Birthing a Character

Writing a picture book can be fun. If you have an interesting and unique idea, it’s not that hard to sit down and come up with an amusing tale. Like writing a poem or a song, if you are inspired, the words come flying out.

What I have discovered, however, is that illustrating a story is an incredible challenge. I suppose an accomplished illustrator might find the task less daunting than a newbie like me, but it is still a lot of work.

I have dabbled in illustration at various times over the years, but my most recent idea for a picture book began with the pictures themselves. The tough part was that while the words came easily, the pictures got stuck in my brain. Getting them out and onto paper has been painful.

Today I had a major breakthrough. I find it difficult to draw people without a model. Or with one, for that matter. The main problem that I have appears to be my impatience. I resist doing preliminary sketches.

I disciplined myself long enough to find some interesting poses Online today (FREE models!), and sketched some facial features. Then I improvised, and created a character.

portrait of a girl 1

She is not perfect. Her age appears older because she seems to be wearing lipstick. Maybe she got into Mom’s makeup? Next time I will start with a paler pink. I sketched her with colored pencil, and then added watercolor. This is a good start I think, but there is a lot more work ahead!

portrait of a girl 2

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About J M Naszady

I am an observer of the world around me, a student of nature with the eyes of an artist, and a teacher. My interests have taken me into the water, across the meadow, through the forest, along the cliffs, and up the mountain. My latest journey has plunged me into the virtual world of words and images.
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