I'm wishing for a photographer, much in the way a dreamy-eyed princess once wished her prince would come!
"Why? " you might ask - or then again maybe not, if you've peered and peered at the picture above till your eyeballs fell out. I didn't think it possible for my photog skills to get worse, but here's the proof. It's really too bad, cuz this new illustration is really quite good. No, really! (Sigh.)
Here's 2 more attempts - each so equally bad that I couldn't decide which to delete. Thank your lucky stars you don't have to look at the other five I tossed. What do you think - is one of these better than the other? (Not a trick - I honestly couldn't tell.)
And then there were the many (many, many) close-up shots I attempted. Not sure if I was bothered more by the blurred images or the glare. Only 2 made it out of Paint.net.
Yup. These are the keepers!
So, since you might be having trouble figuring out what exactly is going on in these pictures, here is a written explanation. Because, apparently not every picture is worth a thousand words.
The illustration depicts the joy to be found in a good mud-wallow, as evidenced by the mellow expressions on Mom and Baby Hippo's faces. Obviously these are not the Boat-crushing Hippos of National Geographic fame. They're probably more closely related to the Disney-Fantasia-Hippo-ballerina side of the family. Mom Hippo is a delightful blend of Cerulean Blue, Pink Rose, Lavender, and a soft layer of White. She has lovely China Blue eyes behind those curly Violet lashes.
Baby Hippo's skin is covered in tiny, frothy pinkish-purple bubbles. She kinda reminds me of bubble-gum. (Yeah, that does sound a little weird. Too late! I stand by my words!) She also has HUGE, Violet, the-better-to-mesmerize-you-with eyes.
Two of the 4 children are likewise enjoying the mud, one riding on the mother hippo, and the other (a little girl) sitting on the mud-bank in the foreground, making a mud-castle with a bucket and shovel.
On the second half of the 2-page spread, the other kids are helping prepare a refreshing snack of wriggly bugs for a pair of ibises (ibisii?). The ibises/ibisii wings are boldly patterned in Deep Purple, Orange and Canary Yellow. Why not, says me! They pop out nicely against their pale lavender torsos and compliment their Royal Purple heads and glowing yellow eyes! One ibis perches on a tree trunk, reaching down into the mud with her beak, searching for a yummy treat. Beside her, one of the boys helps by reaching down with a green twig. A cutaway look beneath the surface of the mud shows a little burrow, housing a number of six-legged snacks, one of which unwittingly crawls up on the child's stick. I colored this cutaway view carefully, using lighter tones of brown such as ginger, sienna and light umber, and adding teensy-tiny pebbly texture so that it would stand out against the chocolatey dark umber of the surrounding mud. I also filled the underground chambers with a creamy yellow light and colored the insects bright blue so they wouldn't disappear. Ah, Artists' License! It's a beautiful thing!
In the foreground of page 2, the other ibis is served a tasty snack from a leaf-bowl, held by the other boy.
The kids faces are not at all as blurry as they appear. They're actually fairly detailed with eyes and noses and whatnot. A couple of 'em even have cute little kid smiles.
I used to hate doing backgrounds. Now, I love 'em. I really enjoy trying to do something interesting that has a little pop and doesn't just lay there all flat and boring. Something that speaks up; "Hey! I'm not just a prop for all those other characters. I've got a story too, you know!" I really like this one. It's kinda fun with it's long, wavy, bright-green towering grasses and mysterious flashes of dark-green and yellow stripes. Anything could be hiding in there!
OOPS - as a friend of mine says when she dashes off one of her "quick notes" - wrote a book! Didn't mean to! Hope you didn't mind looking at my not-so-good photos of my (IMO - LOL) awesome illustrations! Hope the explanation helped! Please don't be put off and stop by again! :)
OH! And if you click on the pictures you should see a larger view, which helps.