Monday, June 10, 2013

Slow and Steady...

Today I get to show you what I've been working on for the past few months...
My COSCBWI Postcard!
If you've been following my posts on the monthly COSCBWI Illustrator Meetings, then you'll remember that members are currently involved in a project to create illustrator postcards.  (You can find the posts herehere, and here.)  We went through research, sketch, and critique stages to create a final illustration that fit the theme of "Favorite Fables, Fairy Tales, and Nursery Rhymes."  After much thought, planning, and painting, here is my final piece!
As you can see, I chose Aesop's fable, "The Tortoise and the Hare," for my subject.  But you may notice it's very different from the concept sketch I posted in April
And oddly, it's not even the story I was planning on illustrating!  (The cow jumping over the moon was actually my favorite sketch!)
So how did I end up with my final illustration? 
Critique feedback from the other COSCBWI illustrators encouraged me to pursue "The Tortoise and the Hare" sketch based on the movement, expressions, and use of background.  The cow sketch was also encouraged, based on the expression and humor.  This resulted in much fence-sitting on my part for both sketches!  
Shortly after the group critique, I went to the SCBWI Wild Wild Midwest Conference.  While there, I attended the AWESOME "Illustration First Look" session where industry professionals discussed what they look for in art samples.  Some of their most important criteria included expression, movement, uniqueness, and whether the illustration told a story. (And boy did they emphasize the storytelling aspect!)
This made me take a closer look at my sketches and ideas.  Thinking back to my COSCBWI feedback, it was clear "The Tortoise and the Hare" displayed the most elements from that list.  But while the sketch had movement and expression, it wasn't very unique and didn't tell much of a story.  I knew I could do better, so I went back to the drawing board!
And so, I endeavored to put my own spin on the classic fable.  I choose to illustrate the end of the story, leaving the middle part to the viewer's imagination.  Whereas in the true fable, the hare gets over-confident and naps (thus losing the race to the tortoise), this bunny clearly had a bit of an accident due to his recklessness.  (And probably involving a cactus!)  Instead of using his advantage to win the race, this tortoise stops to help the hare.  The grateful hare cheers his new friend on as the tortoise carries them across the finish line together, thus giving my piece the title of "Victory."
This piece was soooooo much fun to create and a great learning experience.  (And it gave me the chance to practice painting my least favorite object: rocks!)   Above all, this project made me really think about what elements go into a true illustration, and how to tell a story with just an image.  I hope I accomplished that with this piece.  I still haven't decided if I'll turn it into a physical postcard to send to agents and publishing houses, but it feels good to have another piece for my portfolio!   
And now you know what's been keeping me busy the past few weeks!  Time to move on to my next illustration project...  (And yes, I may just finish up that little cow piece in the future, too!)
Note: All art pieces in this post are (c) me, Kathryn Powers.  Please do not use them without my permission.  Thank you!

No comments:

Post a Comment