David asked Carmela Dutra:

I really like all of the detail you put into your illustrations. When you draw them, do you already know how they will look? Or do you go through a few test samples first?

Carmela Dutra Well first off I would like to thank you David, for the lovely compliment you gave me. I appreciated it. I put a lot of time, and detail into each and every one of my illustrations.

That is a great question you asked, each time is different. I would like to say I know how I want each illustration to look, flow, and interact with each other; but I don’t. There have been times when I will have spent all day and night on an illustration just to crumble it and throw it away because I am dissatisfied in some way. Then we have the flip side, where I have no idea how I want something to turn out and then it’s like a happy accident.
I’ll give you an example from my next Lorenzo book, Journey to Honeysuckle Mountain. There is a character who will only appear once, his name is Hank the Hippo. From the moment I wrote that story I knew how Hank needed to look. I had to redraw him several times, in order to make the illustration match what was inside my head.

Sometimes I will sketch several styles of a character before settling on the finished product. I value the input of others around me, so I will and have on many occasions asked for suggestions. I look for what they like, or dislike in a sketch; this also helps me to build in certain areas.

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