Wednesday, October 2, 2013

All My Nice & Talented Students...

Since I have been kept very busy with my shop Draw Me A Lion as well as teaching classes lately, you might have noticed that I haven't had time for my beloved picture book blog. A bit sad, but what can one do... Today instead of featuring a professional illustrator's work I would like to feature this illustration here made by Cally Thompson, a very fun and talented budding illustrator/past student of mine. She had sent it to me back in the Summer at the end of our class and what do you know, I just stumbled upon it again in the mysterious depths of my hard drive. The illustration features all the different characters she developed for various homework assignments in class. A little character montage so to speak. I feel very special indeed:) Thanks right back to you Cally and in fact a BIG thanks to ALL of my awesome students out there, past and present! How is it that I only ever get such bright and talented and nice folks in my classes? What luck:) 


Monday, July 8, 2013

Homework Assignment #6: Goldilocks






ILLUSTRATE the Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears


• Create 2-3 final illustrations. (but at least 1 full spread)
• Break up the text anyway you want, but you may not alter the actual text (ie. change the words) 

 Pay attention to:
a) The characters you use (do the character development exercise if you like)
b) Composition (do the composition exercise if you get stuck)
c) Attention to detail. What type of line are you using for your characters etc..---you need to employ consistency within a story / within a chosen style. 
--------->These illustrations should look like they are from the same book!

*Bonus: If you want, try to sketch out the whole story layout for the rhyme.
*Bonus: If you want, try to illustrate the images all in a way that make the story seem very SPOOKY or FUNNY, or SAD. But if you choose one of these you have to make all of your images spooky or funny or sad. You have to use the same style and mood in ALL of the images, as if they were all part of the same book. This will help you practice consistency.
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GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

Once upon a time, a little girl named Goldilocks went into the forest to play.
Goldilocks came upon a cute cottage and went inside.
There on the kitchen table were three bowls of porridge.
Goldilocks was hungry so she took a bite from the large bowl of porridge, but it was too hot.
Then she tried the middle-size bowl, but it was too cold.
Then she tried the smallest bowl, and it was just right, so she ate it all up.
Goldilocks was tired, so she went to the bedroom where she found three beds.
Goldilocks tried the large bed, but it was too hard.
Then she tried the middle-size bed, but it was too soft.
Then she tried the smallest bed, and it was just right, so she fell fast asleep.
While she was sleeping, the three bears came home.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” said papa bear.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” said mama bear.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge, and they ate it all up,” cried baby bear.
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,” said papa bear.
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,” said mama bear.
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed, and here she is,” said baby bear.
Goldilocks was so frightened that she jumped out of bed, ran out of the cottage and never came back again.
The end.

Copyright © 2009 MightyBook, Inc.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Homework Assignment #5, 2013, Level 1

Illustration by Sonia Roetter. 1946


Charles Addams

Helen Oxenbury Nursery Rhyme Book, 1986.

Illustrate the Nursery Rhyme Three Blind Mice


Three blind mice, three blind mice. 
See how they run, see how they run. 
They all ran after the farmer's wife, 
who cut their tales with a carving knife. 
Did you ever see such a thing in your life as three blind mice. 

• Create at least 2 final illustrations. (but at least 1 full spread)
• Break up the text anyway you want, but you may not alter the actual text (ie. change the words) 

 Pay attention to:
a) The characters you use (do the character development exercise if you like)
b) Composition (do the composition exercise if you get stuck)
c) Attention to detail. What type of line are you using for your characters etc..---you need to employ consistency within a story / within a chosen style. These illustrations should look like they are from the same book. 

*Bonus: If you want, try to sketch out the whole story layout for the rhyme.
*Bonus: If you want, try to illustrate the images all in a way that make the story seem very SPOOKY or FUNNY, or SAD. But if you choose one of these you have to make all of your images spooky or funny or sad. You have to use the same style and mood in ALL of the images, as if they were all part of the same book. This will help you practice consistency.
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BRING FOR NEXT CLASS: 
Some things you have around the house you can bear to let go off. Like for example: Tape, newspaper, coloured paper, wire, thread, styrofoam (look in your recycling bin for stuff). If you don't find anything that inspires you just go to a dollar store and look in the craft section!
Anything that's not too big and you think you could make a fun character out of. Also: Bring some of your favorite drawing tools (pens, pencils markers etc..) coloured pencils markers, pastels etc.. and your sketchbook if you have one. Or some paper you like.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Albertine

Some weeks back I bought the magnificent picture book Little Bird which immediately became a new favorite of mine after reading it. Pick it up when you have a chance. Definitely a book that will be appreciated on many levels by adults but that can also be enjoyed by kids.

What I love most about the book other than of course the visually amazing illustrations of super prolific illustrator Albertine, is that it's a daring book in that it could easily have been a much different book were the text tailored more along the conventional lines to accompany what the images are telling us in the story. Instead however there are two separate narratives happening at the same time. Together creating a truly beautifully and sophisticated picture book experience.

