As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’m re-drawing a few pages of the children’s book I started last year. At first, I was kind of annoyed with myself for thinking that what I had drawn wasn’t fantastic enough.
It’s not like the book I’m putting together is a fantasy, or even a fictional story; What’s In These Woods is a simple book about insects, animals and plants (flora and fauna, I guess, to sound literary) that a kid might see or hear in the forests of Pennsylvania. Despite the book’s educational content, I still want it to contain some visual magic for the kids reading it. Otherwise, what’s the point of spending hours on watercolor and ink drawings?
More important, the forest IS a magical place. I spent a lot of time in the woods as a kid, and I imagined all kinds of things that weren’t there. I heard birds, probably, but decided they were dinosaurs. Anyway, a book about the forest needs a fantastic quality. If you can’t agree, please see Robert Pogue Harrison’s Forests, read the first chapter, and get back to me.
Here is a revised version of my rabbit page. This Fiver-like figure resides like a great spirit over the Appalachians; he/she can hear for much further than a human will ever know.
In this image of the drawing, the piece is about two-thirds done. The remaining third is just about a billion more hatch marks in the mountains and trees. I heightened the texture of the rabbit with guache and layers upon layers of watercolor. I don’t believe I use the intended method for these materials, at all, but I like what I’ve been doing.