What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'drawing')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: drawing, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,568
1. Ready Set Draw | Kelly Light Draws Louise’s Cat

Ready Set Draw TEMPLATE

Author and illustrator Kelly Light shows Storymakers host Rocco Staino how to draw the fierce and fantastic cat from Louise Loves Art.

Video

Ready! Set! Draw! is the drawing tutorial show for anyone who aspires to draw like their favorite kid lit illustrators. In each episode a bestselling and/or award-winning artist draws a character from their book. Budding artists will enjoy creating their very own versions of familiar and new characters.

LouiseLovesArt3

Did you, a child, or student draw their own cat using this video? Please share your images with us via Facebook or Twitter!

Watch Kelly Light’s episode of StoryMakers to learn more about her books and to find out the name of the cat!STORYMAKERS Kelly Light
Kelly reads Louise Loves Art on our Read Out Loud series too!
READ OUT LOUD - Kelly Light (Louise Loves Art)

 

ABOUT LOUISE LOVES ART

Louise Loves ArtLouise Loves Art Cover – Meet Louise. Louise loves art more than anything. It’s her imagination on the outside. She is determined to create a masterpiece—her pièce de résistance! Louise also loves Art, her little brother. This is their story. Louise Loves Art is a celebration of the brilliant artist who resides in all of us.

 

ABOUT KELLY LIGHT

Via kellylight.com
Author and illustrator Kelly Light grew up on the New Jersey shore surrounded by giant pink dinosaurs, cotton candy colors, and Skee-Ball sounds. She was schooled on Saturday-morning cartoons and Sunday funny pages. She picked up a pencil, started drawing, and never stopped. Kelly has illustrated Elvis and the Underdogs and Elvis and the Underdogs: Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service by Jenny Lee, and The Quirks series by Erin Soderberg.

Kelly is an International Ambassador of Creativity for The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity! The Center is a non-profit founded by Chuck Jones, the animator, artist and director of so many of the cartoons that we think of when we just think the word “cartoon”. In his lifetime, Chuck enjoyed talking to and encouraging younger artists. The center continues in this spirit to ignite creative thinking through free art classes for kids, creativity workshops, presentations and talks for kids and adults meant to inspire and enlighten. The center also has outreach programs to local schools who have lost their art funding and visits senior citizen centers to provide drawing and creativity exercises for greater mental and emotional health.

CONNECT WITH KELLY LIGHT
WebsiteFacebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

CONNECT WITH KidLit TV
Facebook PageFacebook Group | InstagramNewsletterPinterestTwitterYouTube

Ready! Set! Draw!
Executive Producer: Julie Gribble |  Producer: Kassia Graham

Like it? Pin it!
Ready! Set! Draw! - Kelly Light: Louise Loves Art

The post Ready Set Draw | Kelly Light Draws Louise’s Cat appeared first on KidLit.TV.

0 Comments on Ready Set Draw | Kelly Light Draws Louise’s Cat as of 2/6/2016 3:03:00 AM
Add a Comment
2. Goal Check-in: One Book, One Picture at a Time


For today's post I thought I'd share how one of my goals for the year is going: Use one art book at a time completing ALL the lessons.

The book I'm starting with is How to Draw Buildings, by  Ian Sidaway. I chose it for a number of reasons: 
  • It dovetails nicely with my other art goal and theme of drawing and painting doorways, especially those connected with my current WIP, Ghazal.
  • It give me a good foundation (no pun intended) for my weekend outings with Urban Sketchers.
  • I really, really want to learn how to use perspective better/correctly.
  • Being familiar with buildings and architectural detail will help me with some ideas I'm tossing around for illustrating picture books.
  • The more buildings I draw for practice, the easier it will be to sketch in my travel journals.
  • And more than anything, I just love buildings!
I particularly like the way this book is structured. Each lesson is divided into three: first is the main example with several pages of instructions followed by the suggestion to "Try Another Medium," and ending with a third prompt, "Try Another Building." 

