Christmas Cuts

I was reorganizing some drawers today, and took the time to notice all my drafts from A CHRISTMAS GOODNIGHT.

It’s always so interesting to go back and look at the process of such a big project. I had forgotten how much work went into illustrating 28 pages.

Gosh. seriously, I have 2 drawers full of sketches, drafts, final art, etc. that never even made it into the book. Or, rather, served as the rough drafts to what later became the book. The text of the book is so simple, and really lends itself to so many visual options. I was given some narrative guidelines, and then asked to submit rounds of art. And there were many rounds:)

For instance, I knew I wanted the sky to be something magical. But I didn’t know what, or how I was going to achieve that. This is a close up of a gouache painting that I attempted to see how it would look. It was a nice try, but not what the book needed. Close though.

This image, was going to be the opener, and I think I went through at least 8 versions of the opener. Maybe 9. 10? 11?

When I send in drafts, I get them back in print, with notes like this. Here is an image I wanted to use for the dedication page. I ended up tweaking it a bit, and if you’ve seen the picture, you’ll know how.

Anyways, it’s always so interesting for me to look back and relive what I was thinking and feeling during this kind of process.

And speaking of cuts, I stabbed myself pretty bad today. Ever wondered what would happen if you stepped off a stall stool onto a freshly sharpened jar of colored pencils? Well, let’s just say I had a little jousting match in the studio today, and while it left 3 holes in my foot, it was rather funny. Poor Ella, wondering why I was meddling with her little art supplies I keep for her on the floor while I work.

Art is a dangerous business, folks. You’ve got to be pretty crazy to do this stuff. For. Sure.

 

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  • Gina

    I love seeing your process and beautiful artwork. The sky did turn out magical. Hope your foot is feeling better soon! :) who knew art was such a dangerous field!?!

  • Liesel

    Thank you for sharing more about the illustration process! I actually learned a lot. And it is fun to see the beautiful pictures that didn’t make it to the book. I’m in a different stage (pre-submission) but it is fascinating to see behind the scenes of somebody else’s book. Hope your foot feels better soon! ouch!

  • Janet Smart

    Loved this post. It is fascinating to see your process. I write stories for children, but wish I had the skill of the illustrator. You are very talented. I received ‘A Christmas Goodnight’ yesterday. Thank you! Just posted on my blog about it. http://creativewritingintheblackberrypatch.blogspot.com Janet