Saturday, 14 November 2015

Class One, Farmyard Fun: Mapping the Farm

In between my residency sketching days, I have been working on the roughs for Class One Farmyard Fun, my new picture book. It's another one by the lovely Julia Jarman, our 6th collaboration. It is full of all the usual fun and mayhem which Julia writes so well.

The action involves an escaped bull who moves around the farm, chasing various children and tossing then into the air. I tried to make a start, but was having trouble getting my head around the 'geography' of the story. I realised that I needed to create a map of the farm, so I could establish the layout and know which animals were where (ignore the 'flying' truck on the map by the way - that's me drawing a bit of reference off Google Images): 

The map was instantly a great help. As I'm working my way through the drawings though, I am occasionally having to go back and make changes to the farm's layout, so that certain things will fall alongside others which are juxtaposed in the text. 

For instance, I originally sited the whiffy muck-heap to the left of the bull, under the trees by the lake. The sheep had to be nearby, because Julia's text mentions them both on the same page:

They saw a lot of woolly sheep
And a cock on top of a whiffy muck-heap.
But they didn't see...

But this bit of text comes immediately after a page about the bull, so the two bits of the rhyme are on either side of a single spread. This is the first bit, about the bull:

...the bull in a strop.
They didn't see the big bull frown
Watching Class One walking round
Some of them wearing red
Which makes bulls cross - or so it's said.

I started off drawing this spread as two single pages, but there was such a lot of text to work around on the bull page, I couldn't get it to work. 

So I combined the two sets of drawings and turned it into a spread instead. Which meant going back to my map and moving the muck-heap and the field of sheep over to the right of the bull. Unfortunately, this change had a knock-on effect on an earlier page, but at least I had got things to work at last.

This is not the finished rough. It's early days. I get better as I go along, so often come back and re-draw the earlier spreads.


Julia Jarman said...

Gosh. What a lot of thinking and re-jigging you have to do to bring my words to life. This makes my job sound easy. I'm in awe!

Lynne the Pencil said...

Ha ha - I know you are no stranger to re-jigging at your end of the process Julia :-D Glad you are liking how it's looking though!