Tybee Island Research

     No really. We went for research. It had nothing to do with the view (click to see it bigger):

Or the sunset:

Or having dinner with fellow illustrator/SCBWIer Daniel Powers and his wife Silke

at A.J.s where Stan and I saw an enormous Manta Ray jump out of the water several times. (All you have to do at the coast is say, "Look!" and point and everybody within a 100 yard radius will stop and watch with you.)

And it had nothing to do with the pretty little light house at the north end of the island, or the shrimp salad and raw oysters at The Crab Shack:

     No. I was there for research... for that new picture book I'm illustrating for Sterling Children's Books - "The Twelve Days of Christmas in Georgia" (Christmas 2010) written by my friend, Susan Rosson Spain. (Sterling is doing one of these for each state and I'm honored to be the illustrator for Georgia!)
     I'm supposed to draw my main characters standing on the pier looking at ... something in the water and I really needed to get a feel for the place, y'know?
     It was a bit hard to do at first because they're filming a new Miley Cirus (Hannah Montana fame) movie right now. Can you believe they set up an entire carnival on the beach just for the movie?
     It was cool to see, but a little sad that they wouldn't let anybody in to enjoy the rides (and boy was there a crowd!) Miley is back there somewhere:

     Yeah, this is what we drove all that way to see - the pier

which was a really stunning architectural feat, must say. The pavilion had these gorgeous arched supports - how did they do that!?

     Y'know, all jokes aside, there is something about experiencing a place, the temperature, the light, the reflections and shadows, that you just can't get from simply viewing photos online. Did I have to do this to create this illustration? Maybe not, but boy am I glad I did. I now have a context against which to place my mind's eye as I draw and I'm certain my illustration will be stronger because of it.
     On the way back from Tybee we hit yet another destination for the book which I will write about tomorrow! (No hints...)

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