A LOT of sketches came before I arrived at the girl with the tiger idea that EB told me to develop further. Having the narrative capture the essence of the word “lost”, avoiding cliches, conveying a sense of emotion and creating anticipation were all a part of the challenge. While I liked some of the story ideas that grew out of these exercises, most of them did not satisfy all the challenge’s requirements.
February means signing up for the annual NESCBWI spring conference. It’s a little like signing up for concert tickets! This year, there is a 4 hour Intensive workshop with Giuseppe Castellano, Executive Art Director with Penguin Random House. An assignment was given to illustrate a character from Beatrix Potter’s stories. 2016 marked the 150th birthday of Beatrix Potter and a collection of illustrations by contemporary illustrators was compiled in A Celebration of Beatrix Potter. I choose to depict the frog, Jeremy Fisher, in a scene from one of her stories in which he in out fishing and is overwhelmed by a much bigger fish than anticipated. I sketched out two versions and ultimately selected the drawing on the right. I felt it had a little more suspense and captured some of Jeremy’s superior nonchalance.
At a workshop with the illustrator E.B. Lewis, I was encouraged to try painting in watercolor again. I composited a variety of references, including a watercolor by Winslow Homer and a makeshift “cairn” along my driveway to build this piece. In the scene, a storm approaches while a father and son hike in the White Mountains above the treeline. I plan on a pair of illustrations to accompany this one, an image from the summit and another showing the father and son rushing down from the summit to get out of the storm.
I am taking a drawing class this Fall that has me experimenting with a variety of drawing media and surfaces. Before beginning this owl study, I experimented with different kinds of paper before settling on the toned paper. This is one of the more traditional drawings I completed during the class. I do hope to incorporate this study in a future illustration project.
October’s word had a Halloween theme this month with “fright”. I opted to illustrate one of my favorite stories: Bunnicula by James Howe. I’ve been taking a drawing class this Fall so I experimented with ink wash for this image and incorporated a little inspiration from Edvard Munch in my depiction of the vampire bunny that sucks the juice from vegetables!