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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Blog, Books | 13 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 30)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 30)

Today I want to share the evolution of The Tortoise and the Hare illustration with you. After the first version was finished I got feedback from my editor on behalf of the Auzou team about reconsidering the way I illustrated this fable. Aude (my editor) suggested that I bring some movement to this illustration since it’s about a race, a rather famous race. We all know about the hare and the tortoise race because it has been represented extensibly in many cultures.

4 animals small

I like the first version a lot, but the more I thought about the idea of movement for this scene the more I liked it. So I went on with the changes. First, I convinced the hare to change his clothes to something more sporty and second, I got the tortoise a pair of colorful shoes. Then I asked both of them to run as fast as they could. The tortoise didn’t start running right away because she came up with this idea of wearing a little sailor hat. I said yes and then things started falling into place.

2 versions

I also changed some of the stage elements in order to make it less distracting and the rocks became the place where the race ends. As you can see the tortoise touched the rocks first while the hare is still in the air absolutely in shock! He can’t believe that the tortoise got to the rocks first!

The final result is a more fun illustration which brings more character to the book. I like both versions a lot but the 2nd one works a lot better for the book. I think that children are going to like seeing the animals running. Yay!!

Now back to work. I’m taking care of the cover. But I’m not running because we learned from this fable that sloooooowly and steeeeady wins the race 😮

Have a great day!

Elsita 🙂

Read Post #31 Start from the beginning


  1. Elsita, I cannot believe you are now working on the cover… we have enjoyed watching your incredible progress with so much joy and delight- I looked forward to checking in every day! I love the changes you made to the hare and the Tortoise, especially the colourful shoes!! Every blessing XX

  2. I do understand the need to incorporate movement since that is a very important element in the fable but I like the first version better. The boldness of the hare who believes that he can win this easily and the tortoise who despite his fragility outsmarts the hare.
    Good luck with the cover!!!!

  3. Nice evolution, Elsa. Although I can’t believe how challenging it must be for editors to approach artists/illustrators with changes! It’s like asking god to change the color of a flower!

  4. This entire project is simply amazingly beautiful! I just went through all of the posts and each one made me smile. I hope to be able to own a copy of the finish book.

  5. Love the jocotea!!!! My faborite!

  6. No glasses on – my favorite!

  7. i love the second version with the movement!

  8. you are such a strong person , to listen to constructive comments and then make the necessary changes in an amazing way.
    I imagine you to be such a cheerful artist.

  9. Really your all post are very amazing, Very nice stuffs…

  10. It says the story that I bring some movement in this illustration as a career, a career quite famous. Thanks for sharing this one.

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