Monday, October 25, 2010

Butterfly Ladies

Whew! There's far more to butterflies than meets the eye. At left is a photo of wild echanacia growing in the nearby forest preserve, taken earlier this past summer. Even if the final art is stylized or presented in a simplified version, this is where the sketches start - with the real thing.

One of the things Kimberlee and I have been discussing is the question of fact vs fiction. How 'real' should the characters be, and what about their environment, the landscape and background colors, or shifts in season? Seasonal shifts means the backgrounds, colors and plants will be changing as the story progresses. Our target audience will be younger children, so there will be bright colors, interesting details, and characters the readers will enjoy looking at and thinking about.

Ive worked up a detailed pencil and will be setting it to watercolor this week and have been working on faces for the characters. This is the most challenging aspect so far, developing characteristics that will appeal to small readers without looking like cute cartoons. We'd like the art to be somewhat realistic.

The attached link ( ) takes you to the Virtual Museum, a Canadian and Peruvian site geared to children, parents and teachers. Kimberlee and I enjoyed looking through this site and would like to share it with you. There's a section especially for teachers with ideas for games and classroom instruction.

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