The current book project on the drawing board is A BED FOR LITTLE CUB. This is the third book in the Old Bear and Little Cub series (OLD BEAR AND HIS CUB; LITTLE CUB). The writing is finished. Right now I’m working on the finished illustrations (17) for the book.
Here is a sneak peek at a couple layouts for the book:
This is the first illustration in the story.
Page 4-5 Old Bear and Little Cub sat by the fire.
Fireplace “Time for bed, Little Cub,” said Old Bear.
The layouts are my guides to doing each finished picture in the book. I often make changes as I work on the finished art. Sometimes it’s a simple addition of an interesting detail. Other times it’s taking something out that simply isn’t necessary.
Here is the original sketch/layout for the first illustration in the story:
This sketch was done quickly in order to capture the moment in the story that I wanted to illustrate. Notice how the fireplace was simplified and the objects better arranged on the mantle. I decided to use a traditional Orkney straw-backed chair (have a miniature chair model that I had bought in 1978 during that first visit to the islands).
This is the sketch for Page 7 in the book. Again, this was an early sketch before I changed the fireplace, Old Bear’s chair, and added books. All these details will be done in the finished artwork. No need to make them here. I know what the changes are and that’s all that matters.
Here is the text that goes with this picture:
Page 6-7 “Tell me a story, please,” said Little Cub.
Fireplace “Just one story,” said Old Bear. “In bed.”
“Two stories,” said Little Cub.
“One story,” said Old Bear.
“One and one-half stories,” said Little Cub.
“ONE story, “ said Old Bear.
“Hmphf!” said Little Cub.
For the Old Bear and Little Cub books the format is straightforward: text is always on the lefthand page and the illustration is always on the righthand page. I have never liked it when text is superimposed into or on top of an illustration. I like to keep the two as separate as possible.
You will notice how in the manuscript I always note the page numbers and give a one or two word description as to what is the key element to be shown in the illustration. It’s how I keep track of interior and exterior scenes, etc.
As the relationship between Old Bear and Little Cub grows I wanted the pictures to show a cozy home life, security, and the caring, loving nature of Old Bear (underneath his gruff exterior). Old Bear firmly believes in routine and structure in his life and in the life of Little Cub.
The illustrations for this book will be finished by the end of August. The book will be published in the Fall 2015.