The first chapter, and the one I've completed, is all about drawing simple small houses, beginning with graphite on white paper. I used a new 9 x 12 inch Strathmore Recycled 400 series sketchbook I bought for just this purpose:


Once I'd finished the drawing, I then moved on to Part II: try another medium. For this I chose to use an ultrafine black Sharpie on a heavier sketchbook page (Strathmore Visual Journal) that I had already painted with a background using my Japanese Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors:


The last section, "Try Another Building" provided a photo of what the book called a "stern little house," which it certainly was. For this piece I chose a sheet of student-grade watercolor paper that I had previously experimented on last year by placing a piece of crumpled wax paper face-down on the surface and then ironing the whole thing with my craft iron. After removing the wax paper and letting the watercolor sheet dry, I then painted it with a light wash of Prang watercolors (my super-favorite, ever-so-cheap but excellent brand for art journaling, etc.). The result was an interesting resist pattern resembling bare tree branches that also matched the photo in this last part of the lesson. 

I drew the house and filled in the "trees" with Faber-Castell Polychromos color pencils and white charcoal--doing my best to make the whole thing as stern as possible.


So there you are, three houses, three ways, and all ready for the Three Little Pigs to move in! Another interesting option might be to write a story or vignette based on each of these settings. Anybody want to try?

I've set aside Sunday afternoons to be my "class time" using this and my other how-to books throughout the year. Next Sunday I'll be moving on to Lesson 2 and two-point perspective (the example shown on the cover of the book above). Already I'm feeling nervous which is exactly why I'm using this step-by-step approach. No more just buying books, looking at the pictures, and working on the "easy" parts. Instead, I'm "building up my courage" to go straight through from cover to cover, lesson to lesson. And because I've put that in writing, I'm now honor-bound to stick to my goal! (Taking a deep breath.)

Tip of the Day: What difficult phases of the creative process do you find yourself frequently avoiding and therefore never learning to the degree you want? For me it was never attempting the "advanced" lessons in my art and other reference books. I've found that breaking a task down into easy steps is a good way to overcome and/or work with anxiety. For instance, gathering all your needed supplies for a project a day before you start can be be one step. Setting a timer to work on a portion of the project for just twenty-minutes at a time can be another. Whatever you do, keep in mind that the only way to learn anything is with steady practice, not "instant genius absorption." Good luck and have fun!

0 Comments on Goal Check-in: One Book, One Picture at a Time as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
3. Living in a Pencil (illustration for Pitanki)


0 Comments on Living in a Pencil (illustration for Pitanki) as of 2/4/2016 12:12:00 PM
Add a Comment
4. Sketching People: My Book is Here!


The advance copies of my urban sketching book just arrived - hurrah! They should have been here a couple of weeks earlier it turns out, but they went astray in the mail and the publisher didn't realise I hadn't had them. 


It's been a bit fraught with technical hitches to be honest because, when they resent my package this week, someone put in the American edition and one by a Singapore publisher (below), but left out the UK one (above). Never mind - they look gorgeous and glossy and I am very pleased. The contents on the inside of the different editions are more or less the same, it's just odd words and grammatical variations - it's mainly the covers which look different.


It's lovely to see how all the content looks, in it's proper form. I spent so long putting it all together and now here it is, looking like a real book! 

I thought I'd take some snaps to give you a sneak preview, though you probably have a pretty good idea by now, since I've talked about it in progress often enough (hit the Sketching People label on the right, if you're interested). 

There a section which looks at art materials, with a specific eye on how you choose tools which are appropriate to the problems of drawing people out on location:


I look at how you choose your subject, which is hugely important. There are some locations and activities which are virtually impossible, but plenty of others which make things a lot easier for you, especially if you are cutting your teeth:


Then there are the different possible angles to tackle. I would rarely advise drawing people front-on. It's much more interesting and far easier on the whole, to tackle them in profile or in three-quarter view, particularly when you are concentrating on faces:


I write a fair bit on techniques to deal with the fact that people move about a lot, which is of course one of the main things which makes them so tricky. I can't stress enough the benefits of trying contour drawing, both for warming up your arm and eye and for tackling your subject as swiftly as possible:


Plus another technique, handy particularly if you are drawing groups of people or people passing by, is using composites - sketches made up of a little of one person and a bit of another, with maybe the head of someone else again!


There is a lot more too, of course. I tried to think of everything I know. It's hard when you have been doing something for so very many years. It all becomes second-nature. Writing the book has been really interesting, because it has helped to make me analyse what I know. Which has actually really helped for when I am teaching workshops, like the ones I am doing at the moment for the Morgan Centre as part of my Artist-in-Residence year, and of course the work I do with Urban Sketchers.

