I used to think that illustrations just “happened” the first time pen or pencil was set down on paper. I’ve since learned that many ideas, sketches and attemps leads to a satisfying image. I thought I would share my process of this little painting of Jody and Flag from the Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, 1938.
Several little scraps tracing paper, ink experiments and notes are always scattered around the art table.
This is my submission to the SCBWI Tomie dePaola contest. Check out the submission gallery for many great black & white illustrations from The Yearling, Little Women and Tom Sawyer by SCBWI members.
First painting for an idea brewing. I’m also, working with my SCBWI mentor to develop visual story telling. I love when my idea cauldron is bubbling. The fire was cold for a few weeks, but I’ve learned that the coolness is part of the creative process and as much as I don’t like it, I accept it.
I’m off and running on my SCBWI Mentor Program assignments. I’m so excited and fortunate to be working with Deborah Nourse Lattimore. At our Tahoe Retreat one-on-one, me and Deborah set up some assignments for the next six months. Get to know three animals really well with a pencil. Here is the first.
It just so happens that the Illustration Friday Prompt is “sight”.
In 1967 I read a novel,Rascal, by Sterling North. I wrote my usual book report and I got a bright, although not new, idea. What if I drew a picture of the raccoon on the cover? It wasn’t long before I had my classmates asking me to draw images on their report covers. My fifth grade illustration business was born and I was paid in ice cream currency. I’ve rekindled my love of of the story and am taking on the images that come to me now.
I recently applied for the SCBWI Mentor Program. Part of my application was to submit a one page Artist Statement. As I thought back to my first illustrations, I remembered that I illustrated my book report cover for “Rascal” by Sterling North. It was a pencil drawing on red construction paper of a raccoon in a tire swing. It wasn’t long before my classmates were hiring me to create their covers too. The price, one ice cream bar.
I decided to go back to that time and illustrate the cover again. My plan is to create the cover, three interior spot illustrations and chapter illuminated letters. I’ve listened to the audio book twice and will go borrow the book from the library to get the chapter breaks correct.
By the way, it is a charming story of 1918 America during WWI, the war to end all wars. Even during dark times, kids always seem to find a way to make their lives whole. Sometimes animals and their connections to us are just the thing that keeps us grounded on our planet.
Thumbnail pencil sketches getting to know the animal characters in "Rascal".