Thursday, 13 May 2010

Evolution of an Illustration

I've been trying to finish off the initial sketches for my book project (yes, still). Nearly done.

Although I don't want to reveal too much until I've shown it to publishers, I thought I could get away with showing you this one page, because it's a perfect example of how an illustration can change and evolve, a drawing at a time, getting more focused and more suitable with each draft.

This project is aimed younger than my usual picture books, so I have been working hard at softening the characters, while trying not to lose the fun and the slightly anarchic edge that makes them me.

I loved the first drawing of the dog, but I'm not sure he's cute enough for a younger audience, even with this flying puppy addition. I've decided all the characters should be baby animals too, so he had to go. Plus a skateboard is more a teenager thing.

A bunny worked better, but I decided even a bike was more relevant to slightly older children. I put him on a scooter instead:

The hedgehog wasn't quite right though: not as funny as the flying puppy and too similar in size to Bunny, creating a heavy composition. Then I found that I wanted to use a hedgehog elsewhere anyway (I want each page to feature a different creature).

So, I needed a new animal to go with Bunny, but I was struggling: I'd used all the obvious ones already. Then John (jokingly I think) suggested a slug. Mmmm....

I think this works much better. I can get away with a skateboard as a secondary element I think, and the slug is funnier again. Not sure now if I prefer the fluffier bunny head though...


Unknown said...

I love the slug on skateboard! It reminds me the slugs in the film "flushed away". They are funnier than the classic snail with "house"!

Kristi Valiant said...

Lovin' the slug on the skateboard!

Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

It's perfect Lynne! The bunny does work so well with little ones. It's rounder and naturally cuter. And the slug not being able to move fast makes total sense in his skateboard.....weeeeeeee..! Hehe. :o)

I also loved the worm! Maybe you can incorporate her somewhere else? I think kids love details, the littlest the better. She can be peaking from the funniest places. :o)

This is a great post Lynne.

Lisa Graves said...

Brilliant!!! Love the slug!
(I'd like to think I'd be a member of the slug club)

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

HA! That slug seems to have so many adventures to share!!!

Jon Davis said...

Thanks ever so much for posting your workings and thought process and reasoning, it's really interesting, and useful.
I really like the dog at the start, too, but if he's not right for the project he's got to go. Very good lesson there. (and I suppose you can file him away for use on something else)