-->

30 January 2018

Coloring Page Tuesday - Snow Bunnies

     These snow bunnies are happy to be warming back up with cocoa. CLICK HERE for more coloring pages, and if they add joy and value to your life, please...
     CLICK HERE to sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Also, check out my books! Especially...
my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET - winner of over a dozen literary awards, including Georgia Author of the Year. Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

28 January 2018

VIDEO: Meg Rosoff

I'm a little late sharing this, but it's worth the wait. This is Meg Rosoff's opening speech at the International Literature Festival in Berlin last September, "I'm Going To Tell You A Fairy Tale." She talks about the need for fairy tales and the arts: "Reading books has taught her about imagination and lateral thinking." Click the image to watch/listen on Youtube.

IBBY Silent Book Workshop

IBBY - The International Board on Books for Young People instigated a program called SILENT BOOKS. As they say on their website:
In response to the waves of refugees from Africa and the Middle East arriving in the Italian island, Lampedusa, IBBY launched the project “Silent Books, from the world to Lampedusa and back” in 2012. The project involved creating the first library on Lampedusa to be used by local and immigrant children.
      The second part required creating a collection of silent books (wordless picture books) that could be understood and enjoyed by children regardless of language. These books were collected from IBBY National Sections, over one hundred books from over twenty countries. This set of books was deposited at the documentation and research archive in Rome (Palazzo della Esposizioni), a set delivered to the library in Lampedusa and a further set was part of a travelling exhibition.
Happily, one of the collections visited the University of Glasgow where all of us Children's Literature folks got a chance to enjoy them! There were tables worth of these lovely books.


The head of children's lit at the UoG, Evelyn Arizpe gave us the background on the collection, then we DOVE in!
Here is my office-mate Rebecca with one of her faves. (Mine too!)
Once we'd had a good look, we got to share our faves on the overhead explaining what we found special about them.
I can't believe this is school work! This one was about a couple desperately trying to get some bramble jam and a dog who keeps ruining it all for them. It was hilarious!
Evelyn and my awesome supervisor Maureen Farrell shared an amazing accordion book.
Some of my faves were Loup Noir...
with it's Molly Bang inspired artwork.
La Suprise, which shared the world through a cat's view - delightful.
Mirror, Mirror by the creator of The Wave, Suzy Lee.
And this lovely book about a cat chasing a fish - Il Mare.
Truly, we could have stayed there for days we were having so much fun! So am I enjoyed my PhD? OH YEAH!

27 January 2018

Teaching Perspectives Inventory

This is cool. As part of a teaching certification course (DAT - Developing As A Teacher) I'm taking at the University of Glasgow, I was asked to take the Teaching Perspectives Inventory test, otherwise known as TPI. It's a list of questions to surmise one's teaching style in five categories: Transmission, Apprenticeship, Developmental, Nurturing, and Social Reform. Here's what my results looked like.
Not surprisingly, I scored very high on the 'nurturing' perspective of teaching. In fact, I've often been called a 'Mama Bear' when it comes to how I interact in teaching and leadership situations. (Something I'm quite proud of.) This test simply confirmed that. But it also gave me some other areas to consider in my ongoing efforts to grow.
     Are you a teacher? Want to try this yourself? It's a free online test at www.teachingperspectives.com.

26 January 2018

The Making of Underground City

I'm starting a new thing at Dulemba.com. I'm sharing my work-in-progress images as a gift to my supporters at Patreon. I'm also selling my ORIGINAL pen and ink drawings on Etsy. To kick all this off, here is "Underground City" - my latest pen and ink piece.
To see the work-in-progress

To purchase the ORIGINAL ARTWORK, visit MY ETSY STORE.

Friday Links List - 26 January 2018

From The Guardian: Must monsters always be male? Huge gender bias revealed in children's books: A thieving duck in Peppa Pig is one of the few female villains in the 100 most popular picture books. An Observer study shows that, from hares to bears, females are mostly sidekicks

From PW: Obituary: Julius Lester :(

Sign up for the Preschool Mindfulness Summit

At Illustration Age: 14 Art & Design Podcasts Hosted by Women

From SLJ: 33 Titles To Jump-Start Black History Month

Also from SLJ: History Has Its Eyes on Her: Biographies of women are a hot trend in children's publishing

From The Sunday Herald: Pupil literacy skills improved by 'reading for pleasure' scheme

From The New York Times: RIP - Ursula K. Le Guin

From The Bookseller: Tributes Pour In for Ursula K Le Guin

From Entertainment Weekly: a collection of author reactions to losing Ursula

From NewNowNext: 9 New LGBT Children's Books Every Kid Should Read

From PW: WI13: Junot Diaz Urges Booksellers to Wlk the Talk on Diversity

January 27th is MultiCultural Children's Book Day!

25 January 2018

Chris Dunn's PAISLEY RABBIT

I am a big fan of Chris Dunn's gorgeous illustration work. In fact, I use his generously shared blog posts about his methods in my classes. (If you want to lose a few hours, just go wander around in his website!) So, you can imagine how thrilled I am to have the chance to talk to him today about his latest picture book, written by Steve Richardson, PAISLEY RABBIT AND THE TREEHOUSE CONTEST.
e: Hi Chris! What is your creative process and medium, can you walk us through it?
Chris:
After reading the text and selecting the scene I’d like to illustrate, I start to thumbnail ideas. My thumbnail sketches are small rough abstract compositions that help me to interpret the scene from various angles, change environments, and move characters around very quickly. Sometimes I will find a suitable composition early on, and other times it can take 20 little sketches to find the right potential painting.


