2013 scbwi TdP-Award – process and entry

Entries had to be submitted by midnight Friday. I’ll admit I found this year’s prompt tough, a bit abstract: illustrate the given poem prompt, geared towards the very young, newborn to 2yrs. I pondered. I made sketches…


…and goofed around in Illustrator


…and made more sketches, until, having 24 hours left to submit I finally settled!

TdP 1

I tried watercolor, and soon realized it just wasn’t going to happen that day (Friday, the 13th – hmmm…). So I grabbed my colored pencils and the fat graphite pencil, the one my friend Carsten gave me so many years ago. “Just keep it loose,” I repeated.

Copy 3

Finally some type, though the addition was optional.


The unofficial gallery of contest particpant entries, run by Diandra Mae (Illustrator Coordinator for the SCBWI Houston region), to whom we are all very grateful, won’t go live until January 10th, when a winner has been chosen by Tomie de Paola himself.

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!