It's a 32 page picture book for all ages that follows the journey of a piece of sea glass, beginning in the 1940's as a young boy's bottle of Lemon-Lime Soda Pop which breaks, travels through the skies with sea gulls, floats through the ocean with an octopus and a whale, crashes through years and years of waves, and eventually ends up in present day, where it's discovered by a curious young girl and her grandpa at the beach.
|Coming soon, summer 2012!|
This book was by far my biggest artistic challenge to date. It was a completely different format from my other two books, in that there was no manuscript. So, other than the publishers coming to me with the basic concept, and a few little ideas that they wanted to see implemented, the rest was all up to me. The whole story was on my shoulders, which was really exciting, but also a big endeavor to tackle in the same amount of time that I would have had to just illustrate a story. I decided to use sort of a simplified graphic novel style, combining several "panels" of scenes on top of full bleed illustrations. So in total, there were almost 60 pieces that made up this book! Huge difference from my last book, Down East in the Ocean that had I think 11 total, plus cover. I also decided to really push the ink work in this book, and even though there are washes of watercolors, all the underlying value and shading, line work and details, were all done using the pointillism technique, which is my favorite. Using very (very!) fine tip Rapidograph pens and sepia ink, I stippled relentlessly for many months, to get the look just right. It ended up being much more realistic and detailed than anything I've done in the past, which I hadn't really planned on one way or another, but it just happened that way! That's the direction my style likes to take these days, I suppose. I used the same technique in Down East in the Ocean, the only difference being that the scenes in that book were much more simple, big and bold, and in this book, there were lots of little details and much more space to cover.
I have to say, it feels fantastic to be finished, and I'm really excited for you all to see it. Like I said, it was my first ever attempt at a wordless picture book and being an "author", so I really hope that when it's out in the world it makes sense to eyes other than my own!! It was a ton of work, I was quite literally nocturnal for a while there toward the end of the project, pulling lots of all-nighters (shout-out to my Starbucks Double Shot Espresso energy drinks, and our little Riley Dog for keeping my company and refusing to go to bed until I did) and napping during the day. I think my family and friends forgot what I looked like after not seeing me for so long! But I think it was all worth the effort, because I've already had interest from several book stores to carry it, as well as scheduling local book signings, and really kind words from my editor at Down East Publishing, which is always a huge relief. I hope this will lead to more exciting projects in the future...though I will probably bite off a little less to chew next time, for the sake of sleep and sanity. ;)
Here are a couple sneak peeks from the interior of the book, enjoy!
|First page spread in Journey of the Sea Glass, which starts in sepia tones, and eventually ends in full color. |
I'll be doing another post soon with one of the pages post stipple/pre watercolors with some details. Stay tuned for that!