Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem

Previously, I've shared a little bit of my forthcoming picture book, Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem (written by Mac Barnett).  In the coming weeks I'm going to be showing a lot more, starting with this post.  First off, the cover again, this time with type in place:

Regular readers of this blog, and people who have seen me speak, already know that I like to use as much reference as possible for my illustrations, from photographs to...models:

Turns out it's really difficult to find good pictures of blue whales.  I guess they're to big to photograph.  There are a lot of good illustrations of them out there, and those were helpful, but what really helped me on this book was a nine-inch-long plastic blue whale toy.  I think you'll understand why when you see more illustrations from the book.
And, as I often do, I sculpted a little model of the titular character, Billy.  He's made out of Sculpey and painted with acrylics.
More soon.


Tod Robbins said...

Awesome jawsome. I am stoked for this one.

Alex E Clark said...

Fantastic reference. It's amazing what a difference reference can make.

Christina Wald said...

I am glad someone else does that!

While I did paintings for my last book which was about a horse, not only did I have a couple little toy Breyer horses to look at, I often had one clutched in my left hand while painting.

Is that strange?

Look forward to seeing the book!

Kelly Polark said...

Very interesting to see what you use for your models.
The cover looks awesome!

Dan Santat said...

I really should try using more reference instead of making stuff up out of my head. I'm sure my lighting and form would be much better.

Adam Rex said...

Thanks, everyone!

I have a Breyer horse here in the studio for reference as well, Christine!

Dan–shut yer yap, your stuff is the tits.

Unknown said...

I think we had that same plastic whale for years, until finally it was run over by the lawnmower.

Or you could have set up shop under the life-size blue whale in the Hall of Ocean Life at AMNH. You wouldn't be the first artist to work from those displays.

Vicki said...

This book looks amazing- I can't wait to see it! I'm also highly impressed by your Sculpey model. I actually just posted something about a model I made once... and the results were less than impressive.

As always, so nice to see how you work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your information. I'm using this book for my 1st grade class and they love it. We drew pictures of a blue whale and they wrote their responsibilities inside the whale. we also watch crittercams video about blue whales.