Friday 15 June 2012

Illustrating a Children's Book: a Dog Dancing on the Endpapers!

I promised to show you how I used the endpapers to finish off my story's narrative with a little visual joke.

In an original draft, I had the last spread taking place in the bathroom instead of the back garden, with Lucy enjoying the bubble bath that Sparky has narrowly avoided. I was going to draw Sparky sitting beside the bath reading Ballet for Dogs: a Ruff Guide (sorry). But they don't get near the bath any more: the action all stays downstairs.

So I thought I would end with Sparky, clearly delusional, thinking he was actually good at ballet, then show him and Lucy cavorting in their ballet gear on the endpapers. I originally envisaged him being dreadful, as he was in class, but then it occurred to me that it might be funnier if he did indeed manage to get good!

John sourced me lots of photos of ballet dancing couples, using Google Images, from which I did these very quick sketches, just to capture the basic poses:

Then I drew Lucy and Sparky in the same positions. It was a bit tricky here and there, since their body-shapes were very different from your average dancer, and a couple of them didn't work as well as the others, but it came together surprisingly quickly:

Luckily, the publisher tells me I can have full-colour endpapers, which is a nice luxury, so we can make the most of the little illustrations. I'm not 100% sure how we will use them, but my first thought was that a spot-repeat might be funny and decorative:

As I mentioned last time, all the roughs went off to Gullane on Tuesday night, so now I have the nail-biting wait, to see if they like what I've done and how many changes need to be made before I can make a start on the coloured artwork. I'll let you know how I get on.


Irene said...

I LOVE the duet!Really funny!

Alena said...

Awesome :)

Anonymous said...

Loooove the duets, too. Good luck - though I think you don't need it

Jennifer McLean said...

spectacular, just really great!

ella said...

ahhh those end papers are such a lovely touch! You're compositions are so inspiring!