Saturday, March 10, 2012

Illustrator's Conference Post #1

Here are a couple of sketches of children I drew at the conference. We observed a family with 5 children and drew them from life. It was tricky because children move so quickly, but it's important to capture the gesture quickly and then draw in the rest from what you know.

Illustrator Sherry Meidell was the first speaker at the Utah SCBWI illustrator's conference on February 25th. Sherry was also in charge of putting this great conference together- and she did a great job! Here are a few highlights from my notes from her speech-

How do you draw kids? Sherry talked about going to elementary schools to sketch kids (Of course this is something you would need special permission to do). She talked about different ages of kids and their physical and emotional characteristics. If you're going to be a children's book illustrator, you have to expect that you are going to be drawing a lot of kids- and different ages of kids. So start observing and drawing children from life. Your hand, eye, mind and imagination work from observation.

Getting ideas for your illustrations:

•Play with your artwork- keep drawing, and drawing and drawing... (don't stop on the first sketch/idea)
 •Daydream- give yourself time to think. Just sit and think. Go for a walk- leave your surroundings to think.

Finding your character:

•Ask questions about your character- what is his/her likes, wants, motivations.
•Make a model of your character and try out different lighting.
•How is my character stylized? What are his/her emotions and feelings?

Is your illustration well designed?

•How is the color and the values (color and value studies are very helpful)?
•Can I get lost in the picture?
•Does the illustration have a good mood?
•Is my artwork unique?
•Does my second grade self like my illustration?
•Have other illustrators critique your work (oh so true!!).

Thanks for the words of wisdom, Sherry!

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