Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Moon Ladder

From Fred Koehler

As a writer/illustrator, the tiniest inkling of an illustration concept jumps straight to story lines, so I'm always asking myself how the drawing helps tell the story. Each mashup of story and illustration represents a complete idea, so I'm not just looking for a pretty picture - I'm looking for a happy place where concept, art, and words all play nicely together.

This concept comes halfway through a picture book idea where a baby elephant isn't allowed to do all of the things he wants to do, much to his own displeasure and the constant consternation of his parents. I started with two sketch concepts:

I went with the top concept, even though I thought the bottom one was "cooler." The left hand concept told the story better. The text I settled on goes something like this for the final:

"He was ordered to discontinue construction of his ladder to the moon."

I was thinking it might actually be cool to flesh out both concepts just so I can put them side by side and across a spread with the text to see which one really works better.


  1. I just love this one Fred, the expression on the elephant holding on to the giraffe's leg is super, and the 'Your not going to stop me' expression on the baby elephant. Also like the different use of texture.

  2. Thanks for sharing Fred! Very cool to see your process and I like the final mucho. Love the determined look on the baby elephants face! Stellar colors and texture too.

  3. These are great sketches Fred and I really love the color version. Your type layout is clean and classy but still current with the white space around it. Very cool work!

  4. Can't wait to see the full book!

  5. Good golly you are talented!