Workspace – Sketching for The Grudge Keeper

Right now I’m knee deep in sketching for the picture book THE GRUDGE KEEPER, by author Mara Rockliff. It’s a folk-tale inspired story of the one man in town who collects everyone’s insults, umbrage, and petty complaints, filing them all away in his cottage. Mara’s manuscript is brilliant! It’s been exciting to be able to visualize this quirky world and characters that Mara has created.

Here’s a little peek at my workspace while I’m sketching:

grudge_working sketch_72dpi

Sketching is, for me, by far the most grueling stage in the illustration process. I will admit that I look forward to nailing down these sketches and moving forward to inking and color.

Will share more as I’m able!





  1. Hey ya dear! I love hearing all about your adventures in illustrating and am so excited to see where your career takes you! So I nominated you for the Liebster Award. Check out my post here for more information:
    Next time you guys are near by let us know, we will gladly make a drive to see you!
    – Amanda

  2. Hi Eliza…I’ve seen some other interviews with you and love your artwork and process! I saw in one interview that you use coldpress watercolor paper to print on but wondered if you have to still stretch it so the paper doesn’t “bubble” as you add more of your watercolor layers? Good luck with your latest book and excited to see more of your process!

    • Hi Zach! I do always stretch my paper before the watercolor stage (I ink my drawing before I soak the paper). Also, my process has changed a bit, and I no longer print out my sketch onto the paper, rather, I go the traditional route of using a lightbox to transfer my drawing onto the final paper. Thanks so much for asking, and for the well-wishes!

  3. thanks Eliza!

  4. Eliza-I just received the F&G from Peachtree for The Grudge Keeper and just LOVED it! Thank you for including multiracial folk. I’ll be nominating it for an IndieNext list inclusion.
    What will you be doing in April? — Anytime you’d like to come to the store for an illustrator visit we’d be thrilled to have you.
    Thank you for this wonderful book — I can see teachers and librarians eagerly reading it and discussing the vocabulary with students.
    Take care!

    • Oh, that is so great to hear, Maureen!! I’m THRILLED to get this kind of feedback from an expert such as you. Thank you for nominating it for IndieNext list too! You guys are so supportive.
      I would love to try to work out an event with Once Upon A Time soon – thanks for all your support!! I love your store and booksellers.

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