This is the second post about the North African illustration for my new children’s book. To see Part 1 in the series, click here. The scene will be included in My Bed, which will be a book about where children sleep around the world, with each spread depicting a different culture and living environment. The story is written by Rebecca Bond and will be published by HoughtonMifflin in 2020. Here are links to posts showing other finished illustrations for the book: South America, Japan, India, Afghanistan, Russia. and Iran. To see a list of all my books, click here.
During the month-long process of working on a scene, I keep needed materials and supplies close at hand, with the actual work space increasingly limited to a little corner of my table. The surface in the foreground of the photo is an ironing board. The color scheme changes from page to page, so I select a new combination of felt and thread for each illustration. All of the stitching is done while holding the pieces in my hands, including this building and roof. There’s more about the roof tiles in Part 1.
This is what my work table looks like most of the time, with piles of cardboard bobbins of embroidery thread, spools of wire, a thimble, scissors, pliers, a wire cutter, a seam ripper, rulers, boxes of beads, etc.
These tiny glass leaf beads have been in my collection for years and I wanted to incorporate them in a vine that climbs up the side of a house. I formed the stems with wire, attaching the leaves as I went and then covered the the wire with embroidery floss.
To make a rooftop planter, I painted a miniature wooden pot to look like terracotta. The stems are thread wrapped wire, with seed beads sewn to the ends.
The pot needed something vertical sticking up in the middle, so I added a triplet of felt leaves.
There’s more to share, so please stay tuned for Part 3 in this series.
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