The Lessons You Learn When You Create Your First Picture Book!

One lesson I’ve learned, after drawing and painting Buddy Butterfly several dozen times is this: plan and simplify your detailed characters before you start drawing. Even though I did some character sketches at the beginning of this project, I didn’t anticipate that drawing a butterfly with a segmented body and delicately veined wings would create a major time management problem. When I look at my images with dozens of flowers, trees with variegated coloring, skies with lacy clouds, butterflies with exactly 44 segments for all four wings, I realize why cartoons do not have crazy details in them — they take too much time.

Lesson learned. I’m curious to see how well I apply my brilliantly obvious insight to my next picture book, which will be done with pen and ink! But I’m getting distracted with future thinking. I’m going back to work now. I’ve still got 20 more pictures to color this week!