A Final Peek Inside My Children’s Book, “A Birthday”

Okay… here’s the final sneak peek of my children’s book, A Birthday (until I begin painting another one). I’ve been working on the story and illustrations for more than two decades, and although I have a lot of work ahead of me, I’m excited to head back to the drawing board—literally!

A Birthday follows the story of Emma, a little old lady who is alone on her birthday. I created the book based on a student film I did that caught the attention of Disney Animation Studios back in 1987.

So far, I’ve shared four of the five illustrations I’ve completed for the book. I think I completed this last illustration after I did the ones of Young Emma and Old Emma, but it’s been so long, and of course —I didn’t put a date on the back. When I look at this illustration, it’s like the telephone piece—something just isn’t right!

Brenda Chapman A Birthday

I’m setting it aside to work on the rest—and if I have the energy, I’ll go back into it…or I’ll simply be relieved that I have something for each page! If it takes me another 20 years, I’ll just be happy it’s done!!

All of the illustrations for A Birthday were done with acrylic—so far, no computers involved. I love the tactile feel of using paint with a brush, but I’m sure Photoshop would be WAY faster! I’m a glutton for punishment, to coin a cliché. Still, there’s something immensely satisfying about looking back at these illustrations and knowing they were created by hand.

Now that I’ve shared my work in progress with you, I’d better get back to the drawing board. And in the meantime, I’d love to hear what project is on your high-priority list to finish. We’d all like to know we’re not alone, right?

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