Adrian on the prairies

Here is the second lost picture book, Adrian on the Prairies. In this case I began by sorting out page shapes on little index cards…

Index card thumbnail of two-page spread.

Then began scribbling out thumbnails and ideas:

Above, bald prairie with "A whole lot of forever." Below, an approaching train with, "For of course by now you've guessed that it was a train, and you're wondering how Adrian could be so silly!"

Adrian meets the train.

The next step was to write the ideas in script form, some of which I still have:

One day Adrian woke up on the prairies.

The first thing he thought of was breakfast.

“What can I possibly find to eat for breakfast?” Adrian said.

“Silly boy,” said the prairie dog, “you have to find some berries!”

Of course the story was written back and forth with little thumbnails, to make sure that the ideas worked with the images…

Here Adrian speaks to the prairie dog.

And then the words and pictures went together into rough panels…

Rough story panels. Lower right, "A prairie without buffalo is like a however without its pair of commas, Buffalo protested - however you look at it!"

Finally, I tested the drawings with pencil and wax crayon to see how the colour would work…

A killdeer, with a Blackfoot encountered along the way...

...and, in the end, not just berries, but a saskatoon berry pie.

And you have, I’m sure, already guessed where this is leading. After all of this preparation, I did the storyboards in watercolour. Watercolour, for your future reference, survives flooding even more poorly than felt tip marker.

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