Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thesis Development Update #2

Hi all!

I am working on my thesis this summer, which is developing, writing, and illustrating my own children's book. I am posting the illustrations on my blog so that visitors, family, and other artists/friends can post anonymous (or not anonymous) comments on the illustrations.

The book is about artists Todd Ramquist and Kiaralinda, who I wrote about here.

As some of you may know, people tend to be picky about their own work/craftsmanship. I am one of those people. I am curious to see if my own criticisms of the work are evident to others. So please, be brutally honest and let the anonymity of the internet shield your identity.


The photos don't do this piece justice. The watercolors behind the bowling ball are transparent and the gray swirls have white highlights in them. I am thinking about adding more detail to the windows- making colorful triangles go around the frame (the house looks like that in person).

The inside title of the book (when you open the book and turn the page, this will be across from the copyright/dedication page) will be on the right side of the book.

Preliminary sketch for the Whimzey "Coat of Arms"

The cover of the book, still in progress (see sketch below)
I am unsure about the text that I want to use for "Third Street". I am also thinking about lightly sketching a postmark near the stamp that says "Metz, France" since this is where I am writing/illustrating the book.

Preliminary sketch for the book cover

Inside cover, Left (the sometimes illustrated/patterned pages when you first open a book)

These cover patterns were inspired by Otami textile designs. The Otami Indians passed their embroidery tradition down generation by generation. It is a respectful nod towards the idea of craft, craftsmanship, and folk culture. My adaptation displays things I associate with Florida and the Whimzey Twinz: Manatees, birds, mermaids, fish, bowling balls, paint palettes, flowers...

Inside cover, Right (the sometimes illustrated/patterned pages when you first open a book)
The two inside covers side by side, this is what they will look like together when the book is opened.

The preliminary sketches of the inside covers

The preliminary sketch of the first page (see this post for the actual piece)

Some of the borders will be clipped since these paintings are on paper that is larger than the final size. If the text looks too crammed in the second image, it is because it fits within the parameters of the book.

My inspiration for the book illustrations are here, if you'd like to take a peek.

Please leave a comment and let me know how I might improve these images! Thank you in advance!


  1. Anonymous20.6.12

    I absolutely love the first set of illustrated pages. The color and way the design pops when the book is fully opened is fantastic. My only suggestion is the font under the main character sketches. It is a bit difficult to read. I imagine a young child might really struggle with it. Other than that it is fantastic!

  2. I have looked at your pieces and also your inspirations and I feel like your stuff is "almost there." You have a lot of awesome stuff happening, just turn up the volume!

    Your illustrations have really wonderful qualities that draw upon your inspiration yet add your own signature. I think that you need to push them just a bit further. A critique I have heard myself over and over again is "lighter lights and darker darks."

    Specifically the portrait of the two artists needs more contrast. I think an easy and effective way would be to intensify the yellow around the artists. Go in with a darker yellow/very light orange wash creating an ombre or halo. I mean, it already looks like an alter so it would be fitting. :)

    Also, the grey on the crest (which i think is water/smoke that doubles as the "metal" on a crest) needs much more detail. I think that if there were elements in some of the illustrations that were super developed it would create a really nice dichotomy, while still maintaining you initial ideas.

    The one that I think is "there", however, is the portrait of the house.

    All this being said, these are yet the opinions of just one woman.