0 Comments on Sketching People: My Book is Here! as of 1/29/2016 6:43:00 AM
Add a Comment
5. SNOW, multitasking...and SUPER BOWL BOUND!!!

crazy couple of weeks (hence the lack of blogging-*hangs head in shame*) but i've been busy and that's a very good thing!





another good thing? i FINALLY got my SNOW!!! over 30"....not too shabby! 


and what's the greatest thing that's happened to me in the last 2 weeks? wait for it, wait for it....PEYTON MANNING IS SUPER BOWL BOUND!!! (should have just done a whole separate post for this one....LOVE THIS MAN) i cried like a baby. EVERYONE who knows me personally knows how much respect and love i have for this man...and have (loyally) for almost TWO DECADES. never wavered once. knowing this may be his last rodeo, well i want him to go out BIG! no one is more deserving. prayers and fingers crossed for a SB WIN on 2/7/16....although this man will ALWAYS be a WINNER to me! love you, Peyton Manning.





0 Comments on SNOW, multitasking...and SUPER BOWL BOUND!!! as of 1/26/2016 11:36:00 AM
Add a Comment
6. Why I Love Writing (and Drawing) in Cafes


This past weekend found me in two cafes: Saturday drawing and painting in the Albuquerque History Museum cafe, and Sunday writing with my writer's group in a bookstore coffee shop. Bliss! 

Ever since I first read Natalie Goldberg's advice in Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind about writing in cafes, I've been hooked on following her example. I can't think of a better environment than a cozy--and often noisy--cafe to help writers and artists at all levels relax, focus, and get some work done all at the same time. It's a practice I've been following for years, and one I've come to rely upon to get me out of the house and filling the blank page. 


Some of my top reasons for choosing cafes over, say, the library or the laundromat as a makeshift office/studio include:

1. As the old saying goes, a change is as good as a rest. And the cafe scene is always changing.


2. Someone else makes the coffee.

3. You have instant “material.” All those strange people sitting around chatting, arguing, reading, slurping . . .

4. You get used to writing with distractions and even a certain amount of discomfort. Great for learning to switch off from the "real world" and concentrate on the project at hand.

5. Discipline. You’ve made the effort to travel all this way, so stay there!

6. Ritual. Same place + same time = familiar and comforting routine.

7. Writing by hand is good for the heart and soul.

8. Or if you prefer, plug in. Many cafes have free WiFi, great for the budget-conscious.

9. If you're close enough to a local cafe, you can walk there. An excellent workout!

10. You can buy yourself a treat for “good behavior” and pages written. (And it doesn't have to be cake. If you're in a bookstore, museum, or gift shop cafe, how about a new book, magazine, pen, or journal?)

11. You have the opportunity to hold meetings with other artists and writers without using--or cleaning--your house.

12. Busily working away in your journal or sketchbook in public sends the message that you are a Professional, helping you to be exactly what you want to be.


Tip of the Day: Writing or drawing surrounded by a crowd can sometimes be daunting. To overcome any shyness or self-consciousness you may feel, especially if you're a newbie to cafe creativity, try sitting with your back to the wall. That way no one can easily look over your shoulder--something people love to do when you're sketching. (It's taken me a long time to simply smile and keep going whenever that happens. And believe me, they soon get bored and leave.) Another tip is to use a journal or sketchbook with a firm fold-over cover so you can write or draw while the book is propped on your lap rather than on the table, a good way to maintain your privacy and confidence. Latte, anyone?



0 Comments on Why I Love Writing (and Drawing) in Cafes as of 1/20/2016 12:40:00 PM
Add a Comment
7. Happy Mermaid Monday

Even a cold couldn't keep me away from creating a lovely mermaid for the upcoming book. ♥︎ Feeling the love in the air as Valentine's Day approaches next month.


0 Comments on Happy Mermaid Monday as of 1/18/2016 1:16:00 PM
Add a Comment
8. KITE WEATHER

HOW TO FIND GOLD is only one of Anna and Crocodile's adventures.

I wrote a few of them down as letters to my team at Walker Books.
Here is a blustery one.










There's a whole book about Anna and Crocodile, called HOW TO FIND GOLD.

0 Comments on KITE WEATHER as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
9. Walker Books PICTURE BOOK OF THE MONTH!

Isn't that awesome! First month of the year and Anna and Crocodile win a surprise honour.

