Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Edward & Me

Last year, the Oregon Children's Theatre (creators of the excellent stage version of The Storm in the Barn) contacted me about doing an illustration to promote their production of Ramona Quimby. This year, I was asked to take a crack at an image for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Kate DiCamillo.

I really enjoy these theater poster commissions. It gives me a chance to delve into a great book and try to boil the essence down to a single image. It is similar to designing a cover, but without the various input and compromises that sometimes go with that territory.

I was asked to try a few sketches with the hobo and Edward:

Those weren't dramatic enough so I turned to the sequence in the book when Edward is fished out of the ocean.

This seemed like the direction to take it. I pulled back to give more of a sense of the net and the lonely sea.

To avoid being too bleak, a bit of sunlight filters in from the top left.

The final was drawn in pencil and then digitally colored which was both faster (I was in the middle of painting Snow White and didn't have a ton of time) and also well-suited for the murky depths of the ocean.

The show goes up next season in lovely Portland, Oregon. Check it out if you can!