Monday, December 13, 2010

Dummy Sketches

Here are some sketches from my picture book dummy. I agonized over the characters and the storyline for what felt like forever. But once I drew the crooked city and realized rabbits lived in it, the book has practically been drawing itself.

I was lucky enough to have the generous and talented Marla Frazee critique my work two years in a row at different SCBWI conferences. The second year she was apologetic and asked if I would like to switch and have someone else look at my portfolio. But I saw it as an opportunity to get insight about my progress in the last year. Marla gave me a very thoughtful critique focusing mainly on my two picture book dummies. She distilled the essence of one story down and told me, "It's a love story."

At first I was worried. Children don't really need or want love stories do they? But then I realized my story is about two people who are kind of lonely, meet, and become best friends. That's a universal story that everyone of any age can relate to, right? So thank you, Marla for your great insight! Now I have to go draw more love story....


  1. These are wonderful Jill! I'm longing to read and see the whole story :)

  2. Oh Jill, these are amazing. Looking at them I found myself doing something I used to do as a child looking at illustrations I loved - craning my neck to try and look around/behind things!

    And I think you're right - children need love stories as much as adults do (that is, lots and lots :) ) xx

  3. Thank you Anna :) That's a cool way to think about drawings- wanting to look behind things!

  4. These are wonderful illustrations. They are full of detail and I think children will find them interesting. I really like your rabbits too - the long ears. Looking forward to seeing some samples with colour and words.