A Trip to Europe with
Lauren Castillo and her Sketchbooks

h1 November 21st, 2013 by jules

The book’s endpapers
(Click to enlarge)

I don’t know about you, but I could look at the illustrations of Lauren Castillo all day. So, I’m happy this morning to have some artwork from her here at 7-Imp.

Last week, I chatted over at Kirkus with author Kate Banks, whose latest picture book was illustrated by Lauren — City Cat, released by Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux just this week. So, more on the book and my chat with Kate is here, but today I follow up with Lauren, who is sharing (in her words) “a little of everything: cat studies, on-location drawings, early sketchbook studies, some reference inspiration, final sketches, and final art.”

Incidentally, Lauren has also blogged about this book. She took a trip to Europe in 2009 to “gather inspiration through sketches and photographs.” Here are those posts. (Here also is the book’s trailer.)

Enjoy the art, and many thanks to Lauren for sharing.

From the sketchbooks
(Click last image to enlarge)

Color sketch for the Colosseum, followed by the final art:
“City Cat heads for the street. Sprinting, striding City Cat.”

(Click each image to enlarge)

Marseille inspirations
(Click to enlarge)

Final art: “City Cat, lured by smells of fresh-caught fish, lurks around the city port.
She sits on piers with perked-up ears and gazes out to sea.
The waves, they tumble, rise, and rumble, beckoning City Cat.
Floating, boating City Cat.
Where are you drifting, City Cat?”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Color sketch for a Barcelona illustration, followed by the final art:
“City Cat slinks through market stalls, where vendors sell their wares.
She pounces, prances, rolls around, and disappears without a sound.”

(Click each image to enlarge)

Paris inspirations
(Click to enlarge)

Paris sketches
(Click to enlarge)

Final art: “She folds her paws and drops her head and settles on a gargoyle’s bed,
until wakened by a gentle rain. She heeds the call of the midnight train. …”

(Click to enlarge)

London inspiration
(Click to enlarge)

Final art: “City Cat stalks city birds, snarling, scratching City Cat.
Green eyes slanting, sitting proud, she joins the starlings’ evening dance.
Then in a trance she watches the Changing of the Guard. …”

(Click to enlarge)

Amsterdam inspirations
(Click to enlarge)

Final art: “Rollicking, frolicking City Cat. Tweaks her nose and wets her feet.
She searches for a bite to eat then curls among the evening post,
happy to have found a host. …”

(Click to enlarge)

Munich inspirations
(Click to enlarge)

Final art: “City Cat, waving her tail like a magic wand,
hears a clock chime overhead and stops to watch a couple wed. …”

(Click to enlarge)

Venice inspirations
(Click to enlarge)

Final art: “City Cat, marching through the narrow streets, trots across the
Bridge of Sighs then taunts the pigeons in the square, wishing for a mask to wear.”

(Click second image to enlarge)

Final art: “Masquerading City Cat, serenading birds and bats.
Making mischief, chasing rats, bold and brazen City Cat.”

(Click to enlarge)


* * * * * * *

CITY CAT. Copyright © 2013 by Kate Banks. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Lauren Castillo. Published by Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, New York. All images here today used with permission of Lauren Castillo.

6 comments to “A Trip to Europe with
Lauren Castillo and her Sketchbooks”

  1. What a lovely armchair tour, as I sit here in the gray of a Cleveland morning. Especially smiled over the changing of the guard. Thanks, Kate and Jules.

  2. Thanks for that visual feast, Jules and Lauren!

  3. Love this! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow, Jules, I actually had read your interview with Kate and loved it (and commented there, too). Now seeing this was SUCH a treat! Thanks to you for posting it and to Kate for supplying it! I’m an illustrator myself, so am always fascinated to see/watch the process of other artists, and their reference art, too!

    Just loved this! Thank you! 😀

  5. CAT.

    (Sometimes, I am predictable.)

  6. Love Lauren Castillo! Thanks very much to both of you for sharing these awesome sketchbooks.

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