and 'unravel' or 'fray' the edges. It could look cool, not to mention work well with the entire 'narrator loses his sanity' theme.