These two illustrations were made for my current work-in-progress. I don’t normally go super realistic, but after discussing the project with my agent, he thought the previous illustrations (unseen) were too stylized. Now we’ve heard from someone else that these may be too realistic, so I’m off to find a happy medium. Still, I kinda love them. Creating samples like these take a lot of work, so it can be frustrating not to use them, but every piece of art I make brings me closer to the characters. It’s all good.
This story has changed a lot since I first started working on it. Here are some recent illustrations that have already been removed from the story – but I still like them.
Yesterday I had the great pleasure of visiting the first graders of Charter Oak Elementary School and talking to them about illustration. This is one of my favorite presentations to do because I love art and illustration so much and first graders are the perfect audience for this topic. They see illustration every day. My talk just sheds a little more light on why certain styles are picked for certain texts, how I do picture books layouts, and we practice how to compose an illustration with some cut outs from The Simples Love a Picnic, Snow White, and nursery rhymes. It’s a lot of fun!
I kicked off the week with a two-day visit to Whiting Lane School where I had big fun doing my new presentation, ALL ABOUT ILLUSTRATION, with the kids. I read my new book THE SIMPLES LOVE A PICNIC and talked about how I illustrate a book from choosing a style, to character consistency, to planning a layout, to composing a scene. (Below) Some student illustrators help me compose a nice picnic spread with The Simples.
Then I retired to the library where the fabulous Lee Gluck let me take over and do fun, crazy ant collages with the students. I find the best art projects have a little bit of me teaching a technique and a little bit of the kids taking over and making their own choices. Here we have ants carrying an orange, a carrot, a slice of watermelon, and a donut. I love it!