I must apologise. I’ve been neglecting this blog horrendously. But that’s because I’m a new mother … of a picture book baby.
As mentioned previously, I’m currently taking a break between novel drafts to focus on a picture book project. She started off small and pink, wailing for attention, and once I gave her some she demanded it all. Over the last month or so she has grown in fits and starts, and is slowly blossoming into all I know she can be. At times it’s been joyous. Other times painful. But so worth it in the end.
In many ways, illustrating can be tricky. One illustration may take an entire day, and even then it may not be working the way I hoped. After spending so many hours of focussed attention on one image it’s easy to get too close, making it impossible to pinpoint what isn’t working. Each time this happens I have to remind myself to go through the following steps:
- Get a non-illustrators opinion: their unbiased eye is often the best at spotting problems (my fiance is an absolute star at this)
- Get an illustrators opinion: it’s easier to talk craft with other illustrators
- Try illustrating the scene from a different perspective: this can make a flat scene more dynamic
- Jot down a series of words about the scene, focussing on character motivation and emotion: it helps to pinpoint exactly what the image should be capturing
- Go back to the drawing board: get away from the scene, pull out fresh paper and start playing
Just today I finished assembling all the text and images – there are only a few fiddly things left to do before it’s ready to be sent off into the submissions ether. Below are a couple of scenes I’ve been working on over the last week, using watercolour, collage and digital art.