A Peek (One More Time This Year)
at Jonathan Bean’s Desk

h1 October 31st, 2013 by jules



 

Last week at Kirkus, I wrote about Jonathan Bean’s newest picture book, Big Snow (Farrar Straus Giroux, September 2013). I love this book, which also makes me want to whip up some hot cocoa with marshmallows. Pronto.

That link is here.

And today I follow up with some images — some early storyboard sketches, color studies, cover designs, final art (including the illustration above), and such.

I thank Jonathan for sharing these images today. I like to look at his art so much that I even enjoy looking at his sketches. (Note: The images below that say “final art” have slightly brighter colors here on your screen than what appear in the book.)

Enjoy.



 

* * * Cover Designs * * *


 



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(Final cover)


 

* * * Color Studies * * *


 


Color testing paper
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Final art: “‘Mom,’ said David, ‘when will it snow?’
‘I think soon,’ said Mom. ‘Why don’t you help make cookies while you wait.'”


Final art: “‘Mom,’ said David, ‘do you think it will snow taller than the grass?’ ‘I think so,’ said Mom. ‘Why don’t you help clean the bathrooms while you wait to find out.'”


 

* * * Early Storyboards * * *


 


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* * * Sketches for the Big Indoor Snow * * *


 


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Final art: “…that it was a very big snow. That the snow fell heavily. That wild wind pushed flakes through window cracks. That it howled and shook the walls. That it roared and blew open all the doors and piled drifts around the house.”


Final art: “So David helped Mom clean up the snow. He tried to push the doors shut, but the drifts were too deep. He tried to shovel away the drifts, but the snow just fell heavier. Suddenly, loud thumping shook the house!”
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* * * Start of Finishes * * *


 


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Final art: “But then the suds, white and fluffy, made him think of snow.”


 

Some Landscape Spreads from the Book
(Final Art)


 


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“Small flakes fell softly, white and fine.”
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“The snow was covering everything, white and cool.”
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* * * * * * *

BIG SNOW. Copyright © 2013 by Jonathan Bean. Published by Farrar Straus Giroux, New York. All images here reproduced by permission of Jonathan Bean.

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6 comments to “A Peek (One More Time This Year)
at Jonathan Bean’s Desk”

  1. This whole thing makes me feel better about winter coming on. Winter wears on me, but I also do enjoy a big snow.

    I put this book on hold, because our copy is already out.


  2. Lovely, lovely. Can’t wait to show these to my Little who has loved Building Our House since the first time he laid eyes on it. What art!!!! And I love snow.


  3. I should have know this book would be as amazing as Jonathan’s other books.
    As a picture book hopeful, this post was particularly useful in terms of refining my own process.
    Thanks for the peek.


  4. Oh, Joanne, that’s so good to hear. I’m glad it was helpful!

    I love his art somethin’ fierce.


  5. Makes me wish the snow would come quick here in Maine! Love seeing an illustrator’s thought process, and especially the very first sketches. Thanks for sharing this process.


  6. Hi, I really enjoyed this post. As an aspiring illustrator, I learned to appreciate my sketches.


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