This blog is a celebration of novel, novel characters!

I love reading novels, and as an artist I know a great exercise to stretch one's illustration skills is to portray characters from a description in a book. This blog is a challenge to myself to do just that so I'll be posting illustrations from whatever book I'm currently reading. Feel free to add comments and send me your fan art for these great titles too!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Madison from “Barefoot Summer” by Denise Hunter

 The book cover for “Barefoot Summer” looks very calm and relaxing yet like still waters, there is much more going on beneath the surface.  It’s a story about overcoming fear, grieving, healing, and of course, romance.  The setting is contemporary and takes place in Chapel Springs, Indiana along the Ohio River.  The heroine, Madison is a 26 year old Veterinarian who enjoys acting in plays during her spare time, yet for some reason she’s decided to enter the annual Sailing Regatta.  Enter it, and win it!  Her only problem is she doesn’t know how to swim, let alone sail.

The reasons for Madison’s obsession with sailing are what give her character depth.  It was her brother Michael’s dream to be the youngest sailor to win the Regatta, so with the deadline of her 27th birthday upon her (the youngest record holder being from age 27), Madison feels it’s her last chance to fulfill her deceased twin’s dream and bring closure to her grief.  I love that despite her fear of water, lack of both sailing skill and knowledge, and lack of a working ship, she’s determined enough to still move forward with entering the race.  She has a strong heart and even goes so far as to take lessons from Beckett, the one man who’s unnerved her since high school, to accomplish her goal of entering and winning the race.
Instead of drawing Madison with her love interest Beckett, I decided for a more artsy piece this time and drew Madison with her brother Micheal and his boat.
Beckett, by the way, is great.  There’s a lot that Madison doesn’t understand about him, mainly his feelings towards her.  He’s kind, considerate, and also hurting inside.  I have to say, he’s one of my favorite dream-boat heroes.  Dream boat, get it?  You like that one, don’tcha!  I know, I know…
Moving on… Denise did an excellent job of stringing the story along at a fast pace by revealing both Madison and Beckett’s feelings and their history, bit by bit along the way.  It’s hard for me to not throw in spoilers, it was so satisfying when, inevitably they got together and both characters gained healing from their past.  It didn’t happen in the expected way.  Is letting you know there’s a happy ending a spoiler?  In my defense, it is part of the romance genre after all!  If you’re looking for a good read in a contemporary, summer setting, I highly recommend it.


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