After the first week of the course, I went away and started thinking and drawing and thinking some more. I’ve had this one idea for a children’s picture book for ages (along with many others), and now seems like a really good time to explore it.
It’s a funny thing: the course itself? It’s just three of us in the room with the tutor (one of the women who was there for the first week didn’t turn up this second week). That’s all.
But I know that I am going to get more done, and with more freedom and a better chance of success than if, say, I’d decided I was going to draw at home for three hours every Tuesday night until I’d made a book.
Plus, there’s something about speaking an idea that shows it up for what it is – naked, shivering against the wall, nowhere to hide. And there’s something about people answering back to your idea that catapults it off into new directions.
The book I want to make is about a bird.
So after that first week, I went home and I drew these:
Well ok, so far so good, but, y’know, I’ve drawn something like this before.
And I doodled a lot – I had to work in London on one day, so on the train up there and back I could draw.
And at the weekend, I sat down and I drew this:
(You can click on all the images in this blog to see them bigger – or, in this case, to see how poorly I have stitched together the various scans it took to get this large image in.)
And, while they were fun to do, I didn’t feel happy, or like I’d discovered anything new, or happened upon a style I wanted to use for the book.
I felt, I dunno, like they were really constrained, and flat. I wanted to scale them up six times bigger and work with a paintbrush the size of my arm.
The night before the next class, I started thinking, well, kites are made of paper, right? And I started piecing together this:
That, that has lit a firecracker under me. A slow-burning one, sure, but put that together with some ill-advised insomniac eBay purchasing, and I have thought of a route that I find really, really exciting. All will be revealed, at some point…
Meanwhile, a couple of us actually cracked open the paints at the class this week. I started drawing without much thought, but I like what came out.
Oddly enough, it is the opposite of the huge, splashy, free painting I thought I wanted to do.
Someone saw it on my Instagram feed and said that at first glance, they’d thought it was a rug. Wouldn’t that be nice?