JOURNAL

Brian Wonders:  The Making of a Children's Book

The Making of a Picture Book: journal entry 22

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"INTO THE DEEP YOU MUST GO, I'M AFRAID"

That's what I feel this woman is saying to Brian, pointing to the deep end of the pool.  She has gone through many transformations but the key elements pulled through -- big glasses and a big hat.  The sketch below shows the initial drawing of the pointy fingered lady.  She used to have a cocktail in hand.   

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In early drawings the woman was looking sort of like an alien fly and I kinda liked the odd vibe.  But then I discovered Carmen Dell'Orefice and I got really inspired by a totally different look.  So I did a search for Carmen + pools and found a bunch of her early photographs in cool swimsuits and swim caps which were all in line with the motifs I had going.  Then ran across the photo below and I thought there's my lady in the hat!  The photo even had the umbrella.

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So I decided change the tone of the illustration to match this new direction -- a drowsy, flowy, languid look... super relaxed... eccentric and regal...  Below is the resulting illustration and value study.

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The pattern on her dress I replicated from the photo.  She's reading up on cruises -- an element that comes up later in the book in the shape of a monster. 

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*click below to watch the TIME LAPSE

by Victor Robert