Bunny hop

Here’s the scene in Let’s Have A Tree Party! where the animals bunny hop across a branch.  You’ll notice the thumbnail sketch shows a bird’s-eye view.  Art director Maryellen Hanley asked me to change the direction of the branch so it would be moving uphill as you read left-to-right.  While I was at it I changed the perspective to a bug’s-eye view.

0 replies
  1. Jardley
    Jardley says:

    I am loving the features and energy that’s present in the characters position and faces. From the second and third thumbnails you seemed to have changed the perspective a bit again to more below ground, did she not like that second sketch too much?

    Also how quick were you to find references to change the perspective of the characters?
    I find for me I don’t really rely on my imagination too much and heavily rely on references, so finding ones that fits what I have in mind usually take me a couple of hours.

    • johnmanders
      johnmanders says:

      Jardley—Yes, I redrew the group of animals on the left—that was my call, Maryellen hadn’t asked me to. I felt in the first version I hadn’t drawn the animals in the correct plane. It’s the difference between seeing a cylinder on a shelf a little above eye-level and a cylinder stuck to the ceiling. I wanted that scene to have all the visual drama I could give it.
      I have a few books about animals in my reference library, but you can’t hope to find a photo for every pose in which your characters find themselves. Better to design your characters before you start sketching scenes in the book. Draw each of them front, back, side, top, bottom—work out their proportions when you see them head-on so you can adapt them to different poses and perspectives. Fill several sheets of paper with your character doing all kinds of crazy things. After you’ve done that, you’ll know them so well you won’t need any reference.


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