An SCBWI July word prompt “admire” and a Mommy/Daughter day for Evelyn and Angela became material for a portfolio builder. Evelyn had been asking for a horse riding lesson for a very long time now. Angela was able to arrange one with a friend of hers last month. The horse, “April”, was said to love kisses on the nose! Ange wasn’t in the original shot so I added her in . Of course Evy asks, “Why is there a suitcase?”… I attended a workshop through the Boston Illustrator’s Group with E.B. Lewis who encouraged the use of emotion, narrative, and anticipation in illustration. The suitcase is my “anticipation” element and is supposed to suggest a departure or trip ahead. Hope it works… but I feel like my work will become stronger with his recommendation in mind.
I’ve been working hard to finish sketches for my daughter Evelyn’s book, Evelyn and the Dinosaur Egg. This one is a portrait of her just as Outdoor Things was a portrait of Dillon. When sketches are complete, I’ll select two images to complete as paintings and then assemble the book dummy! I enjoyed working on this project. To me it captures Evelyn’s imagination and creativity and how well she adapts when there is a change in plans! The books I wrote and illustrated for both kids are to me a kind of children’s magical realism, where fantastic things happen despite the ordinary surroundings.
This year’s New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference Challenge was to “reinvent Jules Verne”. I illustrated a scene from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in which the Nautilus descends for the first time and is escorted by a multitude of ocean life who are drawn in by the vessel’s electric lights. I redesigned the Nautilus itself: giving it hydropower (thanks to my son for insisting), an organic shape and phosphorescence. The real fun for me was playing with the sense of depth and space in the picture which I pushed a step further with a red/green-blue displacement 3D effect that adds to the fun when viewed with a pair of 3D glasses!
I just finished reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH to my son Dillon. I’ve loved this story since I was a child and have always wanted to illustrate it. This is the moment when the crow, Jeremy, brings Mrs. Frisby to the owl to ask for help. I used Photoshop to bring a little extra glow to the eyes.