In between animating scenes for Liberty and Justice, I’ve been working on a new picture book that explores varied cultures from around the world. The deadline for handing over the finishes is a year from now, so there isn’t a minute to spare! The story about where children sleep around the world is written by Rebecca Bond and will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2020. Here are links to posts about other illustrations for the book: South America, Japan, North Africa, North America, Holland, Iran and Afghanistan. To see a list of all my books, click here.
Months ago, when I starting working on the book, I made a whole collection of children’s heads that would be used in different scenes. There’s something intimate about painting faces and stitching hair that helps connect with the characters. Getting to know the children is the first step in committing to a couple of years of work creating the environments they live in.
This illustration, set in India, uses the boy on the top right of the pile.
To create characteristically Indian architectural detail, I used beads that have been in my stash for decades, waiting for the right opportunity to show their stuff.
I loved researching Indian houses, so full of luscious colors. It felt wonderful to indulge my love of patterns, after exercising restraint in the Japanese scene.
The boy slept on my work table until his bedroom was available.
I built a 3/4″ deep box that will be inset, so the viewer can look inside the window and see the boy sleeping.
The hanging decorations were made to scale.
There is so much to share from this scene, that I’ve divided it into 3 parts, with many more photos coming in the future. See part 2 here.
I am happy to announce that the Cahoon Museum in Cotuit, Massachusetts will host the premiere exhibit of original illustrations for the book. The exhibit will be coordinated with the book’s publication in the fall of 2020. Like with Pocketful of Posies, I am scheduling a touring exhibit, so that more people can see the “real thing”, which is a totally different experience than seeing reproductions on the printed page. Interested museums and art centers are welcome to contact me for information about hosting an exhibit. It would be wonderful to have the original illustrations make their way across the whole country!
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