One of my absolute favorite shots ever of Halfland. It's of the fairie-like creature that comes here regularly to help with the project, Cirelle, lost in her imagination, examining the Mouse House under the Answer Tree on the set in progress.
Some of the drab bugs, dressed in petals and other finery for the do, already made for the party on the left so that Cirelle can see each one here, name it, develop its back story a little, etc. (Herman, the argyle sweater-wearing caterpillar pictured here.)
So, this whole "Bug Party Escapade" is looking like it really wants to be its own side project illustrated picture storybook and Cirelle has engaged to give writing it a good go. Hooray!
I was working yesterday on the bug's party decorations (seen above on right at their beginning stage) making oh-so-charming little floral and seed pod pendants when it occurred to me that this was no ordinary weekend party these bugs were having. Oh no, this was a highly swanky affair (for bugs) and some really important person was going to be feted for sure, but who?
Then it dawned on me, Cirelle's own Halfland character creation, the Mimizard, the little lizard with heraldic butterfly wings! He must be the VIP everyone is decking out, bringing gifts, and serving cake for! I was thrilled with that idea and told Cirelle this afternoon. Now she's got to get that puppet finished! (It's already, sculpted, molded and latex-machéd!)
The Writing Mouse is the star of the tale however, and it's his home we get to see as a secondary location after the party. Above, I've begun taking snaps of the set from various angles and started playing with illustrative texture to give a sense of how the finished pages might look. Here, you can see, from over the crest, the Mouse's front yard, with its two large fruit trees and new twig garden gate.
A lot of finishing has been done to the mouse's house, since you've seen it. A twig bench under the cherry tree awaits a weary gardener with a small broom. As he climbs the steeply-strepped hill to tend his new flower and vegetable gardens just beneath his front door. (details of what Cirelle and I used to make some of these tiny props just below).