I've had the good fortune to have a decent amount of time to do some in-depth painting these past few weeks, which resulted in a series of pieces starring Mae and each of the Alastaire siblings. First is Mae in a typical interaction with Mona. Mae's got her old silver compass, and Mona is wearing her royal pearl pendant.
Next is Mae glancing sidelong at Colm (why do they always look like they just got caught making surreptitious love? What is this subtext??). This intimate little scene comes near the middle of the book, where they're each sharing a few of their secrets with the other. Mae's roughed up from an altercation with a rockslide.
And finally, we come to Arlen. Anyone who's ever been backpacking knows there's always that one person who remembers they have a pocket full of beef jerky just after the bear bag is hung.
Arlen is that person.
From an artistic standpoint, each of these pieces has furthered my own little quest of achieving more depth in my work and not getting too finicky with details. Like most artists, I have a tendency to overwork my pieces. To counter this, I've been working zoomed out to 33% and only going in really close for intricate details like faces. It's helped some, though I still need to work on preserving the freshness of the original sketch.
Emily B. Martin
Author and Illustrator