This personal project is slowly coming together, a bit slower than I'd like really, but we are getting there.
Since last month I've continued working on the page roughs, but at full size after scanning them into Photoshop. Now that I’m working at the finished size, I’m able to think about the backgrounds in each spread and start to build the world the characters are inhabiting. The idea that book covers, end papers and title pages can set the stage for a story has always intrigued me, so with this in mind I’ve used the imprint and title page to carry visual clues of where Hodge and his friends live. And, because I’m now working larger I can really go to all out and put lots of small detail into the pages.
Next, with the text in place, I printed half of the 32 pages out on A4 paper to make a small concertina book dummy. The dummy is a hugely important step of my book making process. Having the concertina book opened out allows me to get that ‘world view’ of the roughs again, and anything that’s not working seems to become glaringly obvious when you have all the pages stretched out on the studio floor. And of course, when it’s folded back into its book form it is easy to read out loud while checking the text and page turns are all working. A few lines were moved from one page to another to make a clear distinction between the ending of one action and the start of another.
So far so good!
Once the roughs are all completed I’ll send it off as a PDF file to Sue Copsey for an edit. While she’s doing that, the long time consuming work on the finished illustrations gets underway.
As well as working on the roughs, I’ve been playing around with the different characters and how they will look. I’m happy with Nanny Snuffles the elderly myopic hedgehog character. Maddie and Basil (mouse and bunny) plus Hodges Mum are still being worked on, so I’ll leave that show and tell until February.
Right, that’s it for now.
Cheers from Nanny Snuffles and me.