Highlights for Children Art Director Dolores Motichka gave me this assignment recently. It is for a puzzle titled Funny Fractions that will be published in the March 2013 issue. The space I had for the illustration was in a backwards L shape, according to the rough layout she sent. Dolores described what she wanted to see:
I made some quick sketches, trying at first to fill the L space with the shape of the eagle, but then deciding that this open-wing gesture was not conveying the right emotion, and changing his stance to folded wings.
This was approved by Dolores Motichka and the Highlights editors after a few days and with a few tweaks. The layout of this puzzle had been changed, and Dolores showed me how my illustration would fit: I had to flip the eagle again, shorten his tail feathers, adjust the position of the postcard slightly, and rewrite the message and address from the corrected angle. No problem!
The finished piece was done in pencil and watercolor on illustration board.