My linears or blueprints for spreads are very close to my character concepts. Whenever I illustrate or design a character I need to learn it inside out until I can spontaneously draw it right out of my head. I know I am getting close when I can put my reference away and just draw. This can take awhile. So I look and draw and doodle until everything flows. Then I do diagrams of every character in the round. This makes great reference for me and helps me carry the characters with some consistency through the book.
|Early Concept Drawing of Mama Rhino for Rhino Rumpus. Copyright Tara Anderson|
Our book in based in fantasy. In reality a Rhino Mom would never have so many little ones unless she was traveling in a large group of mothers with babies ( highly unlikely in this century) or living with orphans in a zoo or sanctuary. A rhino pregnancy takes 15 to 16 months. A healthy Black Rhino weighs 80 pounds or more when it is born! Imagine that. A year later they are approximately 167 pounds or more! With that in mind I starting doodling!
I also gave my characters little elements of costume. The girl has a sock monkey. ( My daughter's sock monkey Felix) She wears her big coral bow in every spread. It just helps distinguish her as the sister and adds a little fun. Mama has her stylish earrings. She is also wearing her pearls too.
|Early Concept drawing of Big Sister Rhino for Rhino Rumpus by Tara Anderson|
I have tried to make the baby look like the littlest and sweetest of all of the babies I found. Baby rhinos are so cute. When I first read Victoria's story I jumped on google to see just what they were like. This little guy is a bit different in my linears. All of my characters have evolved into looser versions of these of early sketches.
I hope you enjoyed peeking into my sketch journals! Stay tuned and watch this project become a published book!
Happy sketching. Tara Anderson