Monday, August 25, 2008

Illustration Friday - Routine

OK this is the first Illustration Friday post with an illo from the lift the flap book I mentioned earlier. I have more on the story of this book in this post. This is from the page about sheep shearing and I figured it matched the theme because of the ranch hands have a routine when they clip a sheep. The first illustration is the main or background illustration, the next illo is the flap. This flap splits in two - imagine a midpoint down the leg of the ranch hand in the red shirt, the left side is the back of the flap, the right side is the front of the flap and is "closed" or what is seen when the reader turns to this page.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Christian the Lion

Tonight I was fiddling around on line reading some other blogs when I came across this on my friend Sherry's blog. Here's the story as I picked it up from her blog; this is quite a story and the video is a real tear jerker. I just thought it was cool so I decided to post it.
In 1969, two friends, John Rendall and Ace Berg, purchased a lion. At the time, Christian the lion was a 35-pound cub. He had been born in a zoo. The friends raised Christian in their London home. All three hung out in a friend’s furniture shop on the weekends.

Within a year, Christian had grown to 185 lbs. Rendall and Berg realized they couldn’t keep him much longer. But they didn’t know what to do with him. A chance encounter changed that. Two actors from the film Born Free walked into the furniture store.

The actors recommended a conservationist, George Adamson, living in Kenya. Christian was soon in Africa. There he was rehabilitated and released into the wild.

In 1974, Rendall and Berg decided to visit Christian one last time. He was now a wild animal. Adamson told them it was doubtful that Christian could be found. No one had seen him in nine months.

The two flew to Kenya, anyway. On the day they landed, Christian appeared outside Adamson’s camp. Somehow, he knew. He waited outside the camp until Rendall and Berg arrived.

This video was taken during their reunion with Christian. What a story! What a video!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Winding Down Summer Projects and Flip Book Mania

Tonight I came out of the bedroom after putting Small Fry to sleep and I thought I really need to update my blog tonight... but sigh.... i have to be honest and say I just did not feel any real inspiration to write. But sometimes you have to shove the blahs aside and fake it so that one does not disappear into the ether in cyber space. One of the reasons I have not felt a whole lot of inspiration is because I am just slammed with work right now. It happens every summer so I'm not complaining (what with my habit of needing to eat) but I'm finally in the home stretch of the projects I'm working on. One of the projects I did this year was a lift-the-flap book. I think I mentioned this in an earlier post. I've never done a flip book before and I have to say this thing was excruciating. It was quite a challenge to get each side of the flap lined up with the underlying illustration. At one point Jim Dear pointed that he knew I was spinning my wheels with it because I was "looking in the mirror and sighing a lot" (I have a mirror over my drawing table that lets me see work at a distance without having to get back away from it). I told him that doing with was like having to paint the illustrations 3 times, but exactly the same each time!

Anyway I'll post a few pieces from it here. Unfortunately I don't have a cool way to show how the flap works so these are just the underlying illustrations that make up the main page.

These are the main characters in the book. Its a story about twins, Jack and Tracy, that live on a sheep ranch in Australia.

This was about how Tracy like to play with the baby lambs. It was quite interesting trying to match up my hay texture.

On top of the flaps this book presented two new challenges: drawing sheep being sheared and a weaving loom. I had to do quite a bit of research to see what goes into both processes. This is from the sheep shearing page, the ranch hands are cleaning up afterwards.

The last page, I was just kind of proud of this lighting effect.

Later this month I have to do give a talk to a women's group about "what I do" so I think I may take these illos and the sketches for them to show as this project was definitely different than the usual stuff I work on day in and day out.