We're Off to See The Wizard!

I've been working on sample illustrations for THE WIZARD OF OZ.

They're a part of my Nevada SCBWI mentor program assignment.
So far I've been working on my characters and the overall feel that the samples will have.
Pictured here: what I did for the assignment in May and June.
I started this project by checking out every version of the Wizard of Oz that my library had on file. I looked through all the pictures. I read the story, listened to it again on tape and read the graphic novel. I watched 3 different movie versions.
Finding my own angle was the biggest challenge. What could I add to the story?
After looking through so many versions and brainstorming a lot, my favorite approach to the characters turned out to be rather traditional but with a certain younger-kid-appeal/simplicity that I felt wasn't always there in other versions. I'm not sure if I achieved that or not, or if it matters, but that's what I was trying for.
These characters are not set in stone, I may still change parts of them. And I may not use all of them.
It's pretty common for illustrators to illustrate a few scenes from a well-known story to make samples for their portfolio. It's been a fun challenge for me.
The illustrations I'll be making are not for anything that will be published so I'll try to share some of my process over the summer.
It makes me happy to be filled with Wizard Of Oz thoughts so much this summer. I often sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," to my son at night. It's one of my favorite songs.