For the past year, I have been working on this book and earlier this week I finally finished it. My drawing style has changed a lot since my first picture book back in 2016 and while I am so much happier with the final product, it has made the process of making a 32 page book a lot longer!
The book tells the story of all humpback whales during their first year as they learn from their mothers how to survive on their own. I first got the idea for this book while researching whales for my previous picture book which looked at 50 various animals from the smallest to the largest when my fascination with whales began to grow. In particular, humpback whales interested me. Learning about their close familial bond, group hunting staratagies and their annual migration which is the longest migratory journey in the animal kingdom made me have to tell their story in a picture book format.
The colour palete for this book took a lot of playing around with to get to a point where I was happy with it. As my drawings are all in graphite pencil, I found that brighter colours didn’t compliment the drawings and actually overpowered them a lot of the time. I experimented with colour behind the pencil drawings as well as for the water and that felt too digital. In the end, I decided to keep the pencil drawings as they were and only use the colour for the ocean and even then, I was keeping the colour fairly unsaturated to compliment my drawings and layering various textures over the top. I also found that this colour palette worked perfectly with the subject matter as it made the book feel quiet and calm.. if that makes sense?