Here we are… President Obama’s last day as president. It does feel momentous.
I am writing here today to share page 3 of the book I am illustrating. If I seem cryptic about the book, it is because it is mostly top secret. So far, we have Baby, Momma, and Pop. I will be starting Tía soon.
I relaxed slightly while painting Pop. I am about as nervous as if I was creating a commissioned painting now.
Pop is watching a New Orleans Pelicans game. I wanted to give him cigarettes or a beer, but this is a children’s book.
Framed on the wall is Gator Girl’s painting of Swamp Girl. Swamp Girl is also the first page in the book Maggie Pokorn and I are co-writing.
Next to Swamp Girl are Silent Chimes, by the local artist Kat Ryalls. I received, by request, Silent Chimes for Christmas. They look amazing on my bedroom wall. I don’t do them justice here.
This house looks so much like my house.
Stay tuned. There are 19 pages. Pretty soon I imagine my non-painting life will slow down enough to paint maybe 3 pages a month.
This is new for me. My next 16 paintings are planned. I am illustrating a children’s book. Even though I get a lot of leeway from the author, it is still different from painting whatever for however long it takes me. There are definitely pros and cons to this gig.
Somethings are just different. The easiest thing for me to paint is a woman’s face or an animal’s face. I have avoided painting babies. Babies and toddlers have really different proportions from adults. Their features are on the bottom half of their face and their pupils are very large. Their bodies are pretty square. Fingers are squat. I watched other people draw babies on youtube. I downloaded baby proportion charts.
I usually don’t paint a lot in the background, so I also watched many videos on perspective. I watched them over and over as I am a slow learner. Slow and determined.
I feel like my style lends itself to children’s books. I think I will be happy if this leads to career.
This is page one. I am going to paint something on each page to represent New Orleans. Sometimes it will be obvious to everyone and sometimes it will probably only be obvious to locals and people who visit often. I will always point it out to you.
Maggie showed me what a toddler would draw. It is the picture taped to the wall in the background.
I want to tell you how long I painted this page. I am pretty sure it was a month. I repainted parts of it every day. I started completely over after about two weeks. After a while when people called me, they didn’t even have to ask what I was doing. Then one day, when asked if I was painting the baby today, I said, “No, I am painting the mama.” 🙂
Next up… the mama.
With gratitude for anyone who wants to take this literary adventure with me,