For an SCBWI mentorship with Chronicle Books's, art director, Amelia Mack, I created a book dummy for the poem The Storm by Mary Oliver. (click to see the full images)
Being familiar with the poetry of Mary Oliver, I researched her life. She admired Walt Whitman and grew up in a small town called Maple, Ohio. Since I did not find any photos of her at a young age, I invented what she might have looked like as a child. Having taught elementary school, I know that this type of poem in picture book format might work for kids in third to sixth grade; so, I drew the character for that range.
Capturing the essence of the freedom and joy of the dog and the youth of the girl was important to me. After I decided on the dog's appearance, I used reference to really capture the expression and actions of the dog's play.
I determined the text, pagination, and the ideas for the images through thumbnail sketches. Next, I set to work on illustrating rough sketches for the entire book mini-book dummy.
After receiving revision notes from Amelia, I made changes to the initial dummy. The color palette changed with each revision.
Using acrylic paint on watercolor paper, I completed three final pieces to submit with the revised full size dummy.