First post of 2012, and its for a new illustration, just uploaded from the end of the semester. This painting, and another which are now featured in the illustration galleries, are the fruit of the book illustration class that I have recently completed. In the course, we learned about everything that goes into making a children’s book from start to finish. The entire class received the same song, which starts out “There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza.” (Perhaps you’ve seen it on sesame street or know it from when you were little.) Anyway, we all had to take this very open-ended song, and create a story and sub-plot for it.
We did thumbnail after thumbnail, planning out the entire book. We then had to draw the entire book in pencil, and put it together with the words in a binder; this is called a book dummy. From the dummy, each student picked two full page spreads to illustrate. The painting below is one of my illustrations for the book. It is the first page of the book intact, and features Georgie the tortoise, whining to Liza the grasshopper that there is a hole in the bucket. If you know the song you know the story already, but basically, Georgie doesn’t know how to fix the bucket, and Liza try to guide him every step of the way. However they can’t complete a sing task because every instrument involved in fixing the bucket can’t work without the bucket. Sad, really.
I added a sub-plot in my dummy to make the story more interesting, which is this; Liza and Georgie are trying to plant flowers to make their dark and dingy forest more cheerful. They need the bucket, to water the seeds. But there’s a hole in the bucket! Liza instructs Georgie on how to fix it because she’s a grasshopper and can’t fix it herself. Georgie, however is a tortoise, and is therefore very slow, both mentally and physically….. In the process of trying to fix the bucket, they find a magic knife which doesn’t cut the straw, but does make flowers grow. Convenient. Liza and Georgie don’t notice the flowers growing because they are fixated on repairing their bucket, but readers will notice that at the end of the book their forest is filled with flowers! A happy ending.
This painting is quite large, so if you would like to see it up close, you can view it on Flickr, here.
A post for the second painting will be up tomorrow! See you soon.