Brian Lies at Hollins!

Each summer in the MFA in Children's Book Writing and Illustrating program at Hollins University, we bring in a famous illustrator to speak and host a workshop. This year, we invited Brian Lies, creator of the 'Bats' series - Bats at the Library, Bats at the Beach, etc. Friday evening he gave a talk about his path to improving as an illustrator and to publication. His talk was fantastic! (And ironically, wonderfully complementary to Mary Jane's demo yesterday, as they both use a base wash. Brian uses ultramarine with raw umber.)
Then on Saturday, he shared his method of using powdered graphite to get quick value into a pencil drawing,
like for his work in Malcolm at Midnight. Here are some of his examples.
The workshop was packed! (Some photos courtesy of Rebekah Lowell.)
Here's Rebekah's work.
Happily, there were enough supplies, so I was able to join in on this one. I'm still a student! (That's what teaching is all about, after all.)
He also brought some of his finishes, which are much smaller than I expected, and all acrylic. This one is blurry, but I put my hand in it so you could see the size.
Knowing that, it makes sense that he sometimes uses 00-sized brushes. Enjoy...

It was especially helpful to see his storyboards and work sketches.

Happily, Brian hung around to join us at our faculty/student potluck at Amanda Cockrell's house that evening. Such a treat to get to know this lovely and talented guy better and learn from him! Thank you, Brian!

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