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Studio Visit * FOUNDING MOTHERS 

NY TIMES BEST SELLER LIST #3   FOUNDING MOTHERS,  Cokie Robers & Diane Goode

 

 NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:

 "Much better than contemporary paintings could do, Goode's illustrations, in of-the-era pen and ink, help define the spirit of the women whose lives Roberts sketches. With their determined, amused glances and double chins, they look well prepared for the task of nation-building. In places, realism shifts toward fancy: Mercy Otis Warren, an influential writer, appears sitting in the leaves of an open book, sheets of foolscap fluttering out from under her busy quill. Goode studied her subjects' handwriting so thoroughly that Roberts teases, in an afterword, "She could start a new career as a counterfeiter." You don't have to be a graphologist to find interesting and suggestive the differences between Martha Washington's unsteady schoolgirl signature and Phillis Wheatley's elegant, carefully slanted one."

 

KIRKUS REVIEW:  "Goode's illustrations are often breathtaking."

 

Editors, Maria Modugno & Alyson Day and designer, Dana Fritts.  Written by COKIE ROBERTS

Various pen holders and nibs used for the art...I love working with these pens!

My inspiration for the art came from the original signatures of the Founding Mothers.  I taught myself calligraphjy and then spun out the line to create calligraphic drawings which I later enhanced with pastels (in powder form).  I had seen pastel portraits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which were popular during the period.  Inspiration!




FOUNDING MOTHERS: Sepia and pen finished drawing before adding pastel color. I can't say, why but I must have done a hundred versions of this small portrait, perhaps it was because I so admired her.

Hand mixed, sepia inks to get the precise color I wanted.  

Original signature and artist's recreation in sepia. Even with the help of a light box, the signatures were very difficult to duplicate, differences in materials create unique characteristis. The pen nib may catch in the paper fibers and splatter ink or veer off.   I did feel a deep connection to the women who penned these, you can sense emotion from the line, it can be tense, casual,  or written in haste.  It feels very personal and in the moment. 

Artist's hand lettering, black ink for interior.
Pen and ink calligraphy and flourishes.

FOUNDING MOTHERS: sepia pen and ink.  She is the spirit of the book.

Sepia ink and pen.  The line is often lost once the color is added, for myself, I love pure line.
Rough color blocking of illustration with type for layout.
Final printed illus.

Spot illustrations for the historical time line of the war.

Time line drawings w color.
 I worked for two weeks by candle light during Hurricane Sandy...just like the Founding Mothers, keeping warm by the fire.
Preliminary dummy layout placement with pix and type.
Spot illustrations.
FOUNDING MOTHERS: woman soldier, sepia ink and pastel. Quarter for scale.
Rough sketch and text in book dummy
Sketch and finished sepia ink drawing on the light box.
Dummy layout lacement with type.
Final sepia pen and ink with pastel color.
Layout for one of 4 endpapers
 1780  Esther Reed    Final, hand lettered and colored.
Rough sketch and blocked text in book dummy.
FOUNDING MOTHERS: Interior portrait in sepia ink and pastel and spot illustration in sepia. ELIZA LUCAS PINCKNEY
Preliminary art for endpaper drawn on semi-transparant tissue.
Endpaper, layout

Final endpaper  original art, pen and ink.

Final printout with color overlay for endpaper.

Both endpapers w color overlay.
Layout for text and art placement.
Cover idea, Type over image.
Cover idea.  Roiugh sketch.
Cover idea.  Type over illustrationl
First cover idea, original art pen and ink and pastel. Founding Mothers
FOUNDING MOTHERS: Original cover illustration, sepia ink drawing and pastel.
2nd cover idea in layout with type.
Final cover: FOUNDING MOTHERS
Sepia pen and ink using signatues as the leaves in the Liberty Tree.
FOUNDING MOTHERS: Back cover. Original art, pen and ink and pastel.
Color correction of 1st and 2nd set of proofs against the original art.
And we're not done.....proofs then undergo a series color corrections at Harper before they go to the printer.
It's a team effort, and at Harper I have a great team...thank you, ladies!