Saturday, 4 July 2009

Drawing a Picture Book: Bears Get Parents!

At the end of Bears on the Stairs, Mum and Dad get their come-uppence for not believing their child. As you saw previously, the bears hide when Mum and Dad take the child up to bed, but the bears 'get them on the way down!'.

I had a choice of drawing this scene from various viewpoints, but the bears' perspective, looking down the stairs to Mum and Dad fleeing, seemed the most dramatic:

Because the stairs were so complicated, I decided to do the background with parents first, and put the bears on separately. I used layout paper do draw the bears on a layer on top. (I did this drawing early on, before I had changed fatty-bear to a koala):

It was too much to ask that it all fitted the layout perfectly, so I scanned both parts into Photoshop, put them together and messed around with positioning. It was important to move Dad's head out of the gutter (the centre of the spread).

I'm deliberately taking liberties with perspective to add drama and quirkiness. I'm trying to retain this feel throughout.

Like all the other laid-out drawings I've shown you so far, I've printed this spread off. When I have the whole book drawn to this level, I go back through them, redrawing each, tweaking and tidying up as I go. It's important to wait until the end, because things change and evolve (like the koala here and the pet cat idea).

If you want to watch a book being created under your nose, you can follow the progress of the book I am working on right now: The Jungle Grumble. If you want to learn more about how  to illustrate a picture book, there are several short films on my website, or if you want help with putting together a portfolio to approach publishers, check out some of these articles.


Tomás Serrano said...

It´s fantastic to see how you do the book.

Jessie said...

I'm really enjoying this process (watching you do it I mean!) I really admire people who draw perspective with meticulous accuracy but what I admire much more are people who bend the rules of perspective and make it look even better - like you have!x