The Fox and The Crow

Recently, I tried to illustrate a cover of the fable The Fox and the Crow, which I knew from my childhood in the interpretation by Ivan Krylov – a well known Russian fabulist. The Fox is playing balalaika (a musical instrument with three strings). I found an English version (via Story It), which is below.
The Fox and the Crow
an Aesop Fable

A fox was walking through the forest when he saw a crow sitting on a tree branch with a fine piece of cheese in her beak. The fox wanted the cheese and decided he would be clever enough to outwit the bird.

 "What a noble and gracious bird I see in the tree!" proclaimed the fox, "What exquisite beauty! What fair plumage! If her voice is as lovely as her beauty, she would no doubt be the jewel of all birds."

The crow was so flattered by all this talk that she opened her beak and gave a cry to show the fox her voice.  "Caw! Caw!" she cried, as the cheese dropped to the ground for the fox to grab.
This is my first cover illustration. The book ‘Illustrating Children’s  Books’ by Martin Salisbury was very helpful. It is so surprising, how a small book (just 144 pages, but full of illustrations!) includes so much in-depth information.  Salisbury characterizes his book as ‘not a how to book’, because there is no particular ‘way’ of drawing children’s books in his mind.   Instead, his book gave me such a good understanding how I would do that and where I would start.  After examining several study cases of prominent illustrators, it becomes clear which approach is appropriate to the reader. Sorry, but for me this book is ‘a how to book’! It was really interesting and useful to read about practical and conceptual techniques required for illustration and such things as observation, imagination, sequential image, and character development. The book also gives tips about design, layout, typography and how to get published, plus tons of other curious information.

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