adventures in dysthymia

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I've been sketching ideas (once again) for illustrations to use in 'The Contrary Fairy.' I'll probably go with my typical pen and ink stuff though, theoretically, a gray-scale drawing or painting might work -- and possibly be easier to pull off.

From the start, I had these little characters pictured in my head. Getting them on paper -- in an interesting set of illustrations -- is another matter. We'll forget for the moment that I originally envisioned them as going quite naked. That isn't going to work for a children's book.

I did know right away that the title Fairy, Marjoram, looks just like Samantha Fox. Okay, maybe not the body but the face. Fairies, after all, if they follow the natural laws of proportion, would have relatively bulbous bodies and spindly limbs, like any other small creature.

You've no doubt seen vintage portrayals of Brownies and they have just that look. Whether I should be 'realistic' enough to do all the fairies like that is a question I'll need to answer.

Speaking of Brownies, the twins Hob and Gob are just such little people. In that they are, well, brown, I decided early on that they should look somewhat African. That also helps make the Fairies, and the book, more 'multi-cultural.' Hey, it can be a selling feature and why shouldn't little African-American readers have Brownies that look sort of like them?

Aside from the aforementioned bulbous bodies, of course!

I did consciously choose to make the little girl protagonist/narrator of 'A Mouse Is In The House' somewhat ethnic, i.e. Latina, in appearance. That may or may not go over the readers' heads but it doesn't hurt any.

The Fairy book is going to be smaller format so the illustrations will have to be suited to that too. Instead of a rather large square, I will probably go with 'Trade' size, 6x9. That's the size of my 'Moon' chapbook and I think it's a good compromise.

Arizona Road by K Page Brooke
Another project I think I want to get onto is photographing (or scanning) my mother's art work. That's one of her paintings I've posted here, in low fidelity form.

I do believe that she was more of a natural artist than I could ever hope to be. Who knows what might have come had she pursued an art career? Aside from a short stint as assistant/office girl with a commercial art studio, she never did. Maybe that experience soured her on it.

Anyway, I'd like to put some of them up online or maybe even in a photo book: 'The Art of K. Page Brooke (that's how she like to sign herself). That's not high on the list of to-dos but it's there.

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