I wrote a making-of feature for the Walker Books blog, you can read it here.

I wondered who these instructions were for. Was this a chapter from a pirate primer? Who was reading it now and why? I started to illustrate it, first imagining myself as a small child, practicing to sleep with my eyes open to make sure no one could steal the gold I hadn’t found yet.

“Get yourself a pet that will surprise you at night,” the story recommended. “A crocodile is ideal. Carry one with you wherever you go to build up your strength. Start with a young crocodile. It will grow.”

This was an idea taken from the Greek myth of Milo who carried a calf on his shoulders every day until it grew into a bull and he grew into a mighty Olympian. More importantly, one summer when I was tiny my mother bought me an inflatable crocodile in the supermarket. It was big enough to ride on and intended for the seaside. I carried it everywhere, dragging it by the tail until its snout wore through on the tarmac and it deflated before the holiday even started.

I drew a girl and her toy crocodile. It wasn’t quite right. They just seemed very quiet and small. - I drew them in on a new page and asked the girl some questions about the crocodile. She said it was called Rupert Maureen, and didn’t move unless she threw it and she wasn’t supposed to throw it. I didn’t expect that.


READ THE REST (both of the article and the comic)


0 Comments on Walker Books PICTURE BOOK OF THE MONTH! as of 1/12/2016 10:15:00 AM
Add a Comment
10. Happy Mermaid Monday!

I have started a new project, Huzzah! I must be crazy. @_@

Every day until I feel I have enough, I am going to draw out a fun mermaid portrait. In the end, there will be enough beautiful mermaids for a pocket coloring book! I know, I'm so excited I just want to hide and draw for days to get it done!

On top of that, each drawing will be available for purchase. She will come matted in white ready for an 8x10 frame. You may visit here Mermaid Portrait #1 Original  to place your sale.

Here is the first one! 


Mermaid Portrait #1



0 Comments on Happy Mermaid Monday! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
11. Yeehah - I am at 99%!


Since my Craftsy masterclass launched on Oct 19th, I have had an amazing 1161 people sign up! This is great news, not just because it is brilliant to know that it is obviously hitting the spot, but also because Craftsy classes are paid very much like picture books - you get an advance and then royalties. 


For those who don't know how an advance works, it is a payment to help cover the time the artist spends in development and production. It's better than a flat fee though, because it is an advance on royalties that the company expects you will be able to earn, which means that, if sales go really well and you earn more than the advance they've paid, you start to get more payments: your actual royalties.


I was paid half my advance when we finished filming in September last year and half when the class went live in October. The Craftsy website has a place with a little graph which tells me how much of my advance has been earned out. I've been taking a peak every few days and watching it creep up and, FANTASTIC news - this morning it looked like this. It was at 99%! 


I goes up slightly faster if people click through from my website or blog, so it's hard to work out exactly how many people that missing 1% represents, but I reckon I need about 12 more people to subscribe, for me hit the golden 100%.


The great thing about a Craftsy class is that it is not in 'real time'. You can sign up at any time and watch it at any time: it's there forever, for you to watch over and over if you like, so you can work through things as fast or as slowly as you wish. Plus, if you get busy and suddenly don't have time to get through all the 7 lessons, you can come back and carry on next year, if that fits better. You also get the chance to ask me questions and post your homework. If you've not seen it yet, this little trailer gives you a very clear idea of what you learn:


So, if you want to be able to draw characters with confidence - animals, people, whatever you fancy - and more importantly, learn how to make them feel real, by giving them individual personalities and emotional responses to their situations, have a go at the class and be one of my 12 people! 


It's currently on sale at £19.16 (or whatever the equivalent is in dollars, if you are over that side of the pond). I think for what you get, that it really good value. I've certainly had lots of lovely feedback. Hope you like it!

0 Comments on Yeehah - I am at 99%! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
12. 2016's first week....

so sometime this winter, i'd really love to see some snow...until then, i'll have to paint myself a beautiful winter muse. and that's exactly what i've been working on....


  

0 Comments on 2016's first week.... as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
13. Emergency Medical Kit, a German Dictionary, Silica Gel, Half a Tea Strainer...


Quiz question for the day: what do these objects have in common?

Answer: they are all examples of Dormant Things, yet more objects of limited use, pulled from their hiding places in my attic and in the nooks and crannies of the studio. 


Apart from a rather lovely visit to Pye Bank Primary School on Tuesday, I have been working at home this week. There have been a lot of back emails to plough through (groan) but, in between, I have been working on the Dormant Things projectfilling the rest of the sketchbook I started before Christmas.


Posting some of this work on social media has brought out many interesting points. Should we be working towards getting rid of much of the clutter we gather around ourselves, or are our personal reasons for keeping things of dubious value justification enough, no matter how daft they might seem? I have managed to dump some truly pointless items, like the half a tea strainer above (kept in case it came in handy) and the anonymous key in the bottom sketch. Objects with symbolic or sentimental significance are mostly staying put.


Sentimental objects have given rise to another interesting discussion: items like the candle-sticks below, which John and I found on our honeymoon, are often the guardians and triggers of important memories. We tend to take photographs of significant people and places, but not significant objects. But, if you sketch the object, does the sketch take over the role of memory-guardian and allow you to release the object into the wild? I think for me, the answer is 'sometimes'. I am more likely to let go, if the object could be loved by a new owner and have another life, instead of sitting in the dark forever.


I'm having a lot of fun with this project and, as you can see, it's provoking a lot of thought. I've now completed the whole of this concertina book, but I have of course only scratched the surface and will continue to reveal the dark underbelly of my hoarded clutter... 


0 Comments on Emergency Medical Kit, a German Dictionary, Silica Gel, Half a Tea Strainer... as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
14. MAKING OF "HOW TO FIND GOLD": letting the characters speak

As promised, here is the first of a few MAKING OF posts about How To Find Gold, my new picture book that's just been published (go buy it, thanks)!

I was developing the characters of Anna and Crocodile by letting them act out some of the ideas I had for the book on paper. I had no idea who they were yet. Anna had my haircut (it grew out gradually while I was working on the book) and the crocodile was a toy which Anna had told me was bought from IKEA ("when we got the wardrobes").

This is from the second sketchbook (there were many).








So, yes, that's how I work... I recommend it, it's really rewarding to see what these little made-up people come out with when you just let them run wild.

Next: Painting Like A Child. Watch this Space.

0 Comments on MAKING OF "HOW TO FIND GOLD": letting the characters speak as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
15. Illustrator Submission :: Laura Manfre

By Chloe

bakeryillustration_800frosting_539 98_1000pancakes_800

Laura Manfre is a self-taught illustrator from France. Her work has a beautiful traditional quality to it but still remains relevant and appealing. It’s difficult not to feel hungry when looking at Laura Manfre’s work due to one of her main subjects being indulgent treats and tasty snacks. She is equally talented though at depicting other subjects such as animals and people.

If you’d like to see more of Laura’s work, please visit her portfolio.

0 Comments on Illustrator Submission :: Laura Manfre as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16. Recording the Stuff We Can't Quite Throw Away...


Happy New Year all! I'm 3 months into my residency now and have so far mostly been painting a general picture of university life. I have been really looking forward to this next bit though, as I will be getting increasingly involved in the research projects of the various academics at the Morgan Centre. 

Just before Christmas, I got a sneak preview or what is to come. I took my sketchbook to my very first research interview, for the Dormant Things project. It looks at the way in which almost all of us has a weakness when it comes to throwing certain objects away. We don't actually need them though, so we shove them under the bed, in a drawer, or shoehorn them into the already chocka cupboard under the stairs. Even better, we stash them conveniently out of sight and mind, up in an attic or down in the cellar. Unless you are a rare creature indeed, you will know that I mean. Yep? Thought so.


Our reasons for hanging onto these unneeded objects vary. Often they carry important memories or mark significant moments in our life. They might be 'things that could come in handy one day'. Some are unwanted gifts, or objects whose use we have forgotten but don't like to throw away, 'just in case'. I have hung onto my cut-off hair, because it is a part of me, a part of the younger me who had long hair all through senior school and university. I don't need it, I don't even need to see it, it just feels wrong to part with it.


The research interview was with a woman in Stretford. All interviewees need to remain anonymous, so we called her Margaret for the day. The researcher, Sophie Woodward, had already explained about my Artist-in-Residence role and so Margaret was expected me. We had a cup of tea and she chatted generally about her personal clutter, then the three of us when into the hall, where Margaret spent about 40 minutes 'unpacking' the contents of her hall cupboard for us. I sat on the floor, a fly-on-the-wall, while she took out one thing at a time, explaining to Sophie why she had decided to store it in there, rather than get rid of it. 


My task was to try my best to record the objects and their significance. I obviously couldn't draw them all. Even scribbling away at super-lightning speed, I could only get the highlights and try to capture the flavour of the interview. When we were done, I showed Margaret what I had done and she got quite emotional. I was very pleased, since I felt it showed I had captured the poignancy of her saved objects. 

Once we had left Margaret, I chatted to Sophie about some of my own Dormant Things and she thought I should record them too. Which is why I dug my old hair out of the attic. It was good fun, having a reason to rummage. I found lots of contenders and am going to enjoy sketching some of them this week. Here's the first one I did: 


It was a wedding present from my mum and dad. Unfortunately, it never worked properly, so was eventually stored away: too beautiful and too significant to be parted with.

If you feel inspired and fancy a bit of personal rummaging, Sophie says that she would love to see your sketches, so please do send them to her by email.


0 Comments on Recording the Stuff We Can't Quite Throw Away... as of 1/3/2016 7:04:00 AM
Add a Comment
17. A Maudlin Sketch


via Emergent Ideas A Maudlin Sketch

0 Comments on A Maudlin Sketch as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
18. The Sherlock Holmes Project

Summary: The beginning of a series of posts about my Sherlock Holmes thesis project showing preliminary sketches.

via Studio Bowes Art Blog at http://ift.tt/1YKWlld

0 Comments on The Sherlock Holmes Project as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
19. Drawing Empowerment - Sketcher's Workshops


Last week I met up again with my brave sketching group at The Morgan Centre. They are all academics and mostly people who have no drawing, painting or sketching experience. They have volunteered to keep sketchbooks during the year of my residency and I know that they were almost all pretty terrified at the prospect.



Despite this, we had a lot of fun when we first met up last month. I ran an empowerment workshop for them, introducing them to new ways of thinking about drawing and painting. A lot of people's worries centre around their perceived inability to draw. But everyone can draw. The block is created because people feel their drawings don't in any way match up to reality. 


The important thing to realise, is that realism is just one benchmark of success and by no means the only or even the best one. I don't generally try to make my sketches look like what's actually there - I have the most fun when I free myself up to be expressive or think laterally.

My group all got a free kit of art materials which I chose for them, so I began by getting them to experiment with the various different marks you could get with them, so they were less afraid of the materials themselves, especially watercolour. I got them using lots of water and playing with mark-making techniques: 


I also introduced them to some alternative approaches for getting across what we see. We started by drawing a simple 'drinking vessel' which I had asked each to bring in. 


Instead of the generally frustrating 'realism' approach, we looked at the object from different perspectives and I asked the group to create interlocking line-drawings which explored alternative silhouettes of their object. We thought a lot about the spread as a 'design' too, letting the appearance of the open book become as important as the actual object itself.


Instead of worrying about conventional shading and colouring of the objects, individuals painted the negative spaces they had created, then enriched the spread further by adding pattern and text, to 'tell the story' of the object.

We also had a lot of fun with blind-contour and wrong-handed drawing. 


If you've never done it before, it feels very strange, but is also incredibly liberating. Instead of the hesitant, spidery-fine marks which beginners usually feel trapped into using, the drawings were bold and dramatic. Plus, they were done in just 1 minute each!


This 2nd meeting of the group was partly to review the homework task I had set them at the end of the workshop. Everyone had done really well, but one person had gone bonkers. He had no previous experience, but had been so liberated and inspired by the workshop, he had not only done the task I'd set, but then produced lots of watercolour paintings (really good ones too). I couldn't have wanted for a better result.


At the end of the meeting, I set a new homework task, based on the Heart of a Humament project, by the artist Tom Phillips. He took a rather bad Victorian novel he'd found in a 2nd-hand book shop and pulled new meanings from each page of the text, which he then illustrated, sometimes figuratively, sometimes decoratively. 
  

0 Comments on Drawing Empowerment - Sketcher's Workshops as of 11/19/2015 2:22:00 AM
Add a Comment
20. Desk-Drawer Portrait: Latest Idea for my Residency


When it comes to my residency at the Morgan Centre, I have licence to pretty much draw whatever I want. I have a security pass to all the university buildings and have already drawn in lectures, tutorials, meetings, leaving dos, student areas... I am keen though to get a breadth of approach and want the sketchbooks to contain as much visual variety as possible. So, we hatched the idea of the desk-drawer portrait.


