I think this title may need some explanation….”Smart Dummies”. After dipping my pinky toenail in the vast and rushing waters of children’s illustration, I soon realized that this industry is not one in which you simply put up a website and all will come running or clicking a link to your site! As an aspiring children’s book illustrator/author (not sure about the”author” part yet, but this may prompt me to become one), I know I need a lot of guidance and mentoring. Thankfully, there are many illustrators/publishers/agents that are willing to share their knowledge and experience.
While searching the web, I found a group to join who will all be participating in a competition, or a “challenge”. I’m not one for competition, but I thought I might learn some things about how to create a picture book dummy. A book dummy is the mock-up of the picture book that you hope will someday be published. It is what you might send to a publisher/agent or put on your website to show how you would illustrate a book. I think the goal is to finish a dummy in one month! Yikes! It sounds overwhelming since I’ve never done one before and well, the “challenge” for me will be to focus and work through procrastination, interruptions and doubt.
Today, May 9th is the birthday of J. M. Barrie. He was the creator of the incredible world of Peter Pan and all of his adventures with the Darling family and the Lost Boys. For this little tribute, I’ve drawn the Darling children being startled by the flying boy Peter Pan coming through the window. This was a study in perspective for me, trying to s-t-r-e-t-c-h my drawing skills by drawing and painting shadows, tile floors, doorways, and moving curtains! Oh, and startled children!
As a challenge to myself I’m painting tributes to children’s book illustrators and authors. I’m hoping this will help my build a portfolio, as well as, always give me something to paint and practice, practice, practice. So far, I’ve painted two; one in March and one in April. Bettye MacDonald’s Mrs. Piggle Wiggle: (Ink, and watercolor on Arches cold press). Bettye’s birthday was on March 26th.
and Ludwig Bemelmans’ character, Madeline: ( for this painting I used a Staedtler pencil and watercolor washes on Arches hot press, I really like the effect. ). Ludwig’s birthday is today, April 27th.
I didn’t meet Mrs. Piggle Wiggle until I was a Mom myself, but I do remember reading the Madeline books as a young girl.
Harper Lee’s birthday is on April 28th. To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite books! Not sure if I’ll have time to paint Boo Radley, or maybe I’ll paint a huge ham! 🙂
Next month in March: J.M. Barrie’s birthday is on May 9th, maybe Peter Pan? And, of course, L. Frank Baum’s birthday is May 15th, so maybe Dorothy?
Do you have a favorite children’s book author, character or series?