Hum and Swish
Neal Porter Books, Holiday House • Summer 2019.
Jamie loves the beach. She loves making things. If only people would quit bugging her! In the end, though, she shares the beach with someone a lot like her.
After illustrating over twenty books for other authors, Hum and Swish was the first time I flew solo. I didn’t sweat the writing, but when it came to the art, I choked. That was totally unexpected. The sketches were all approved, and all I needed to do was make the art.
I started with watercolor, creating several illustrations before realizing I was not getting the depth I wanted out of the medium. I switched to oil, but was running out of time. I had a couple finished illustrations I liked, but others were just not coming together. I was overworking the art, and myself. I found myself seriously wishing I could give the book to another illustrator. I tore up one illustration. Repainted another five times. I needed a break. From myself.
After a couple weeks, I came back with a new attitude, or rather the attitude I usually have when illustrating—gratitude. I’m grateful that picture books even exist. And I get to make them just about every day.
Scroll down for early sketches from the book. Click on any image to enlarge it.