Looking for Tom: My Illustration Entry for the 2013 scbwi-TdP-Award

The Rules: an illustration in black and white, including half-tones, from a classic. Choose a passage, line or description from one of the following books: “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain, or “The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

The Advice from Tomie de Paola: “I want to be surprised, excited and – VERY jealous. I want to see an image, a style, a vision that I’ve never seen before – all in glorious black and white!”

I read. Tom Sawyer sparked the most interest while reading the book again, but there were passages in Little Women that intrigued me, esp. those showing Jo’s dark side. So I started sketching…1Tom









And a couple from Little Women, in particular the scene where Jo decides Amy can take care of herself…



But my attention kept coming back to this scene, of Tom in church with his Aunt, because the writing transported me.


I then experimented with watercolor


And finally decided to go with a digital version because of the fun I’ve been having of late, playing with transparency and shapes, presented here with the text. Do read it, it’s wonderful!


19 thoughts on “Looking for Tom: My Illustration Entry for the 2013 scbwi-TdP-Award

  1. Love the drawing! Particularly the aunt’s “hairy eyeball”! I think there are 2 typos in the text, fron should be front and im should be him.



    • I was ‘looking’ for him in my sketches too! One thing I also had to consider, is that other illustrators might chose a popular scene, which, unless mine is really unique I had better try something else. In the end I decided to go with one I had not seen in the published versions I found, and more importantly, one that gives a chance to anticipate what the MC doesn’t!


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