Seeing Double

So what’s a double fold out called?

A gatefold. 

It’s when both the right and the left pages fold out and you feel as if you’re going through the gate to the scene beyond. That’s what I wanted to achieve here, but first I needed to deal with the closed spread. 

When all other ideas elude me, I paint my favorite models… pears. 


I love how the plate and shadow bleeds off the spread and how the border stripe echoes the pears’ coloration. 

But now it was time to tackle the fully open spread. When totally opened it measured 32 inches across, so wide that it was too daunting for me to just simply dive in. I took out my gridded notebook for some planning, and of course, more thumbnails. 



I didn’t use any of these designs but you can see how I calculated the best focal points using the rule of thirds. 

I mined one of my previous sketchbooks for a suitable landscape and as I painted I placed the skyline to blend with the edge of the plate. I may have been overthinking it but it turned out well. 


32 inches of panorama. 


Now that it’s done I’ve thought of a few other ways to handle a gatefold. Maybe next time I’ll handle each of the 4 panels separately, but unified by a single theme, like the seasons. Maybe I’ll draw a progression across the spread, like how a rose bud opens, blooms and finally withers. 

So many options for me to try next, I know there’s more sketchbook modifying in my near future. 

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