Today begins a new step in the Sketch Phase. I've been reading through the story outloud over and over for the last couple of weeks....not making any drawings about it yet. Now it is time for me to try and enter the story visually.
Children's book illustrators do books differently according to the way they work and how they feel most comfortable and have the best results. For me, I usually try to envision the whole area or place where the story happens.
In this story about Tiny's birthday, it happens in the boy's house and partly in the backyard. That's it!
So I let myself make a floor plan drawing in my mind where the story moves around...room to room and out to the backyard. I have to show a kitchen (because a cake is being made in the story) and a big room where the "surprise" party will happen for Tiny at the end.
I begin to put down what that might look like in the top left corner and in the middle of the visual below. If you don't know what a "floor plan" is, ask your parents.
Since the story happens in this one place, I need to know it really well in my mind....be able to draw the rooms and what you would see in the rooms (the same way you know your bedroom well enough that you could describe it to someone else that had never been there before).
I might even make a little cardboard model of the rooms so that this place feels more real to me as I'm planning my spreads.
The more real I can make this for myself, the better the pictures will be for the story.
(click on the picture below if you want to see it bigger)
At the bottom left, I also drew Tiny sitting at the back door looking in as if you are standing behind him watching. He's got his big paw up tapping on the door....he's wanting to come in because he knows the boy is doing something special in the house and his curiosity is eating him up!
The rest of the things on the page have numbers large and dark with my scribbly writting underneath the numbers. The numbers are the page numbers of the book. I'm not trying to be neat with this picture....I'm just putting down ideas as fast as I can as I visualize what that spread in the book might look like.
Here's an example: ( this is written in the middle but over to the right)
front door open-
animals coming in
with gifts while
banner is going
up in background
(farm animals from
other book story?)
What I was saying is, on pages 26 and 27, I could see the front door of the house open and different kinds of animals are coming in with gifts for Tiny while the boy is inside the room putting up a banner (that says, "Happy Birthday, Tiny!) with the help of a couple of other animals.
In parenthesis I noted something to myself about what animals these could possibly be.
In another book about Tiny on the Farm, the last page of the book shows other animals that like Tiny....I'm thinking these might be fun to use for this book since I've already created them and they have fun personalities. It also would be a good tie-in with another book giving continuity between the books and make the characters more endearing. Can't you picture them with presents and party hats looking really secretive and excited?!
Here is the picture I am referring to:
Next post, I will be showing you a clay figure I made of Tiny and how this can help me with the making of this book...