Sketches & Art from Rafael López and Renée Kurilla

h1 April 9th, 2015 by jules


“… time for a big, floppy / green-leaf umbrella …”
— From Margarita Engle’s
Orangutanka,
illustrated by Renée Kurilla


 


“At carnivals, she listened / to the rattling beat / of towering / dancers / on stilts.”
— From Margarita Engle’s
Drum Dream Girl,
illustrated by Rafael López

(Click to enlarge)


 

Last week over at Kirkus, I talked here with Margarita Engle and Rafael López about Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 2015). Today, I’m following up with some early sketches and final art from Rafael.

And since Margarita also saw the release last month of Orangutanka: A Story in Poems (Henry Holt), illustrated by Renée Kurilla, I’ve got some sketches and art from Renée as well. Tanka is an ancient Japanese poetry, consisting of five lines, and in this entertaining picture book, Margarita tells the story of an orangutan who refuses to nap. A great choice for National Poetry Month (this month) and an excellent writing prompt for children, Kirkus calls it a “playful and instructive introduction to a little-known form of verse,” and School Library Journal describes it as a “sprightly introduction to orangutans through nimble wordplay.” Renée’s spirited illustrations, rendered via pencil and ink and colored digitally, are alive with movement and color.

Enjoy the art!


 

Art & sketches from Drum Dream Girl:


 



Early cover sketches
(Click each to enlarge)


 


“On an island of music / in a city of drumbeats /
the drum dream girl / dreamed …”

(Click to enlarge)


 


Early sketch
(Click to enlarge)


 


“But everyone / on the island of music / in the city of drumbeats /
believed that only boys / should play drums …”

(Click to enlarge)


 



” … so the drum dream girl / had to keep dreaming / quiet/
secret / drumbeat / dreams.”

(Click each to enlarge)


 


Early sketch
(Click to enlarge)


 


“When she walked under / wind-wavy palm trees / in a flower-bright park / she heard the whir of parrot wings / the clack of woodpecker beaks / the dancing tap /
of her own footsteps / and the comforting pat / of her own heartbeat.”

(Click to enlarge)


 


“At home, her fingertips / rolled out their own /
dreamy drum rhythm / on tables and chairs …”

(Click to enlarge)


 


“… the brave drum dream girl / dared to play / tall conga drums /
small
bongó drums / and big, round, silvery / moon-bright timbales.”
(Click to enlarge)


 


“… but their father said only boys / should play drums.”
(Click to enlarge)


 


“So the drum dream girl / had to keep dreaming / and drumming / alone …”
(Click to enlarge)


 


Early sketch
(Click to enlarge)


 


(Click to enlarge)


 


(Click to enlarge)


 



 

Art & sketches from Orangutanka:


 



Title page art
(Click each to enlarge)


 



“papa / is too massive / for treetops—
his great weight makes/ low branches waltz slowly”

(Click each to enlarge)


 



(Click each to enlarge)


 



“riding happily / on mama’s soft, furry back / curious baby /
watches the dazzling fruit feast / and discovers butterflies”

(Click each to enlarge)


 



 



“safe in a treetop / with brave, gentle old grandma /
sister has a chance / to glance down at the children /
who dance like orangutans!”

(Click each to enlarge)


 



(Click each to enlarge)


 



 

* * * * * * *

DRUM DREAM GIRL. Copyright © 2015 by Margarita Engle. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Rafael López. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. Images here reproduced by permission of Rafael López.

ORANGUTANKA. Copyright © 2015 by Margarita Engle. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Renée Kurilla. Published by Henry Holt and Company, New York. Images here reproduced by permission of Renée Kurilla.

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4 comments to “Sketches & Art from Rafael López and Renée Kurilla”

  1. Such eye-catching, striking work! Thank you for sharing these images.


  2. Love Renée’s art! And Rafael’s is gorgeous, too! 🙂


  3. Renee’s work is stunning!


  4. I love it, Renée! So great to see all of these together after many months of anticipation. They’re beautiful. And Rafael Lopez’s work–wow, the compositions are just fantastic. The ‘dreamy drum rhythm’ scene is spectacular. Margarita Engle has a lot to celebrate at the moment!


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