It’s my stop on the blog tour for Little Bear and the Silver Star by award-winning author-illustrator Jane Hissey, who is going to tell us all about her illustration process.
It’s Christmas Eve and the toys are getting the tree decorated, but they are missing the shining silver star that always goes on top.
Old Bear thinks it’s in the attic and Little Bear decides to find it whilst the other toys are sleeping.
But when Little Bear hears a noise, he thinks it’s Father Christmas. He looks out of the window and falls into the snow and drops the star! Who will save Little Bear and will they ever find the star?
Jane’s illustrations are as beautiful as ever. The end papers brought me back to my childhood.
I loved reading Old Bear stories with my mum when I was a child and it is lovely to have this new Little Bear story to share with my girls at Christmas. My little girl loved the silver shiny star and said the toys were very cuddly!
And now Jane is going to tell us all about drawing Little Bear!
After many months spent writing, planning out and preparing to illustrate a new story, there comes a time when the actual drawing must begin!
I work from still life groups so before I can put pencil to paper I must first pin the characters, I am about to draw, in position, using cotton thread and dressmaking pins
It takes a while to set up the group, or character, in just the right position and then I must make sure the lighting is how I want it to be. If a character is jumping or flying then I suspend it from a frame while I draw it. And of course I don’t draw the threads or pins.
I draw first in pencil and then I add colour layer by layer.
I use soft coloured pencils to do my illustrations and each drawing takes many hours to complete. A whole book takes about nine months to illustrate
Sometimes I used to let my children do tiny bits of one of my drawings when I was in the middle of a book. It made them feel they were part of the whole process and it was fun to see that little bit printed when the book came out. I now let my grandchildren do the same.
This year, because of Covid 19 restrictions and ‘lockdown’ I had more uninterrupted time to work on ‘Little Bear and the Silver Star’ There were no meetings to see how the drawings were getting on and all the design of the book had to be online. In fact, when I had finished the illustrations I felt a bit strange having no book fairs to prepare for, no school or library visits or book-signings.
Most of my books are 32 page books, so need about 32 illustrations plus the cover drawing and endpaper illustrations. There comes a day when I have finished them all and am able to put them all together (usually on the floor) so I can see how they are looking. This is when I spot if there is something I didn’t finish or if the continuity has gone astray! Usually, though, it is a moment when I can begin to feel that the end of the project is near and I can allow myself to be a little bit excited!
Thank you so much, Jane! Little Bear and the Silver Star is out now.
Publisher: Scribblers, Salariya Book Company
Publication date: 1 September 2020
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour:
I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. This voluntary review contains my honest opinion. Images in guest post are ©Jane Hissey.