Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Illustrating a Picture Book: First Day at School

I've been working away on the drawings for my new book, although it's been a slightly fragmented week, what with the Bank Holiday and then a few other commitments. Still, things feel like they are going well and I am in a positive frame of mind, which is great.

Last week I drew the spread that introduces the idea of Sparky at school. He has just arrived and is having a great time. When I looked at it again this morning, I found it needed quite a bit of tinkering, but I'm now happy with it for now (although there is so much in it, I still keep seeing little things and thinking 'Mmm, I should just change that...'): 

I want the same selection of children to reappear in the various school illustrations, to make it feel like Lucy's form group, so I've been careful to re-use some of the children from the reading, music and lunch illustrations I did earlier.

In my original little sketch of this scene, the teacher looked way too mean. I know from all my visits to primary schools that the teachers are all lovely! So I redesigned her entirely, to try and make her look a little flustered and a bit cross, but still cuddly.

If you look closely at the sketch, you can see I was also playing with the idea of having multiple Sparkys within the same image, to get across the idea of him jumping round the room, crazy-quick. Although it's a fun idea, I decided against in the end, as this is already a pretty busy spread. I'll see what my art director at Gullane thinks when I'm all done. 

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