31 October 2012


"Excuse me... are you an heirloom pumpkin?"

Happy haunted Halloween!  It has been a spooky long time since I have picked up a pen or brush -- been 'a busy with left-brain work.

Recently, I attended a book launch of one of my favourite picture book authors, Jon Klassen.  His new book, This is Not My Hat, followed on the success of the darkly funny, I Want My Hat Back.  In person, Klassen was even funnier.  He talked about process and what worked for him in illustrating and telling a story.  Some insights:  1) Drawings that are not "showing off" work better; 2) Pretend that your characters are B-rate actors in a terrible movie, reading monotone off cue cards -- that is why the bear keeps staring at you with those eyes!
Klassen's first insight reminds me of Elmore Leonard's, 10 Rules for Writing Fiction, summed up by:  "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."

So, the reason for telling you all this is that I decided to make the drawing for Illustration Friday's theme, Haunt, with a Jon Klassen sky.  In another book that he illustrated, House Held Up by Trees, there is a beautiful sky on one of the spreads.  I meant to mimic this sky in my pumpkin drawing.  Here is Klassen's illustration and my work in progress...

WiP - wash on bristol with mask
(Note to self:  Use watercolour paper next time -- argh!)
Pencil and watercolour

To see more of Jon Klassen's work, check out his website:  http://www.burstofbeaden.com/

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this post. I love Klassen's work, and it looks like you have done a great job with emulating the sky. I really like your painting. Simple, and haunting ;)