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Slowly as a Snail

Meet my egotistical snail!
So week #3 from Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells eCourse was all about the Picture Book. "Yay!" I thought. I thought.... Almost there, but no lollipop! We were to either illustrate a book cover or interior spread to a Hans Christen Andersen fable. I chose the spread because I really liked the assortment of possibilities, but I feel like I tried to show too much:

"Finished" illustration spread for The Snail and the Rose Tree, by Hans Christen Andersen.
The bit I enjoyed the most about this assignment was that we needed to somehow integrate hand-lettering - whether it be the title of the book or text within the story.  I can't explain why I've been dragging my feet on about testing out hand lettering, but I really had fun with this, I just wish I tried illustrating type and hand lettering sooner:

Text "Bear Nuts" - Those are Hazelnuts.

Text "Give Milk".

Text "Grow Roses".
I really enjoyed making this piece, but I'm not happy with my overall finished results. I would have liked more time to work on it... and so I shall! I like the individual elements, but all put together it's just too overwhelming. I've already returned to the sketch-phase and I'm re-working my characters, and setting up a new spread. I'm hoping I can build a stronger piece by the end of this month so that I can tote it to the SCBWI Conference next month.

Wish me luck!