Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tomie de Paola award entry, update and previously hidden sketch revealed!

Oh, the intrigue! The drama!
I have completed my piece for the T. de P. award.... well, in any case, I'm done with it. I had been considering the possibility of re-doing it completely with a different colour scheme, about doing it again in a different style... but in the end, I wound up fussing with it so much, I couldn't tell whether it was good, trite, dull, a mess, abysmal, an insult, what have you... but I really wanted to move on to something else. I went to the SCBWI site to check out the entry process...reread the passage selected...and realized, to my horror, that, although I HAD read the passage, I had rather inconvienently forgotten one of the few indications of any kind of specific colours to be used in the composition. I had made her scarf blue, when it was specifically noted in the passage that it was red. I had made one of her dresses red. And so, work continued... and I have learned a valuable lesson. Do not trust that you 'know what it says'...even if it IS something that you have read more than once or twice...print it out. Sigh. Repainting over gouache is not the best thing...but think that this colour scheme is perhaps better than the original- it's not actually much different, although the blue of her dress is brighter than the original blue of her scarf; I like it more.
And so... for your amusement-
First, a cropped scan of the pencil drawing. (As you will see, I am still not sure where to 'cut' this piece)- looking at this crop again, maybe this would be the best? Hm...

And first the WHOLE page, and then a few different crops of the final painted piece (original colour scheme) (sorry, didn't make any scans in the interim!):

...and now, after the colour adjustment:

That last one is the closest to the cropped version in pencil above...I'm definitely leaning towards it or the second-last one; definitely not the full page. I like the increase in verticality in the last crop (I've always been partial to the tall and thin picture- one of my Asian influences, I suppose) and the minimization of the adult figure. In all of the versions, the perspective is somewhat unusual (you don't usually see a cut-off figure) and I think/hope that it emphasizes the child's perspective- and also the arbitrariness of her experience (led by invisible adult forces who knows where). As I've said though, I've lost all perspective/objectivity when it comes to this one...what do you think? (Here I am talking to actual readers, not the internet robots who spam me mercilessly with pseudo-information about any number of drugs that I could buy online!).
I have been thinking about- and the next post will feature some experimentation along these lines- doing some work in a slightly different style; a style more like the way that I sketch (what my first-year university prof Tony Doctor referred to as my 'El Greco' style).
More to come!


  1. Hey Amanda
    I entered this comp too, and I really wanted to see what other illustrators did. I googled and you came up, among others! I love your colours and decorative style, and feel your painting suits the book's tone and age group. I had a similar idea of showing Dete (the aunt) half out of the frame, but in the end I left her out altogether and I went for black and white. Good luck! I hope they put all the entries up on the web somewhere, it would be great to see them all together.

  2. Hi Gay,

    Thanks for the comment! I looked at your entry, too, and I really like your approach- it shows more of the landscape. I like the black and white 'ink painting' look too...it makes me think of various interior book illustrations that I liked when I was a child. (I hope that they show all of the entries at some point too!)