Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tomie DePaola Illustration Contest

I joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators last month in order to participate in the Tomie DePaola Award. Every year Tomie selects an excerpt from a classic story and gives this charge to the participants:

"I want to be surprised, excited and - VERY jealous that I didn't think of that way to illustrate it.
I want to see an image, a style, a vision that I've never seen before!
Good luck. I'm on your side!" 

That was enough to get me hooked! This years text was from Chicken Licken by P.C. Asbjörnsen:

So they went along and went along until they met Turkey Lurkey
“Good morning, Goosey Loosey, Ducky Daddles, Cocky Locky, Henny Penny,
and Chicken Licken,” said Turkey Lurkey, “where are you going?”
“Oh, Turkey Lurkey, the sky is falling and we are going to tell the King!”
“How do you know the sky is falling?” asked Turkey Lurkey.
“Ducky Daddles told me,” said Goosey Loosey.
“Cocky Locky told me,” said Ducky Daddles.
“Henny Penny told me,” said Cocky Locky.
“Chicken Licken told me,” said Henny Penny 
“I saw it with my own eyes, I heard it with my own ears,
and a piece of it fell on my tail!” said Chicken Licken.
“Then I will go with you,” said Turkey Lurkey, “and we will tell the King!”

I felt like all of these sketches had been done before. I liked the composition of the last sketch but knew I would need a fresh vision in order to catch the eye. Every illustration I found while doing my research had all the feathered friends running around the barn yard..... Who is the king of the barn yard? I continued sketching until I knew my next drawing would be a good one, then I moved to watercolor paper.

The whole time in the back of my mind I KNEW that my best illustration would need to have everyone dressed up in medieval costume..... because they are one their way to see the king! I kept avoiding this prompting because I had no idea how I could accomplish it. Once I did accomplish it I was so pleased and excited to move onto paint :) With a busy week ahead I knew I would be finishing on the due date: December 15th!

What is at stake here? Not only will the winner be the happy and accomplished owner of the 2012 Tomie DePaola Award, but will receive $1,000 to be spent on art supplies and a full scholarship to attend the SCBWI winter conference in New York.


  1. Wow, Natalie - the final line art looks extremely impressive. Well done! Hope you decide to upload the final, now that the deadline has passed.

    I sent mine in late last night, and am getting a kick out of surfing around google today... seeing who else is showin' their stuff. I've found about 6 entries so far.

    Best of luck - just beautiful!

  2. Hahaha! I am doing the SAME THING! I have also found 6. How can I see yours? Its so fun to see everyone's take on it. Good luck to you! I posted my final a couple hours ago.

  3. Hey again - just saw your final - yeow, just lovely. Beautiful, soft palette you used. Really nice, Natalie. I just got around to updating my blog tonight:

    Poking around the other blogs is fun, isn't it? Feels a bit like we all just took a final exam and are out in the hallway, comparing notes.

    "What'd you get for number 6? I'm exhausted! My pencil broke halfway through!" : )