Once I hit the thumbnail on the head (ahem), I create a preparatory drawing. Depending on the size of the intended painting, the drawing can be around 7 x 5” upto 17 x 11”. At this point I start to gather reference images. For ‘Paisley Rabbit and the Treehouse Contest’ I was able to take photographs of local trees, fields etc. However for the animals, I was reliant on the internet to help me with their anatomy. I would also take photos of myself posing to help with the folds in clothing and the perspective of the body. By the end of the preparatory process, I would have a detail drawing and big collection of images (60+) to inform my painting. Even though there is a lot of work involved before I pick up a brush, without all that information I would struggle to create a believable imaginary world.

Once the drawing had been approved by my client, I would digitally enlarge and print the image in reverse to then transfer in soft pencil onto some stretched watercolour paper. I would then tidy up the drawing with a hard pencil and begin painting. In most cases I block in a sepia underpainting so I don’t lose any of the details in my drawing, sometimes I may apply masking fluid to preserve the white paper underneath when I am doing my initial full colour washes. Gradually I build up colour and tone working from the background into the foreground, then eventually painting in the characters and assessing their tonal relationship with their environment as I go. It can be a long process, taking 4-5 days of painting for a single page illustration. Towards the end, I often add touches of gouache to increase highlights or tidy up areas that have become a tad messy.
e: What do you think makes an illustration magical, what I call "Heart Art” - the sort that makes a reader want to come back to look again and again?
Chris:
A good illustration should take you back to a state of childlike wonder, and the only way of achieving such an image requires the artist to find wonder in what they are painting. The artist should want to explore the world in which they are creating, and revel in the characters and details they discover, only then can the artist create art that draws you in repeatedly.
e: Is there a unique or funny story behind the creation of Paisley and the Treehouse Contest?
Chris:
This is probably quite boring, but working on the book was one of the smoothest projects I have worked on. At no point did I have to rework images or argue my case for a certain illustration which I think is rather unique. Steve Richardson was very easy going and an absolute pleasure to work with.
As a quirky aside, readers of the book may spot the Toad Mayor resembles Mayor Quimby from The Simpsons. Initially I gave the mayor a chain of office around his neck, but it turns out US mayors don’t wear bling so I gave him a sash to make his role very clear. I think those US local government top dogs are missing a trick!
e: How do you advertise yourself?
Chris:
Social media has been massive in exposing my artwork. I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up big jobs just through my images being shared and the right people seeing it in their timeline. It’s been a long time since I sent mail-outs to potential clients.
e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
Chris:
I love trying to stretch myself by painting something new or with a different technique. It’s a form of training on the job that means I never get bored with an image.
e: Is there something in particular about Paisley and the Treehouse Contest you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
Chris:
I would like readers to keep finding new things in the images every time they reach for the book. Some of the illustrations extrapolate on the initial story and add an extra layer to the narrative, giving the reader a hint as what has just occurred just before the scene you are reading about. Other images add a touch of humour or are a clear reference to great artists like J C Leyendecker, Beatrix Potter and Jill Barklem.
e: What are you working on next or what would be your dream project?
Chris:
I’m currently working on a series of watercolour paintings based on ‘The Wind In The Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame. They are due to be exhibited in Paris at Galerie Daniel Maghen, which is very exciting! I sincerely hope one day I can have them published in my own illustrated version of that wonderful story.
e: Thanks Chris! Read and see more of Chris's work-in-progress posts HERE. See more of the gorgeous images from PAISLEY RABBIT at Chris's Website. And watch a great video about Chris and his process during a gallery show last year.
And check out Chris's studio!

24 January 2018

Frederick Douglas' 200th Birthday

Call to teachers and librarians! To celebrate Black History Month (February), and the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglas, I've created two designs to proudly share this fierce and dedicated man. There are also lots of books coming out to celebrate him. CLICK HERE to see. CLICK HERE to learn more about his birthday, celebrated on 14 February.

23 January 2018

Coloring Page Tuesday - SNOW!

     It's been snowing quite a bit here in Scotland this week - how FUN! CLICK HERE for more coloring pages, and if they add joy and value to your life, please...
     CLICK HERE to sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Also, check out my books! Especially...
my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET - winner of over a dozen literary awards, including Georgia Author of the Year. Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

22 January 2018

Debi Gliori for Picture Hooks

Fabulous author/illustrator Debi Gliori was a recent guest of PictureHooks - what a treat! You might know her as the creator of No Matter What. LOVE her work and she was a generous and lovely speaker.
     I hadn't done one of these day-long workshops in a while and after Martin Salisbury's talk I really wanted the chance to reconnect with PB peeps and play...
     In the morning, Debi and her mentee, Rachel Everitt talked about the mentor/mentee process for PictureHooks.
I especially liked this method Rachel used to display her gorgeous etching prints in a recent art show. They are just bagged in cellophane with a hardback and hung with clips. Brilliant!
Debi shared her sketchbooks (OMG) and process. She talked about making unique characters. I know I've been to a million things like this, but I always learn something. Even if it's something I already knew presented in a new way that helps make better sense of something. For instance, my big takeaway was that young characters will oftentimes have a head and body that are nearly the same size. Yes, I knew that, but for some reason, the way she put it really struck a chord with me.
     After lunch, we got out the art supplies and played. The closets at the Scottish National Gallery are jam-packed full of fun things to play with. Debi encouraged us to build a plasticine model of a character and then draw from that. I used the 1/2 and 1/2 idea and made a wee fox. (Here he is with two fellow creators.)
It was fun!
Some folks used torn paper too.
     Hollins students - see, I do this too! Debi got into it too!
     I actually didn't get much drawing done as I was having too much fun gabbing with everybody. These are my peeps after all and I love talking picture books! For instance with Ruth who works at the Scottish Book Trust, and Rachel who teaches animation at the ECA. PEEPS, I SAY! I look forward to the next event.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...