Junjie, as one of Penelope and Eloise’ close friends, will end up in many stories and pictures in our books.
Before drawing scenes to illustrate our book, I like to spend time getting to know the characters. I’ve done that with Penelope and Eloise so far, and now I’m doing that with Junjie.
I do this by drawing him (all of them, in fact) in as many positions, activities, and scenarios as I can imagine.
It’s a lot of fun to do, and it helps me build a history and rich personality for each character (besides the one that they were each created to have).
Below is an example from my sketchbook of some exploratory drawings of Junjie. As I draw, I become familiar with how he stands, sits, and moves … which allows me to focus more on the imaginative settings in the story .
Getting something right, often means a lot of repetition and practice!
Fascinating! You have such an eye for detail. My interpretation is that in the first one he looks harder,a little more worn by life’s pain. It made me wonder if he had a sad home life and had to make himself appear tough to the world. In the second one he looks loved maybe even indulged and quite spunky. Like he gets away with alot but everyone thinks he’s pretty cute in spite of himself. Merely my amateur observations of what the sketches said to me.
Hey, that’s a great interpretation! All the little drawing choices do make quite a difference in the end. A person who had a hard life might carry themselves more rigidly, as if expecting to be hurt again. But a well loved (and successfully mischievous) little person would definitely be more relaxed with a more open posture. The second drawing has a greater sense of solidity and proportion to it as well … implying a well built little person … built up by those who have loved and nurtured him to this point :). Thanks for the thoughts Debi – they’re great!