Monday, July 21, 2014

Beginning, Middle, End, Beginning...

Beginning, middle, end. The parts of a story. 
I like to think that the story of illustrating a picture book has a beginning, a middle, an end, and then another beginning?

I've just sent Charlesbridge Publishing the final artwork for "The Inventor's Secret". A longer than average picture book by author Suzanne Slade.  It's a lovely non-fiction story about the friendship between two amazing inventors, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford.
I packed up the final artwork, a year and one month from accepting the project. I took some pictures along the way of the process. Care to take a stroll?

There is lots and lots of research to do on both ends of the book. The author finds the story, seeks out the facts, and the illustrator needs to show them to the reader. And that opens up its own can of worms.

My studio sprouts piles, like the weeds growing in my untended garden.

I looked to my own collections for inspiration. Old tintypes and antique photos...

Gears and old watch parts (Thanks, Stacia!).

And I even took a field trip--- to a car museum. 

Don't I look happy to be there? This is my first ever car museum selfie!

 the middle... 
sketches approved, 
beginning to paint... 
picking palettes.

The piles turn into landslides and messes.

And at the end...
There is a pile of watercolor paper with paintings on them. 
It's a big pile, a very big pile.
And the artwork is--- 
The End?

Nope-- In several months (Fall 2015), I'll get to post "The Inventor's Secret's" new beginning---

as a picture book!


  1. Yay!!!! Oh's so lovely to see your creative process and glad to know that I'm not the only one surrounded by piles and heaps that slide and morph into an utter mess!!
    Thinking of you often xxxxx

  2. Love to see the details of "real" life going on all around you, lapping at your board, while you create this beautiful book page by page! Piles like weeds- perfect!