You may be forgiven for thinking I've not done a lick of work on A Fine Dessert since November, but in fact I've been drawing and painting so hard I haven't had a moment to mention it.
The research process is all but finished, the sketches have been made, the dummy has been submitted to the editors, I was summoned in for questioning, and I've just been given the green light to paint; one of the best moments of this whole picture book-making process.
In each of the four centuries in this book, (for those of you just joining me, I'm working on A Fine Dessert, written by Emily Jenkins), the dessert is served after dinner and I decided to set up the scene the same way. I wanted to make the most of the differences between the families: differences in culture and economic status and gender roles and racial equality, not to mention clothing and furniture design. It made sense to put them in the same setting; four equally shaped spaces.
Here are some of the stages of a sketch, in this case, a scene in a family dining room in Boston in 1910.
Here are some of my bits of inspiration:
And I chose this walnut dining setting for my Boston family, which reminds me of chain-of-hearts, which my mother always used to grow.