BEHIND THE SCENES OF MARVELOUS MABEL! Day three! With every picture book that I have the honor of illustrating, there is at least one illustration that makes me think to myself, “when I am finished with this illustration, I will retire.” Today I wanted to talk about the most difficult illustration for me to draw in the book.
Before I start ranting, you might not be familiar with the picture book/illustration term “spread.” A spread (or double page spread or two page spread) is a single illustration that spans the two opened pages in a picture book. Just letting y’all know.
The most difficult illustration for me was the spread where Mabel watches people ice skating in Central Park. I really don’t know exactly what it was, but I think it was the combination of the amount of people, the park itself, the skyscrapers in the background, and the perspective that made me feel stuck.
Aside from drawing it piece by piece, the main thing that got me unstuck was the fact that even though we’re separate from Mabel, we’re seeing everything from Mabel’s point of view. That plus a bunch of vintage reference pictures of people ice skating helped me find the eye level, and that helped me figure out where to put the skaters, the trees and the skyscrapers in relation to Mabel.
It took some time to figure out everyone’s outfits, even though I must admit, I love dressing people within a picture book. Also, I illustrated the background as if it was during the peak of the fall season, but I think it was Jessica who sent me a note that made all the sense in the world. She mentioned the idea of the book feeling like it was within a winter wonderland, and the colors I was using were more on the warm side. That was my mind-blowing moment. It made me understand how I was supposed to appropriately revise the final art. (Thanks Jessica!)
So, at Dave and Jessica’s suggestion, I made it wintery, I made everyone look winter cozy, and I removed the railing because that was too modern. I’m really happy with the illustration and I’m happy to say I’m not retiring any time soon!
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A place for my personal art, thoughts and musings!