Calef Brown
October 2008
Soup for Breakfast
The cover. When i think of soup i think of soup cans and Warhol, so I tried to do a bold can. My skills at painting anything 3D are negligible,so I had a hard time with the can in pseudo-perspective.
My fifth kid's book just came out. A volume of nonsense verse published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.It's a companion volume to my book Flamingos on the Roof  from '06.
The title page.The Mondrian on toast refers to a poem called... uh, Painting on Toast, which is an homage to Bob Ross.
Contents. The stacked builing blocks refer to one of the poems.I was thinking of Mary Blair when I painted them,but in a purely platonic way.
Sketch for the painting.
This is a doodle from a sketchbook that inspired the poem The Egret. Birds figure in to all my kid's books, and bird names are great fun to play with.
The sketch for the poem Architots. I was a lego and block junkie when i was young. Still trying to kick.
The sketch for Grandpa's Mustache. I think i lost some of Grandpa's nasally hirsute energy in the final.
The sketch for the Donuts spread.I love near-rhymes, and I thought donuts and grownups was a good example.
This poem has lots of near-rhymes as well.This is the last one in the book, I always try to end with a quiet poem and image.
The final page is a visual warning not to let an egret catch you gorging on stolen donuts.
Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a story by F.Scott Fitzgerald that was first published in Collier's magazine in 1922.
I hadn't heard of it when Collins Design asked me if i'd like to illustrate this tale of a fellow who is born as an old man and ages in reverse.The story takes place between 1890 and the 1930s, and since historical detail is not exactly a hallmark of my work,
I was a little reluctant at first to take it on. (My idea of visual research is to scan the thumbnails on the first Google image page that comes up. (I'm a drawoutofmyhead type person, with an emphasis on outofmyhead.) The art director was great to work with, she encouraged me to interpret the story however I liked, and I had a lot of fun with it.

A portrait of the title character in the first days of his young life. This piece didn't make the book due to space constraints unfortunately.
Another painting that didn't make it into the book. I'm rather fond of the Sci-fi/Flintstones quality of the carriage.
One more outtake, a title page painting.
Happy October

Joining Drawger was an auspicious way to begin the first day of my favorite month. Cheers!

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