Evolution of a drawing

This last week I have been working on a piece to enter into the Poster Contest at NESCBWI conference at the end of April in Massachusetts.

The brief is as follows:
The Challenge: A Whole New World  
How do you go about building an entire world in just one image? How do you use
illustration to "keep it real" ? Explore a new world in your poster.

Hmm ... I doodled about with some new ideas ... but I kept returning to an image that I created some time ago, which, in fact, is the banner for this blog and is called 'Boy and World'.

Initially I drew the sketch several years ago.

Then I got to colouring it in photoshop.

It's the kind of thing I used to do as a child ... imagining worlds with lots of little houses and towns and animals. But something about the boy and dog on the hill gave me an emotional attachment to this one ... he's looking to the future, wanting - or leaving - on an adventure. Yearning for what's over the mountains. So I used it as my blog banner.

Anyway, back to the contest brief. In the doodles I was doing I really wanted to use a circle to portray the 'world' motif. So I tried the image above cropped as a roundel.

So now I am liking how this focus's the attention. But it needs something else ... a border. 
Maybe a border that tells us a little bit more about this boy's life. I thought about how much I loved the old maps in hand tinted atlas's - and I also love illumination. This is what came out:

I posted this on my Facebook page and a lot of people liked the black and white, 
but in my head I saw the border in colour.

This was ok and I posted it in my crit group and someone suggested I make the roundels sepia.
Excellent idea!

And this is the finished image. In adding the border I have ideas now for this boy's story and where he might be headed. That's exciting and made me look at the image in a new way. I also realize how much I love drawing detail! There is a trend towards fast and loose styles these days, but I love getting lost in a drawing ... and I loved it when I was a child. And that's what it is about, engaging the viewer - so they believe in 'the world' you have created.

Thanks for visiting!


Maybe I will see you at the conference? Leave me a message!