cover illustration for Mattie’s Whisper by John Foster Dyess

I began teaching Illustration One and Two last Friday at Meramec Community Collage and will again be posting assignments and information on my Friday blog post. This week I am starting several days early because this will be a two post lesson. I will be showing a step by step process of the creation of an illustration for the cover of the fiction book “Mattie’s Whisper” by Alice DeLaCroix. This illustration was painted in 1992 and I think “my how quickly  time flies by”.
Step one – Client, Boyds Mills Press, contacts me with this assignment and sends two layout ideas for the cover. This assignment also includes 19 black and white drawings for each chapter of the book.

layout one from client

layout two from client


step two – I began this project by reading the authors manuscript and then did small idea drawings (thumbnails)  for each chapter illustration. I can’t find these thumbnail drawings I did for this project but future step by step posts will include thumbnails.

step three – I made arrangements to visit a horse farm to take photo reference and contacted a friend to ask if her fourteen year old daughter could be a model for Mattie. Her daughter Anna agreed and I began my reference photography for Mattie’s Whisper.

horse reference photos

Anna posing as Mattie

The photos of the horse was taken with a SLR film camera using slide film and the photos of Anna were taken with print film and developed at Walgreens in one hour. Today I use a digital camera (my third) which is a Canon EOS Rebel T3. Tomorrow I will post my preliminary drawings and finished painting,with a description of the technique used for the finished painting.





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