Friday, March 15, 2013

Knee Deep in Picture Books

The picture book is a curious beast.

I’ve been working hard these past weeks on the illustrations for Julia’s House. They are big ink-and-watercolor pictures and making them gives me that “real artist” feeling that you only get from splashing around with pigments. (I can do some nice-looking work with my Cintiq, but that sense of danger is lost when you have an “undo” button).

Picture books are a unique and intimate blend of words and pictures. (So are graphic novels, but they are a different blend). I thought I had Julia’s House written. But as I translate my scribbly, sometimes unintelligible sketches into finished artwork I’m surprised by how much more of the story is being told.

Here, then, are links to two short videos featuring masters of the craft talking about what they do:

First, the most excellent Helen Oxenbury and what the illustrator lends to the text. Guys, she has a fireplace in her studio!

Second, this cool guy Oliver Jeffers, and a video that features his cool studio, his cool hair and cool motorcycle and cool way of hunting sandwiches. Sigh...

Finally here are some pictures and an odd mini robot comic. I’ve started the occasional creative warm up exercise of just starting tiny comics in my notebook without knowing what they are going to be. You draw a box and fill it with a picture. Then you draw another box...


A doodle of Julia from Julia’s House

inspiration outside my window.