This week's Illustration Friday prompt is Winter. It's definitely winter and today is Christmas! So here is a spread from my last dummy where two brothers are throwing a holiday party for their new neighborhood. I hope everyone has a happy day!
My husband let me open a Christmas present early and look at what I got!
My brother and I had a copy of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. I love these stories!! Mary Anne the steam shovel works so hard and is so charming she's irresistible. And I think The Little House is a really special story also. I can definitely see Ms. Burton's influence on me- both her art and her stories. Look at this great photo of her!
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....
You can see this phenomenon regularly on clear nights. If you happen to be in a cow pasture......
This is an older linocut of mine. Instead of carving only one block, printing it in black and painting it, I carved a block for each color of this print. There are 5 blocks that I printed one on top of the other. I haven't worked this way in a while. I should try a multi color print again!
Looky! I got this beautiful, creative ring from Anna Branford. It's a little felted robin's nest. I photographed it with a nest and egg that were found in my yard. I just can't believe how charming the ring is- it's soft and comfy and well, the coolest thing I've seen in ages. Anna has a story about making them here.
Anna is a children's book author in Australia and she makes gorgeous crafts and dolls also. Check out her blog and her ideas page. You can learn how to make everything from fairy tents to tiny knitted Christmas wreaths.
Thank you Anna!
I made these two blank books the other day for the fun of it. I cut an old game board into quarters and varnished them for the covers. Then I sewed the books together using the coptic stitch. There's a great step-by-step for sewing like this onto hard covers in The Art & Craft of Handmade Books by Shereen LaPlantz.
I'm giving one away for Christmas and keeping one. I'm keeping the one with the funny and horribly offensive "Careers Crystal." Really I love it and it makes me laugh. I soooo appreciate living in our time instead of the 50's or whenever this game was made. Here are the careers available for ladies according to the Careers Crystal- nurse, actress, stewardess, secretary, housewife, or teacher. And for the gentlemen- star athlete, jet pilot, cowboy, fireman, explorer, or scientist.
These are the final 3 prints to go in the artist book I am working on. The top image will show through cut-outs in the wooden cover. The second one is the title and dedication page. I will sign and number them in the white space below the word Earth. And the stars are the last page of the book. The End!