What big ears you have!

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in illustration

This year, 2015, marks my tenth year in the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It’s been such a great organization and a continual resource for learning, without which, I don’t think I could have ever made the strides I have in the kidlit business.

Among the many annual awards they offer to aspiring and published authors and illustrators is the SCBWI Tomie dePaola Award. I haven’t always participated in it but this year, I decided to give it a go.

The challenge, which differs each year, was to illustrate a passage from Philip Pullman’s version of “Little Red Riding Hood” from FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM (Viking, 2012).

This is the passage I chose:

“Her grandmother lived in the woods, about half an hour’s walk away. When Little Red Riding Hood had only been walking a few minutes, a wolf came up to her. She didn’t know what a wicked animal he was, so she wasn’t afraid of him.”

And…here is my entry:

The requirements were to use any medium, color or b/w within an 8×8″ format, leaving no room for text. I chose using good old pencil and limited digital color. I’ve been playing with limited color for a little while and I really love the powerful effect you can evoke. I wanted Red to look innocent and completely oblivious to the danger the large, imposing wolf could do to her. Her hood, described in the story as velvet and made by her grandmother is loosely designed after a 1950s style cloak and separate hood. I put ric-rac on the set because it made me think of the things my own grandma made for me and the embellishments she would have chosen. The foxy ears were my idea. I always loved animal hats on my own kids and I think it lends itself to the personality of red. She’s got pointy ears but she’s as innocent as a mouse. I liked that contrast.

It was a fun piece to do…and squeeze in during a crazy time of the year. I’m glad I did, even so.