Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ranger in Time: Long Road to Freedom Interiors


Today I'm going to share some of the interiors from Ranger in Time: the Long Road to Freedom. There are 15 black-and-white interiors in the book. The main characters are Sarah and Jesse, two runaway slave children who end up taking Ranger along with them on the Underground Railroad. 

In every scene I try to identify the main emotions in the scene, as well as any contrasts I can play up. This first one is one my favorites. In this scene, Sarah and Jesse are trying to blend into the crowd in the free state of Philadelphia, but they're not sure where to go or what to do. The main emotion here is the feeling of being lost and overwhelmed. I tried to emphasize the juxtaposition between the bustling crowd versus the stationary children, and the well-dressed townspeople versus the children's ragged clothes.


Here's another one of my favorite scenes. In this scene, Sarah and Jesse are forced to hide on the roof of a house. The main emotion here is one of trepidation, so I tried to emphasize the height of the house by showing some branches low in the frame.


In every Ranger book, there's a chapter of Ranger enjoying modern-day life with his boy Luke. In the last two books, I noticed that the author chose activities for Luke and Ranger that reflected the themes in the book. So in book #2, which is about ancient Roman gladiators, the story opens with Luke playing soccer - a competitive spectator sport. In this book, which is about hiding on the Underground Railroad, Luke is playing hide-and-seek with Ranger.


I saw an opportunity to visually echo this narrative parallel. In the illustration above, I drew Luke hiding in a particular position: kneeling with both hands on the ground, one knee up.


In this illustration, which is also about hiding, I drew Jesse in the same position as Luke, although his head is turned the other way. It's just a little detail that probably no one will notice, but gives me satisfaction. And now you, dear blog readers, are in on the secret!

Ranger in Time: the Long Road to Freedom will be available December 29th. If you haven't read the first two books, check them out! They're so good! I have blog posts about the interiors for those books here and here.

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