Sunday, May 30, 2010

update 4 Sam's book

Joie de Vivre, Sam jumping down the steps. Vivien Blackburn
watercolour, pencil and coloured pencil


And another illustration for Sam's book done :>)

The tractor still looms! shall I tackle drawing that today or ... not?

I've been reading a very good book on illustrating for children .

It's full of good tips - some of which I'd done instinctively in the books I've done so far, some that I'll employ in the future.

Things like:

  • different scale and viewpoints - In a previous book I'd done things like looking down on a tiny Sam playing on the beach, from the height of the kite he is flying. Or as here, looking up a flight of steps at him jumping down.

  • showing more in the drawing than is shown in the text - like the book I did for him when he was very young where he is looking for his toy giraffe - which is peeping out from behind elements in each drawing, a visual in-joke for the child

  • balancing text and image - I do always try to do this, treating the block of text as if it's an element of the image.
and lots more.

It gives some gorgeous examples, one of which was called Bob Robber and Dancing Jane by Andrew Matthews. Oh to have those writing skills!

Bob Robber was a thief.

He could steal honey from the bees and the scent from flowers. He could steal the truth from a promise and make it into a lie.

.....

and

His hair was black as bats and his eyes were the colour of the new moon. Bob Robber could stand so still that spiders didn't notice him and spun webs across his clothes. When he moved he was quieter than moss. His thieving fingers were as nimble as fish and he could run faster than morning to be back in his cottage before the sun came up.

lovely cadences and mental images :>) the illustrations by Bee Willey are wonderful too. If you have any young children to buy for - rush out and buy it!

Another useful and generous resource is the blog/work of Lynne Chapman. She discusses work in progress, ideas, research, methods. the practical side of commissions and deadlines etc A fascinating insight.

4 comments:

Jeanette said...

This is another great illustration. That viewpoint is unique and makes it more interesting.

There are specifics that make children's books work, I guess I haven't thought much about them.

I think you have another career path nudging you here. :)

vivien said...

I don't think I'm good enough Jeanette - when I look at some of the gorgeous childrens books out there.

Maybe too I need things to be personal? to mean something to me?

I'm enjoying doing this for Sam though. And I made an attempt at the tractor and farmer today so that's another one down :>)

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Oh, your little jumping Sam is adorable! This is a very fine illustration, Vivien!

vivien said...

thanks Elizabeth :>) I'm having fun with it