In The Studio with Rosemary
A book can take anywhere from two months to ten months to complete. I start by writing out a layout of the story very roughly—beginning, middle, and end.When I have those important parts, I begin to write a story on my computer knowing ahead of time where the story will peak and how it will finish. When I have a first draft, I go back to my layout board and paste it up page by page. Then I add sketch drawings, and when that’s finished I cut the manuscript, usually by half, because now the drawings can tell much of the word story by themselves. The next step is called a dummy. It′s a mockup book that I cut out and tape together myself.
When the dummy is as good as I can make it, I show it to my editor. My editor makes other suggestions. Editors are a third pair of eyes and ears to the world. I usually make about 95% of my editor’s corrections because they help the book to be a better story.
When I start illustrating I have my dummy in front of me. I begin to draw using mechanical pencil. When my pencil drawing is complete I draw over it in very light blue ink. Then I erase all the pencil lines and have a line image in blue. The color goes on. I use a lot of watercolor. I also use other media—gouache, pastel, ink, and colored pencils.