I have another picture book in the works that I am super excited about! I have been working on it for about three months now fleshing out the characters, environment, and flat plan. I thought you might like to see a few things I have created. These are all just sketches and ideas, but if you are like me, that's the art that I love to see:)
Logos and characters and environment oh my!
When I begin a picture book project I need to think through some of the building blocks of what will become the picture book. This requires research and studies and lots of little messy drawings. But if I take the time to think through this stuff up front, the rest of the picture book process goes much more smoothly.
Imagery, such as small vignettes that act as visual logos is a nice way for me to think about the essence of the story, and they become good little pieces of art to represent the project. I created two such pieces of art and above is the one I like the most. It's just a pen drawing on layout bond with prisma color marker at this point. I love prima color marker because you can lay down color quickly and get a sense of what final art might look like. But at the same time I often find the colors are too saturated. I guess I haven't figured out the best way to work with them yet, but I keep trying:) I will eventually paint it in oil
Characters of the story is the next thing I need to think about. I try to push myself to think about variety of shape and size (something I learned while at the Academy). I had a good friend of mine tell me that you should be able to recognize a character by it's shadow. Meaning their shape is so distinctive that you would know if anywhere! I think that is a great way of thinking about it! I haven't perfected that yet, but I do keep that in mind as I develop my characters. Below is the character line up I created. There are a lot of characters! I love the variety of animals I got to work with and imagining their environment was even more fun!
The next thing I had to think of was the environment where these little guys live. I focused in on these words from the manuscript....Cory lived in the old village, along the clear stream, near the edge of the deep forest, within the broad meadow. I created a little painting of what this might look like, you can see it below.
Then I had to come up with all of the houses that these animals would live in. That was even more fun! I drive through a small ski village on my way to work. As I was driving through I noticed all these cozy little homes that people rent out during the ski season. They made for the best visual reference for the homes I imagined my characters living in. One day on my way to work, I took time out to stop and walk through the village. I brought my camera and took all kinds of photo reference of the homes to give me ideas to work with. Then I went back to my drawing table and come up with houses for each of my characters. You can see a sample of them below.
Now for the fun part....
See if you can guess which animal lives in which house!
I hope you enjoyed learning about Cory and the 7th Story. I will have more to post about it in the coming months as I work through the pages and introduce you to my wonderful authors! You are going to love this story!!!!