Illustration and Children’s Books

The current quarter at my school I am enrolled in a class strictly devoted to children’s book illustration. As part of the class, there is an online reference collection blog being put together by all of the students as a weekly research assignment for inspiration and further understanding of the stylistic applications. Of coarse, the major focus of this class to illustrate a 32 page children’s book. Instead of merely taking the text from one of the classics in the public domain, our professor had a creative writing class write the story so that we would have to deal with the writer illustrator relationship on top of the illustrations themselves.

While waiting on the text, we first delved into the history of children’s book illustration and taking note of the major contributors to the medium. For our first exercise, we were challenged with emulating the collage techniques and style of Charley Harper. We were to choose an animal and interoperate. My choice was the seagull as you can see below.

Seagull

Getting back into the story being illustrated, my writer, Barry Adaska wrote a fish story where the protagonist, Joe Fish, thinking he is getting to big for little pond, ventures out through a hidden underwater cave leading to the ocean where he must learn his place and try not to be in such a hurry to grow up. Below are my digital rough workups for the protagonist, Joe Fish.

JoeFish_DigitalRough

Note: the final illustrations are being done in watercolor so he, and all of his surroundings, will be drastically different from these rough workups.

Look for more on this class from both Nick and I as we continue forward in this project for the quarter.

—Jim

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1 Response to “Illustration and Children’s Books”


  1. 1 Alex August 12, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    kewl seagull :D


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