Tuesday, 27 October 2015
My Very First Sketches for a New Picture Book
Do you remember absolutely ages ago, I was telling you about how Julia Jarman and I often talk through her ideas for new picture book texts? Well, the text I was talking about was successful: it got contracted by the publisher, so we are off! The huge delay is entirely my fault, because I have had too much work on until now with my Sketching People book and my Craftsy workshop to be able to start the work.
It's called Class One Farmyard Fun and is a sequel to Class Two at the Zoo and Class Three all at Sea - both big favourites of mine and really good fun to illustrate, because of all the crazy things that happen on their ill-fated school trips out and about.
I'm really enjoying getting stuck into this new one. I started with characterisation, as always. All this series feature an entire class, so my first job was playing around, designing lots of different kids:
It's important that they are all different and suggest different personalities, like any real class of five year olds. They'll evolve a little I'm sure, as I draw, but I was very pleased with my first efforts.
I went on to have a think about the teacher. It's a woman again. This was my initial sketch sheet, trying things out. I've gone for the person on the far right:
I wanted to make her kind (she's always a touch incompetent in the stories, but never a nasty teacher). The teachers in primary schools are usually pretty young too. It was important to make her different to the other two class teachers, in Class Two and Class Three though:
I am now waiting for the designer at Hodder to send me a set of page layouts. They will chop Julia's story up into spreads and set the font size and style, so I know how much text I need to work around on each page. In the meantime, I am itching to get going, so have played around with one or two scenareos from the story. This introduces the bull, who is going to be the source of all the trouble!
Julia came to visit us last week, which was lovely. She was doing an event in a Sheffield school, so she came to stop at our house the night before. She was of course desperately curious to see what I had been up to. Luckily, she loved the drawings - phew!