Bees and Exploding Trees

PopcornLadybug

It’s been a sweltering summer of mishaps...with no end in sight.  In July alone we’ve had record breaking heat and rain, a tornado touch down, a nearby tree explode by lightning, a neighbor who discovered 80 beehives in the walls of her house, power outages, a flood...and I’m waiting on the locusts and frogs...

Above is a full page illustration I created for this month’s Ladybug issue.  The art director  wanted animals to convey “hot” in this poem so I chose these arctic looneys vacationing in the tropics.  Here’s a close-up detail on the fox...

Fox1

Still wringing out from the flood, but the air conditioning is working and so am I, on character sketches and a layout design for a new picture book due out in March 2012. It’s by the same author and publisher of my last  book, Dance Y’all Dance...Kelly Bennett and Bright  Sky Press.  

I love the beginning stages of a picture book. It’s like making a movie!  I’ve got the screenplay and am in the middle of a casting call, sketching forth all sorts of characters to bring the author’s words to life.  Some don’t make the cut. Others do, but have to be tweaked...and still others are fully formed the moment they hit the page.  These character kids, fourteen of them,  will live with me, shaking me in twilight dreams, directing me as much as I direct them when I consider expressions and body language, pacing, camera angles, mood and lighting, and visual story arc.

I mentioned designing a mural in the last blog.  If you have a facebook page and want to see the results, here is a link to the album.   Friend me, if we aren’t  friends already...  :o) 

mural album