 I love it when you could do the easy thing. But you don't. You take a chance. And in this case, it turns out so worth it. Also interesting here is to wonder how illustrator Albertine and writer Germano Zullo worked together on this book. Did the story/text come first? Or did the images/partially come first and then the story and then the rest of the images...

If you want to read more about the book and see more images of it check out this post about it here on the Brainpicking's blog

Here is some work from the amazing illustrator Albertine. Check out her website here.










All Images © Albertine

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Strange Poetry of Lilli Carré


Lilli Carré although only just 30 years or so old, has accomplished and produced so much already. I was first introduced to her work when stumbling upon ‘Nine Ways to Dissappear’, a beautiful and compact book published by Little Otsu that tells nine short stories in words and pictures. First drawn to the book for it’s sheer beauty and design I kept reading for the bizarreness and melancholy of the stories. They almost feel as though Carré is just making them up as she writes and draws them out. As if there was no plan, no definite set purpose to them, but that this in a way seems to be the point of them at the same time. A combination of poetry and dream seems to cloak her characters and their worlds. While I think that Carré’s illustration work is beautiful in it’s own right, I believe that the format of the book, her ‘animated drawings’ or animation is where Carré’s work is truly at home. As long as there is more than one page for Carré to work with, to show us the continuation of something she is able to bring a strange kind of poetry to life that is truly unique.



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I wrote this article for the great illustration magazine Linea Curve. I will be writing some articles for them every so often and these articles will be cross posted on their blog as well as on I Heart Picture Books. Images chosen to accompany articles may vary.
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All Images © Lilli Carré



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Picture Book Shop: Mundo Azul in Berlin




 One of the many things I did lately that has caused me not to write for the longest time is to take a little vacation to my home country Germany. I hadn't been for quite some time and so it was even more exciting for me than normally to step inside any given book shop to see what was new. As luck would have it one of the places I had on my long list of things to check out in Berlin was Mundo Azul an International specialty Picture and Kids Bookshop located in one of Berlin's coolest neighborhoods. I've been to quite a few bookshops in my life time but I think this one took the cake. I only had a relatively short time since we had other plans already but I could have easily stayed all day. Not only was the selection of books amazing beyond believe with every single book displayed making you want to open it up and check it out and take it home, but the shop itself was also beautiful, with original artwork from amazing illustrators displayed on it's walls.



Imagine my surprise as I walked into the next little room and discovered original artwork by non other than Violeta Lopiz (whom I had just written about a few posts previous of this one). I was so excited and it totally made everything about the shop even more magical and perfect. The woman who was working that day was of course amazing and fun and super helpful and it was obvious that she was a big picture book fan herself. So cool! I'm so happy to have found this shop and I hope that it will stay there forever and just grow bigger and bigger. My cousin and his girlfriend whom I was visiting there life very near and it makes me happy to know that they go there to get books for their little boy. I couldn't imagine a better place in the world to get them at! 

 So yes, if you find yourself in Germany and you love picture books, here is their website .GO THERE! ...but remember that ALL shops are closed on weekends in Germany;) 



Friday, September 21, 2012

Jost Amman & Das Kunst und Lehrbüchlein


In my level 1 illustration for picture books class, one session is always dedicated to a brief overview of the history of illustration for picture books in North America as well as Europe, since the two are so inextricably linked. I always really enjoy this class since it gives me an excuse to brush up on my existing knowledge of the subject but more importantly and excitingly to add to it. 


I have taught the class for about two years now and every time I teach it, I like to add a bit to my knowledge of illustration's rich and fascinating history. It's pretty cool to be able to pick up dense scholarly books on the subject and to recognise and know a bit about most illustrators mentioned through out. There was no illustration department at my school when I attended so illustration was not included in my study of art history and everything I know today on the subject is self taught. I think that that's really cool and I'm proud of how much I have learned so far. I also hope that this keeps the class fun and fresh for both, my student and me. I really don't want to become one of those teachers who always teach the class in the exact same way, thus becoming stale and boring. Snorrrrrrrrr...


This time around I learned a bit more about one of the quoted many times over first picture books for kids. Namely 'Das Kunst und Lehrbüchlein' (1580) which includes many fine woodcuts by it's creator Jost Amman. I found this very interesting post about this book which talks about the concept behind the book and it's use. Mainly it was supposed to serve as inspiration and example for young (and old alike) artists who were interested in learning the skills of illustration. Back then this would have however not only meant perfecting your drawing skills but also to learn about the different types of woodcut through which the images were reproduced at the time.


I got a little over excited to begin with when seeing all the images of this instructional and inspirational work for young artists, thinking that it might have served as a colouring book (note the allowance of plenty of white spaces given to most depicted characters) but I according to the previously mentioned blog post it was not. Also one has to consider that there probably were no crayons for kids lying around the houses back in 1580. Back then I would imagine that art materials of any type were only common amongst those in the proffesion of illustration and their apprentices. Having said that, the age that one would become an apprentice was also much much younger than in todays world.


If You'd like to learn more about Jost Amman click here and here. To view the rest of the inside of 'Das Kunst und Lehrbüchlein' click here to enter the amazing German Kupferstich Kabinet database


All Images ©  HAUM