The Last Viking Returns

Progress Report

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This past week I have been finishing off those new ravens and slotting them in to the pencil outlines already completed.

I went from roughs like these…

raven-fixups-p23 rough

to neater outlines…

raven-fixups-20101114-p23-outline

which I then shaded with 2b pencil and scanned…

raven-fixups-p23-tone

…and finally, dropped into the scene. I edited them a bit more with photoshop (adjusting levels and using the burn tool).

p23-20101017-copy

This week there have been some intense discussions about a pivotal scene in the book. Norm and I, and our patient editor Cate, have realised that the scene is not working as we’d originally hoped. The text and the pics aren’t gelling together properly. We’ve been throwing lots of ideas around, trying to make them stick, but it’s been like oil and water so far… we’ll get there soon.

Months ago, before I started the final artwork, Cate said something along the lines of, ‘pages often need to be redone because they don’t work- be prepared for that’. Seems it’s an unavoidable part of the picture book process. It can be disheartening when a scene that you’ve spent a lot of time on doesn’t work. But it’s been a blessing too, because Norm and Cate and I have had to try lots of alternative approaches and stretch our creative muscles. Testing the alternative approaches has taught me a lot more about how pictures and text interact – as well as the potential pitfalls to avoid next time.

I’d show you a snippet of the scene, but we’re still working on it 🙂

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Author: James Foley

James makes books for courageous kids. He’s the author/illustrator of the S.Tinker Inc graphic novel series for middle primary: Brobot (2016) and Dungzilla (2017) star Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and Joe Tinker, her stinky baby brother. The third in the series, Gastronauts, will be published in late 2018. James’ earlier books My Dead Bunny (2015) In The Lion (2012), The Last Viking (2011) and The Last Viking Returns (2014) have all scored several honours, including children’s choice awards, shortlistings in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year awards, and selection to the International Youth Library’s White Raven list. James comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts. Follow him on FB/twitter/insta @jamesfoleybooks, or at www.jamesfoley.com.au .

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