I created this book cover for Scholastic and American Girl's "Real Stories From My Time" series. First time drawing an explosion!
My parents made fun of me for surrounding a war scene in beautiful flowers. But that's the challenge of creating historical illustrations for children (and in this case, specifically girls) - it has to look accurate but also colorful and appealing. This challenge is actually one reason why I enjoy doing historical books.
Since this series is aimed at girls, the team asked me to draw a Hawaiian girl in the foreground, watching the Pearl Harbor attack unfold in the distance. Here's the sketch I sent.
Here's some photo references I took in order to get the pose right:
And here's the color rough:
At this point the team asked me to re-work some things, to add in an additional girl in the scene and make the explosion bigger. Then the girl was changed to a boy; I don't remember why!
From there I had the green light to go to final. Here's the finished illustration!
It's always a thrill to hold the printed book!
Next I'll be sharing one of the interior illustrations I did for this book. Stay tuned!