A Peek at Jonathan Bean’s Drawing Table …

h1 October 22nd, 2015 by jules


Last week over at Kirkus, I chatted (here) with author-illustrator Jonathan Bean about his newest picture book, This Is My Home, This Is My School, which will be released next week from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Today, he shares not only a bit of final art from the book, but also early sketches and final inks from some of the spreads. If you’re wondering why he cut out portions of some of his drawings, as you’ll see below, he explains that in the Q&A. Here’s what he said last week:

With This Is My Home, This Is My School, I wanted that line to feel like it had been lived in and was beginning to fall apart some, as buildings will when they age and are occupied by energetically active people. So, I inked the whole thing with a hand-carved bamboo pen, often drawing at arm’s length. I also used cheap paper so that the work wouldn’t feel precious and so I wouldn’t worry about drawing things over and over. When, on the fifth or 10th or 13th time, I got a face or tree or stove I liked, I cut it out and pasted it to the Frankendrawing that I gradually completed like a puzzle.

Pictured above is an early cover sketch.

I thank Jonathan for sharing.


“This is our classroom.”
— Progression of the “classroom” spread
(Click each image to enlarge and see in more detail)


“We have a big playground.”
— Progression of the “playground” spread
(Click each image to enlarge)


“… on field trips!”
— Progression of the “field trip” spread
(Click each image to enlarge)


“Our astronomy class …”
— Some of the “nearly 40 attempts to get the blue watercolor wash that forms the night sky in the astronomy lesson illustration,” which Jonathan mentioned in the Q&A
(Click the first two images to enlarge)


The progression of the cover illustration


* * * * * * *

THIS IS MY HOME, THIS IS MY SCHOOL. Copyright © 2015 by Jonathan Bean. Published by Farrar Straus Giroux, New York. All images here reproduced by permission of Jonathan Bean.

3 comments to “A Peek at Jonathan Bean’s Drawing Table …”

  1. So excited for this book! The drawings are so energetic~

  2. As usual, Jonathan’s work engages the eye and heart! Cannot wait for my copy to arrive in AZ!

  3. […] A Peek at Jonathan Bean’s Drawing Table: See  the progression of several of the spreads! […]

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