Catching That Expression

When your characters are going through extreme emotions sometimes you have to really feel their pain…

…then sketch the results! Selfies are so much better than using a mirror, because you don’t have to hold the pose while you draw.Michael faces

Michael really likes to get under each character’s skin when he’s drawing, so he often acts the story out to see how they move and express. He fills page after page of his sketch book, staying ‘in character’ as he draws, which means he’s muttering and exclaiming under his breath as he works. When he’s working on a text by Barbara Bottner that can make for some pretty noisy drawing as Barbara writes characters with full-on emotions and strong opinions. Annoying ABC (2011) had 25 preschoolers working themselves up into a group melt-down – that made for quite a bit of face-pulling and grumbling on Michael’s part.

The little girl in the book Michael’s currently working on is a typically feisty Bottner/Emberley creation. She goes by the name of Priscilla and she’s every bit as ornery as Missy from the Miss Brooks Loves Books books.  The photos show Michael playing out Priscilla arguing with her parents and teacher, trying to make them see things her way.

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