Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Wind in the Willows

A little while ago I was exploring Netflix and I found the old stop-motion animation Wind in the Willows program that we for some reason had taped on VHS that I would just watch on repeat when I was a kid. You know, this one:

And I remembered just how much I had loved the Wind in the Willows story so I sat down that afternoon and read the whole book. Suddenly, I realized, I should be doing drawings based on the story. And not just drawings...tunnel books. So I began the process of sketching out a tunnel book from the first paragraph:

"The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms. Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing. It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said 'Bother!' and 'O blow!' and also 'Hang spring-cleaning!' and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat. Something up above was calling him imperiously, and he made for the steep little tunnel which answered in his case to the gavelled carriage-drive owned by animals whose residences are nearer to the sun and air. So he scraped and scratched and scrabbled and scrooged and then he scrooged again and scrabbled and scratched and scraped, working busily with his little paws and muttering to himself, 'Up we go! Up we go!' till at last, pop! his snout came out into the sunlight, and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow." 

Mr. Mole preliminary sketches
Tunnel Book Sketch
A few water colors and a few cut up fingers later, construction began.
And this is pretty much it.
I want to make a series of these so I can make a little star book out of them. There will be more better pictures to follow but I can't photograph the piece....until it gets back from the show it's in! I will post more about the show soon.

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