SCBWI members now have the option to participate in a monthly illustration word prompt. June's prompt is Bounce. Here's a step-by-step through my thought process:
1. Brainstorm. I asked myself what things bounce? Balls, checks, trampolines, kids on a bed, etc. I felt that bouncing on beds would be fun and have lots of motion to work with, but I wanted to stretch myself more than just kids bouncing on a bed and asked what animal would be comical in that setting - and 5 little elephants came to mind . . .
2. Research. Since I'm not proficient in elephant anatomy and movement enough to create five fun characters from my imagination, I looked through google images for fun baby elephant pictures. I looked for photos that captured them in the act of play. Below are the photos I chose to sketch.
3. Cut and paste. Since elephants really can't bounce or jump, I had to use the info I learned from sketching (along with some healthy imagination) to "cut and paste" what was helpful into five characters. My almost-11-year-old son was who suggested that the face-planting elephant above would be perfect in a pile of pillows. I also found a bed that fit the situation and sketched it:
4. Composition. With the help of Painter, I scaled and assembled all the pieces until it worked to my liking. You'll notice I made the bed wider to accommodate all these crazy antics:
5. Lightbox. I don't always use a lightbox, but since I wanted to heighten the drama of what was happening to the bed, and since a lot of things looked too rough in what I had above, I redrew the composition with the lightbox. My son added more fun with his addition of the springs popping out.
6. Color studies. I looked through my book, Color Inspirations, and found two palates I thought could match the mood. I did a few quick studies in Painter and ultimately chose the third.
7. Paint. Using my chosen palate, I painted everything in Painter. I still feel like it's missing something, so if anyone has suggestions I'm open to them. I'm afraid that making it too heavy would rob the light-hearted feeling I'm trying to preserve, but more contrast would definitely give it more depth, and perhaps I'll work with that some other time.