The book project is moving along, one stitch at a time. Or in this case, one roof tile at a time. When researching the architecture of North Africa, I was struck by the juxtaposition of white and tan buildings topped off with bright red or terracotta roof tiles. So that combination became the dominant color palette of this illustration.
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 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 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.
Since I didn’t have any red beads to make the roof with, I stained some white and brown clay disk beads with red magic marker. Some came out bright red and others had a more earthy tone. I’ve had these beads for a long time and it felt good to finally use them. Don’t worry, the red on my fingertip isn’t blood, but magic marker ink!
The holes in the center of the beads make it easy to sew them in place. I used a range of subtle shades of beige and tan felt for the buildings.
For a decorative scalloped edge, I added thread-covered wire to this strip of rooftop.
Then sewed on the overlapping red bead tiles.
After the roof was sewn in place, I added a decorative bead under the top eaves and stitched a bead curtain in the doorway.
and a shuttered window in blue, for color contrast with the red and white.
This house is made from a loosely woven, nubby fabric that I thought matched the texture of white washed masonry walls. To be continued… See Part 2 here.
Please stay tuned for future posts, as I have lots more to show about making this illustration. To keep up with new posts, subscribe to this blog (top right column on the home page). Your contact info will not be sold or shared. If you’d like to see more frequent photos tracking the projects in my studio, please follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram.