Sunday, 7 August 2011

Answering a question

In answer to a question I was asked on Facebook on my media and method I use when illustrating picture books.

To share a few notes on the technique and materials I currently enjoy using when I illustrate a children’s picture book: After completing a full set of rough pencil drawings and sorting out the design and layout of the book, I like to choose a specific paper that would suit the atmosphere of the story best. Generally I find that a fast-paced story wants a rougher paper, whereas an intimate, quiet story benefits from a smoother, fine paper on which I can do much more detailed work. I then redraw the illustration onto the selected paper, often using a light box. Next I paint a wash onto the illustration area of the page and finish the detailed drawing with crayons over the wash.

I use Caran d’Ache ‘Neocolor II Aquarelle’ oil pastels. Three makes of paper that work well for me are Canson Mi-teintes 160g/m2, Fabriano 4 Liscio 220g/m2 and Bainbridge Coquille Bristol #2. I like the last one best...

To add to that - I do not stretch my paper but using a big brush, I brush the paper lightly with a thin layer of water before starting to work with the wash of paint then let it dry completely before starting to work with the crayons. The crayons I use is water-soluble so from time to time I would smooth an area done with crayon with a wet brush

A tip - use very good quality paper - the cheaper paper disintegrate and bugle very quickly

And there is also an article I wrote on
http://marjorie-van-heerden-articles.blogspot.com/
on illustrating the picture book - Nina and Little Duck
The article is called THE MIND OF AN ILLUSTRATOR (August 2008)
Hope you will go and read it!


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