I have to say that completing this drawing was a horror! I took photos, spent a day searching out all the elements, prepping them, scaling them, moving them around in relation to one another, and deciding what to do. Then I sketched it out once in pencil, and got approval from Anarda. Finally, I spent two evenings redoing the pen drawing three times before I got it anywhere close to where I wanted it!
The first time I drew it, I used a .5 LePen throughout, but that was too heavy for me to get detail in the features of the kids on the cards, and they came out coarse-featured and not resembling them much. Since I specifically photographed members of our Teen Advisory Board as models, I wanted some resemblance! So I drew it again, this time using the .5 for the big outlines and a .1 for the insides. It worked fine, and that drawing was probably better in some respects than this final one, but I got the angle of the cards all wrong and ran out of room at the bottom. (It has to fit on a certain size paper in order to be scannable on my flatbed!) So I drew it a third time, this time copying and pre-drawing the outline of the cards from the first attempt to get them in the correct position, and then going back to do the innards; and I finally got something I could use.
And then, I still had to spend a few hours on watercolor--and not mess it up!
This is the final (I hope) illustration for our Teen Summer Reading Program. Our big finale, which we also want to feature on the cover of our brochure, is a lock-in murder mystery. Although it will take place in our biggest library branch after hours, the supposed setting is the "big game" at high school. I have featured two girls from the rival high schools in town--Burbank High, and John Burroughs High--wearing their basketball team jerseys. There will be a mock game (for five minutes) at the event, and then there will be a miniature halftime show, hopefully featuring some cheer squad kids and/or band kids that our Teen Advisory Board members recruit to perform, plus dinner (probably in the form of pizza and hot dogs, per stadium refreshments). During the halftime, there will be an announcement over the loudspeaker that FOUL PLAY has taken place, the building is on lock-down, and no one may leave until the mystery is solved.
Then the game proceeds, sort of like the game of Clue: There are suspects and officials who can be questioned; there are weapons to be found; there are locations to explore; and there are clues leading to all of them. The teens will spread out over the library (supervised by half a dozen adults) to follow the clues and solve the mystery, and once it's solved, we'll have prizes and dessert!
Our TAB is creating the script and the clues and forming committees for food, decorations, set-up and clean-up, etc. (under our supervision), and hopefully recruiting more kids to help, because this is a gargantuan undertaking that we may be sorry we undertook!
So, the illustration had to have the feel of a basketball game, with the title over the scoreboard giving a clue about what's to come; and it also had to feature some suspects via the Clue-like game cards. I hope the two together will communicate the idea of the event to the teens (accompanied, of course, by some descriptive language on the flyer, poster, and brochure). And I hope my models are okay with their likenesses...it was hard!
It's such a relief to get all the illustrations done; the next step is to get the final flyer and brochure built and sent to the printer. Then I can concentrate on actually doing the program!