Professor Sue Heath is the person who got the ball rolling with the Leverhulme Trust grant and is very supportive of my work, so she volunteered to be my first desk-drawer victim. She promised not to interfere with what was in there: she took the whole top drawer out of her desk and handed it to me. It was a jumble of all sorts.


I sat quietly and sorted the contents into little piles, then methodically drew everything. It turned out to be much more amusing than I expected, because 90% of the contents were either completely unused, had not been looked at in eons, or were so well past their sell-by date, they belonged in the bin (totally dry Tippex with a brush-end like an exploding firework, glue-stick dried to a skinny, petrified finger...)


It took up half of one of my concertina books. I put down a painted background first, to tie it all together, so it wouldn't look 'bitty'. I also used text to add my own personal commentary. I left absolutely nothing out. I counted all the perished rubber bands and even drew the bent staples I fished out of the back corners: 


It took me 3 sessions to sketch it all, but I eventually got it done. It was rather revealing that, in the entire week I had her drawer contents held captive, Sue missed only I item: her stapler. But like many other objects in her drawer, it came with a sibling, so she took one and left me the other to sketch:


I had great fun and thoroughly enjoyed adding my ironic labels alongside each item. Luckily Sue has a good sense of humour, so I wasn't run out of town!

Okay, own up, who is already peering sheepishly into their own desk drawer and wondering..?

0 Comments on Desk-Drawer Portrait: Latest Idea for my Residency as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
21. Solving Problems with My Knickers...


I have been really busy lately - even more than usual! I have mostly been dividing my time between my residency and my drawings for the new picture book Class One, Farmyard Fun.


The roughs are going very well and I'm very nearly there. It's been slightly frustrating, working in fits and starts, rather than just ploughing on every day until it's done, but in some ways it's been better, as having 'rest' days keeps me fresh.

I hit a snag though, so had a meeting with Julia Jarman...


That's not something we would normally do, but we happened to be working together in Durham, doing a couple of storytelling events for the big Gala Day at the Northern Children's Book Festival, so we grabbed our chance after breakfast at the hotel. 

I was having a bit of bother with my knickers...

Actually, they were Julia's knickers.... Well, the knickers in her story anyway. The sort-of villain in the story, the bull, accidentally knocks himself out near the end, and the first thing he sees when he comes round is a pair of bright red knickers hanging on a washing line. Being red, they get him rather upset. 


I was having logistical problems, getting the knickers in the right place for them to be directly in the bull's line of sight as he opened his eyes, because I also needed the bull to be looking out of the picture at us as he wakes, for dramatic impact. While battling with this, I got a good idea: why not get him actually tangled in the washing before he knocks himself out and get the knickers caught on his horns? Funnier.


But this created another problem. On the next spread, Sam, one of the children, grabs the knickers from the line and uses them to lure the bull away. If the knickers were actually on the horns, this wouldn't be credible for a 5 year old child to do, even in picture book world. So I introduced a washing prop, for brave Sam to use to whip the knickers from the horns.

The knickers are Julia's means of saving the day in the story: with the help of the teacher at the wheel of the farmers truck, Sam gets the bull to chase the knickers all the way back to the field where he came from:  


All of which worked pretty well when I sketched it out, but it needed a significant change to the text - extra tricky, since the whole thing is in rhyme. So that's why I wanted to get together with Julia; I needed to show her my ideas, see if she agreed that it worked better and was funnier, and see how she felt about the text change.

Of course Julia was fabulous. She always is. She's such a great author to work with. She immediately got it. Luckily, we have a similar sense of humour, so she loved my idea. Within seconds, she was trying out bits of new rhyme aloud (much to the amusement of the hotel staff), experimenting with ways to create the new lines we needed. She had re-written it before I was back home at my drawing board. Thanks Julia!


I have now drawn everything and finished all but 4 spreads. They just need re-drawing (I always have to go through it all again, improving things and making changes). Nearly there. Better get to it!

0 Comments on Solving Problems with My Knickers... as of 12/7/2015 10:57:00 AM
Add a Comment
22. Nearly a Sticky End for 'Class One' (and Me)!


