Some of Carson Ellis's illustrations from Wildwood
For the Todd Lockwood TLC Workshop last April, we were told to choose a narrative that we wanted to illustrate. I chose a scene from Under Wildwood, the 2nd book in the series, where Prue and Curtis are being cornered by evil shapeshifting foxes. The foxes demand information that would doom that children's friends; Prue counters by threatening to cut the rope bridge and send them all into the abyss.
I was doing this scene from memory so some details may not be accurate. (For example, I left out Septimus the talking rat; sorry Septimus.) I should have re-read the chapter first...but I didn't.
Since the workshop's focus was mainly about composition, I spent an excruciatingly long time (for me) on the thumbnails. At first my thumbnails were very tight and detailed, but Todd encouraged me to loosen up and just scribble, so the thumbnails looked like tiny abstract paintings.
After I had a thumbnail that I thought worked, we went outside to a playground, scared away the little children, and took reference photos. Much self-conscious giggling was had. Thanks to Charles McKinnon for being a good sport and playing Curtis.
I chose to keep the painting black and white, as if it was an interior illustration for a middle-grade book. I enjoy reading and illustrating middle-grade, so I wanted to practice my b&w painting skills.