Saturday, 1 August 2009

My Bears Feedback is Here!

Well, what a relief! The response to my Bear on the Stairs roughs has been really good: hardly any changes at all. Hurrah!!

Both Rona, the Editor at Anderson Press, and Julia Jarman, the author, were very complimentary and feel I have got things pretty much right. This is brilliant news, as it's quite a tight artwork deadline, so no major redraws will save a bit of time.

Julia liked that cat idea and suggested introducing him into as many spreads as possible, so I'll sort that out, like above, which is from the page where he tries to bribe the biggest bear.

Both Rona and Julia prefer the versions without the little vignettes, so we'll be going with the boy looking through the banisters at koala instead (now with added cat in arms):

And just the big bear on his own in the spread that comes next, rather than as previously:

Julia made other interesting suggestions. Unfortunately many weren't practical to draw without creating new problems. For instance, for the page above, Julia suggested looking up the stairs from the bottom, over the boy's head, to the bear looming at the top, his big shadow up the wall.

This sounds good, but of course we'd then see the other two bears, which would be confusing.

Also, you may remember some of the difficulties I had getting the big bear large enough on the page. I sat him down in the spread above, because standing forced him to be much smaller in a landscape spread. In Julia's idea, looking up the stairs with Bear at the top, perspective will make him a great deal smaller still.

Being smaller also diffuses Big Bear's ability to 'loom'. I hit this issue once before, drawing the Mule School image above. The text origin
ally had Stomper's friends peering up at him 'looming' down from the cliff above.

We had to change the wording and rework the whole page, because it is impossible to 'loom' at a distance.

I enjoyed drawing the boy holding the cat above, but was frustrated that you couldn't see most of it, as it looked really cute. So I've done this one too, which hopefully we can use somewhere, maybe on the back cover.


Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

How could anyone NOT like your delightful drawings... I can't wait to see them in color.

granny grimble said...

I can't wait to see the coloured version of this book, and I love the cat with the silly cute face. I do hope he stays.

Edrian Thomidis said...

Thanks for the insight. It is nice to get a glimpse of the 'dance' between the author, editor and artist to achieve a perfect balance. Thanks for sharing.

Edrian | View my blog

Mighty Kwan said...

Thanks so much for sharing this process with us! At this stage of the game (after tights re pretty much approved) how long do you generally have to complete the final colors? If I may ask.

Lynne Chapman said...

Thanks all, glad you like them!

Welcome back Granny G. Yes, the cat is staying now - these are pretty much the final drawings.

M Kwan: I generally allow around 6 weeks to complete the artwork. This book has to be done by end of September LATEST, which would be fine, except I am losing a bit of time for things like hanging my exhibition and various events like Edinburgh Festival.