The roughs for Class One, Farmyard Fun are finished! Well, what I mean to say is, they have all been drawn up and submitted to my publisher. You never know at this stage whether you are actually finished or not - it is not at all unusual for there to be quite a few changes needed. We''ll see. This is the opening spread:



Actually, I had a bit of a false start - I thought I was finished, somewhat prematurely. I was just reading through everything with John, in preparation to emailing the roughs off to Hodder (it can be very useful to have a 2nd pair of eyes - John often spots things I've missed). It was all looking good though. Lots of chaos and plenty of children flying through the air...



Anyway, we read the last spread and the story ended rather suddenly. It was only then that I realised I had missed off the end! There's always a final single page, the one you get after the final spread. It's not always used - it depends on the book and the length of the text. In this series of books, that final page is always a sort of cautionary ending, sometimes with the hint of a sting in the tail. 

I worked out what went wrong: when my art director printed me a slightly reduced set of layouts to work from (blank pages with just the text), the single page had got forgotten at her end. I didn't notice because of not working through the illustrations in order. 

So, I had to go back to the drawing board (literally) and get scribbling again. This is what I came up with (the little girl will of course be wearing a red dress):



0 Comments on Nearly a Sticky End for 'Class One' (and Me)! as of 12/18/2015 1:29:00 PM
Add a Comment
23. Playing with Words: Painting on Books (whatever next!)


Things are still going really well at the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives. I am loving the opportunity to immerse myself in such a long-term sketching project and really getting into my long, concertina-format books. But one aspect of the residency which was only on the periphery of my plans before it all kicked off, is proving to be a significant part of my pleasure.

The sketching workshops, to enable the core team of about a dozen academics, were something I confess I was just slightly apprehensive about. The group is a bit different to any I have worked with before: mostly no drawing experience since school, but all high achievers in their field. I needn't have worried. They are being very brave and pitching in with whatever ideas I throw at them.


For the latest homework, I decided to give them back just a corner of their comfort zone as a reward. I want to open their approach to a blank sketchbook page as wide as possible so, since they are all used to words, I used Tom Phillips' Heart of a Humament project as inspiration. While in a 2nd hand bookshop, Phillips came across a rather tedious Victorian novel, called 'A Humament'. Back in his studio, he set about re-created every page by highlighting individual words from the text and joining them in new ways to create new meanings, before painting out the rest of the words in a way which illustrated the new text.



These are just some examples. They are all uniquely powerful and all different. 

For my sketch-group, I scanned lots of pages from my copy of the Heart of a Humament book, as inspiration, as well as some randomly chosen, but pleasingly verbose pages from Salman Rushdie and Gunter Grass novels, for them to work on. Fear not fair readers: they painted on print-outs, not actual books!

Each of the academics was asked to make the new text relevant to their individual research projects, so that their finished work still fitted with the theme of documenting life at the Morgan Centre. This is a selection of what they brought back in to show me:


I was bowled over. Remember, these are people with almost no drawing or painting experience. The 'new text' was great too - some was very poetic, some hilarious. Somebody actually managed to incorporate Mr Rushdie's word 'witchnipples' into a comment on their research. What do these sociologist get up to, we wonder!

0 Comments on Playing with Words: Painting on Books (whatever next!) as of 12/21/2015 4:23:00 AM
Add a Comment
24. DECEMBER DISCOUNT DAYS...DAY 22!



so, today is officially WINTER!!! well, i am ecstatic about that as it is and always will be my favorite season. however, i may have a bone or two to pick with Mr. December. this month has been more like spring than any December i can remember....and that bums me out. hopefully, at some point. Jack Frost will decide to pay me a visit. i miss him.

on a happier note....today is officially the first day of WINTER!!! and this beauty is today's FEATURED DRAWING! the lovely and pristine, Crystal.

{on a side note, i'm wearing RAIN boots to the post office today instead of SNOW boots. can i just say how wrong that is?! :( }

***last year on this day, i was snapping pics with Jack Frost....my forever love.***


0 Comments on DECEMBER DISCOUNT DAYS...DAY 22! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
25. A Maudlin Sketch

I did this sketch in my sketchbook. I guess I was feeling a little maudlin… Then I found this quote, which made me feel a little better. “Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises, don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful — be concerned with doing good […]

via Studio Bowes Art Blog at http://ift.tt/1MCbsGw

0 Comments on A Maudlin Sketch as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts