Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Otters and Hedgehogs

...are two of the cutest animals in the universe, yes?  Well, one of my projects this past winter was a book cover that involved both, but with a twist.  A local author, Karen Eccker, wrote a young adult version of a classic Sherlock Holmes story called Henry and the Adventures of the Speckled Band, set in the Netherlands and starring a cast of animal characters.  A young hare fears for her life after the mysterious demise of her sister, and calls in the expertise of a hedgehog detective and his otter sidekick.  Raccoons, a badger and an owl are involved, and the story is interesting, amusing, educational and comes to a satisfying conclusion.  A great read for curious young minds.

This was a very challenging project for me.  I've drawn any number of animals, but giving them personality and character and appealing large eyes was a good stretch for my limits.  People are always saying, "Oh, you should illustrate children's books!" but really, it's not all that easy.  The final version is in watercolor and pen, with a bit of Photoshop enhancement, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. Here's the cover after the design work was done.

The book also just went up for sale online, and you can read more here and even order a copy!

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