As you can see from my blog, I have been focusing on my sketchbook a lot lately. I am really trying to develop my style of people and children and animals, and try to convey more emotion in my work. I think really good children's book illustrations are the ones which find a way to adhere you to the characters on an emotional level....maybe it is a scene which jogs a memory from your own childhood, or reminds you of the kids you have now. Or maybe it evokes a memory of a carefree day, a day at the park with your grandparents, your nerves on your first day of school, a childhood crush, winning a spelling bee, or maybe floating on a vacation lake on an innertube on a warm day and looking at shapes in the clouds overhead. This is a sketch I began last night. There is a lot missing, and I want to add more, but wanted to post it before I do. My hope is to fill my sketchbook with lots of these sketches and then work on some finished color illustrations based on some of my sketches.
Sometimes I find that toddlers and infants in my illustrations end up looking like dolls instead of children. Does this look like a person to you, or too much like a doll? I know it is hard to see in this drawing, but the baby is grasping the mother's thumb, as babies like to do. I just don't thnk it reads very well.
I plan on adding an older child to the right side of the composition, and maybe a kitten curled up next to the mother. There is still a lot I want to do and right now I am just doodling and planning.