Hummingbird is a 2019 winner of the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, by 5th grader Maddie Patterson! There were three ways I thought of for going about this illustration: 1) straight-up humming bird (if I could figure out what species it was about); 2) the plants discussed; 3) a humming bird cobbled together from the plants discussed. Obviously, I went with the second. I thought a humming bird illustration on the Hummingbird poem was too on the nose.

I didn’t actually know what the plants looked like, so I had to look them up and do some sketching: huckleberries and Oregon grapes. For this one, I did inks and Copic markers on smooth vellum. What a joy are Copic markers to work with! I think I got to talk to Maddie’s mother at the poetry reading, and she said Maddie was really pleased with the illustrations. So am I!

Here’s the pencils. The original is much narrower than the final, thank you, Photoshop. 

As I have been trying to do in general, this was a practice in fairly loose inks. The colors were also fairly loose. I wanted it realistic enough but softer than that.