Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Illustrating a Picture Book: Composition is Key
I've been working backwards in the story this week. As I discussed previously, I don't work through the roughs chronologically, but take them in the order in which they most interest me, so I 'get into' the book as quickly as possible.
Now I am concentrating more on how the whole 'swapping places' idea is set up. Above is the first spread, where the idea is hatched. I'm really pleased with this one but, though it looks simple, it didn't come together quickly. I had trouble keeping both characters large but also out of the gutter, whilst keeping them close so their relationship was intimate enough. Below you can see all my tiny variations on the composition:
As you can see, I also tried out lots of alarm clock designs too: hard to make it fun without getting fussy. I love the big, curved BBBRRRRIIIIINNNNNNGGGGGGG!!! of the alarm that pulls the whole image together - I do hope Gullane let me keep it that way.
Above is the next spread: where Lucy and Sparky actually swap, and Mum and Dad are fooled. The two little drawings came together very quickly, with just a few preliminary sketches to try positions.
I'm especially pleased with thinking of the idea of the dog getting trapped inside the jumper.
The larger image in the 2nd spread is based very closely on one of the initial sketches I did when I first pitched the idea to my publisher:
Getting that right was again mostly about composition: making changes to relative scales and getting things to fit. I decided that chopping Dad off still worked better than having him in the picture properly. Poor Dad!