Since last month's book launch I've been working away steadily on paintings for the picture book 'When I Was a Boy in Sudan' by Terry Whitebeach and Sarafino Enadio. It is quite a complex text with a narrative, information boxes and occasional speech or thought balloons. Book designer Julie Hawkins had the bright idea of putting information with pictures in a vertical panel down the edge of the left hand page, which keeps the design uncluttered, so I have a combination of these vertical panels and larger pictures in landscape format for the right hand page.
These are a couple of the paintings showing Mama (left) and the Sudanese children crossing the creek at dawn. It's a lovely book to illustrate and also a huge challenge. It passes through different times of day, seasons, and weather and features people, animals, rural and village scenes and interiors. It's a steep learning curve understanding how to make use of the space and get the pages to flow.
I'm not working in isolation at the moment, but feel quite linked-in to the local community of authors and illustrators. On the weekend I attended a wonderful book launch at Fuller's Bookshop in Hobart for Julie Hunt's 'Song for a Scarlet Runner' - a can't-put-it-down novel for children which is also being enthusiastically embraced by adults (I'm on my second reading!) On 29th May I'll be in Fuller's again with six illustrators/cartoonists, including Christina Booth, Tony Thorne and Christopher Downes, for One Word One Day. This event was a big success in 2012 and is being run again across Australia. It's an initiative of the Australian Society of Authors to raise funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (details here). We'll be making artwork on a mystery word to be released on the day and it will be fun, so drop in if you're passing (between 10 am and 2.30 pm).