The Sketchbook Project

Sketchbook Project 2012 {Part 2}


I'm back today with the follow-up post to Friday's Sketchbook Project 2012 {Part 1}. Thank you all for your kind comments on Part 1! The project was such a labor of love, it is great to see such a positive response. :-)

We left off after introducing the characters and the setting. Next up, the elephants!

The elephants depleted their peanut supply, and got a whiff of peanut butter from a factory over yonder.
They made their way over to the factory and broke in through the window.
Once the elephants made their way inside, the workers ran for their lives!
The PBJ workers ran to the PBCM factory and stole a large vat of peanut butter.
The PBCM workers chased down the PBJ workers and tried to reason with them.
They had an idea. If they worked together, they may be able to fix the issue.
They quickly returned to the PBJ factory.
There they found the elephants very full of peanut butter and tuckered out. "Come with us!", they called.
The workers brought the elephants to the field of green.
"Look! Plenty of peanut plants!"

Peanut Butter - back cover.
Well, that's it! Even though the story isn't perfect, this project was a great challenge. It is one of my dreams to one day illustrate a book, and this was a good opportunity to think of the book as a whole, break down the ideas, conceptualize the spreads and create interesting compositions that keep the reader engaged. 

Speaking of keeping the reader engaged, here is a photo of Stella reading my sketchbook:

My heart melted.

Thanks for reading along!

Sketchbook Project 2012 {Part 1}

Last summer, I decided to sign up for The Sketchbook Project. It is an international project where participants are sent a blank sketchbook to fill based on a chosen theme. The completed sketchbook is then sent back to be cataloged in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library. The collection is also part of a traveling exhibition which allows people from all over to view the sketchbooks. How cool is that?

When I signed up, there were many themes to choose. I ended up going with Chronicle, because I thought it would be fun to turn the sketchbook into a sort of story book.

Storyboarding the idea.
I also really wanted my Sketchbook to be a collaborative effort between myself, Stephen and Stella. During a long road trip back from Pennsylvania, we brainstormed the theme. 

Stella wanted to incorporate dogs, cats, bunnies, fishies and mustaches (!!!). All of the animals loved peanut butter and made different types of sandwiches with it - peanut butter/jelly and peanut butter/chocolate/marshmallow sandwiches.

Starting with the grey gouache.
Stephen suggested having two factories that focused on producing the two types of sandwiches. We also thought that the story needed a little conflict. What if there was a herd of elephants that depleted their peanut supply on their land and needed to seek out another source? Hmm...

Adding yellow.
Adding green.
The story definitely has some holes, but I had a lot of fun with composing the spreads, choosing the color scheme and creating the characters. Plus, my whole family got to participate in the making of my Sketchbook! You can't get any better than that.

There are 32 pages to the Sketchbook, but I'll only post the first half today. I don't want to totally inundate you with photos. And please don't read TOO much into my captions - I am not a writer! There is a reason my book had no words...

Front Cover : Peanut Butter by emily balsley
There was a field of green, two sandwich factories and an elephant habitat.
The field of green. The plants in the foreground are actually peanut plants.
Detail of the Peanut Butter-Chocolate-Marshmallow Sandwich factory.
Here we are, inside the PBCM factory, watching the workers at the assembly line.
Detail of the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich factory.
Viewing the mustachioed workers at the PBJ assembly line.
That's it for now! I'll be back with a post on Monday that will depict the ensuing drama. Ooh!

Have a great weekend,

Art House Project {In Five Minutes}

Hey there!

Just popping in to share a quick drawing I did today as a participant in Art House Co-op's "In Five Minutes" project.

Today's challenge was to create a 5-minute drawing of everything on your person. That includes the clothes you're wearing...what's in your pockets...the contents of your purse, etc.

Since it's a cold, rainy day today, I had some major layers happening in my outfit. It seemed kinda absurd when I started drawing everything separately. No wonder I make so much dirty laundry!

This was the first In Five Minutes project I participated in, and will most definitely not be my last!

If you're interested in checking out the Art House Co-op projects, you can find them here. It's another fun way to challenge yourself - be it drawing, or taking photos - get those creative juices flowing!