New Book nears completion.

A new job nears completion.  This one is a sequel to a previously published book called – Miss Brooks Book Nook, or Story Nook, or whatever wins in the end. It was written by Barbara Bottner and will be published by the very patient Knopf/Random House. This is the entire book in black and white, just before painting the color. I do all the pencil line first. I use a light table to draw from the well worked over sketches shown the publisher. The drawings are all clipped up on the wall because I can’t afford a bigger place that has room to lay everything out flat. And I need to see them all at once, and in order, as I’ll be painting a single color, say a shirt, all the same colro at once so it is consistant throughout the book. As I watercolor paint the illustrations I have to make sure they are dry enough to put back up…


I actually dread the color process. I like it well enough when I’m into it but it’s not my favorite part. The drawing is the acting, the performance, the color is the costumes and production design. I’m more performer than decorator…I draw duplicates of some images as I’m never satisfied. Some days are better than others. Some hours are better than others.


Sometimes I can’t draw, sometimes I can. Sometimes you can figure out how to put yourself in the right place to draw well, sometimes you need to go for a pint…Sometimes, I redraw and just tape a new drawing over the old one…Sometimes I have to redraw because the character has the wrong coat on…Miss-Brooks-studio-6Two illustrations from two other books…overlapping the one I’m finishing. It’s updated images for two previous books – It’s So Amazing, and It’s Perfectly Normal. They are going into their 15th and 20th anniversary editions…
Miss-Brooks-studio-5Here I am after actually ‘cutting and pasting’ a new matching outfit on a character, as in cutting paper with a knife and taping it into place… Old school. Lead pencils, rubber erasers, stainless steel blades, paper made from a cotton plants. This ain’t digital, kids.

Kevin Carty Fitzpatrick - October 17, 2013 - 8:55 pm

Great drawings, hard work but great to get the children to read.Well done.

Julie - October 22, 2013 - 2:52 pm

So glad to know it when other artists feel the same about ‘off’ days, and the parts of the process they enjoy most. It seems you are happy all the time – that’s the magic you conjure! Thanks for sharing