Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Process of Illustrating

The wonderful Sarah Davis is an Australian children's book illustrator I greatly admire. In 2009 Sarah won the Children's Book Council of Australia Crichton Award for her illustrations in 'Mending Lucille', written by Jennifer Poulter. Mending Lucille tells the story of a little girl whose mother has passed away.

On her website Sarah has very generously shared her illustration process from initial idea for first rough to final artwork. To visit Sarah's website and her explanation of the step by step process for Mending Lucille click here: Mending Lucille

Illustration Workshop Review and Feedback

With two small suitcases loaded with picture books and reference books, notes and handouts, hand drawn posters and blue tack I arrived at the Gold Coast Art School fully prepared to indulge in the passion that is children's picture books and their illustration. When I looked at the amount I had prepared, I wondered whether we would get through half of it. But with two decades of teaching experience I know how to pace a lesson and not allow myself to be side-tracked.

Luckily for me I had a group of intelligent and passionate artists and writers. Together we looked at the genre and its mediums, themes, qualities and messages. The day was broken into topics like: Narrative and Visual Structure, Visual Narrative, Page Layouts, Characterisation, Storyboarding, Dummy books and Submission to a publisher.

We studied carefully the elements above in relation to the following books: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham, The Important Things by Peter Carnavas, Amy and Louis by Libby Gleeson, illustrated by Freya Blackwood, and Mutt Dog by Stephen Michael King.

The participants were given an exercise in analysis of one of the books where they looked at colour, space, movement, composition, perspective and pacing. Later in the day they storyboarded the text to one of my picture book manuscripts. Interestingly their page breaks were almost identical to mine.

I forgot my camera. I can't believe it. I had so wanted to post some photos of my workshop at the Gold Coast Art School. Instead I thought I'd include some of the feedback I received at the end of a very busy day.

"I have attended many workshops and classes on creative writing, but yours was 'spot on' in addressing children's picture books. Your storyboard workshop was particularly helpful."

"The workshop was informative and professional. Angela was happy to share her personal journey in illustrating so we could avoid the pitfalls. Having self-published, I would have loved to have this info prior to my experiences."

"What an amazing amount of info, but easily understood. Well presented and explained to a complete novice - maybe this is a new direction for me!"

It was such a fun day for me also and I would happily re-pack those suitcases and present this workshop again tomorrow. Any takers?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Workshop on Illustrating Children's Books

Ever wondered how to go about illustrating a children’s picture book?

During this one day workshop at the Gold Coast Art School I will take you through the process step by step as you learn to develop a visual narrative to a supplied text (or you may bring your own).

From sketching preliminary roughs, developing characters, storyboarding, page layouts, creating a dummy book to preparing artwork for submission, all areas will be covered, including how to approach a publisher. This workshop may also be suitable for the children’s writer who would like to improve their writing with a greater understanding of the picture book genre and the approach illustrators take when deciding on page breaks, sub-plots etc. It is not necessary to be able to draw for this workshop.

Workshop presenter:
Angela Sunde
Children’s Author and Illustrator
• Pond Magic, an Aussie Chomp, Penguin Australia, 2010.
• 3rd Place Award Picture Book Illustration, Children’s and Young Adult Conference 2009

Workshop Date:
Sunday 18th July
9.30am – 4pm

Workshop Venue:
The Gold Coast Art School
57 Nerang Street

See more here: Chee Chee and Mia