Picture Hooks - Patrick Benson and Hazel Dunn

As part of the ongoing workshops for PictureHooks.com, mentor and mentee Patrick Benson and Hazel Dunn gave a talk about how they work and their experience of working together. This was an especially valuable workshop from which I gained several insights that I'm eager to share with you over several posts.

     First, let's begin with Patrick Benson. He is the amazingly talented illustrator of such classics as OWL BABIES and the Minpins by Roald Dahl, who I met when I was a student at ECA.
His list of publications is truly impressive.
OWL BABIES has sold over 5 million copies, but was a challenge for Patrick to illustrate as the story is extremely simple. He talked about treating the text like a movie, switching up camera angles, zooming in and out to vary the spreads.
We even got to see some originals! He crosshatches with Indian Ink first:
On this one, he then went in with a brush to get large swathes of 100% black. Here's a close-up.
It was lovely to see one of the books that inspired him as an artist - a book he enjoyed as a child - Murat (circa late 1800s). I wish I could share all the interior prints with you, they were simply stunning.

He also shared quite a few original pieces - ink cross-hatch and watercolor.
The treat was to be able to see his technique up close.
Here's more.

And close up - in this second one he may have used bleach to get the ghost in the work.

Patrick talked brushes and dummies and paper and the changing industry. He was an absolute delight to listen to and none of us wanted to leave when the time was up - we had so many questions! (And actually, we did keep him quite over time.) If you ever have the chance to hear Patrick live, I so suggest you go! More on this great day soon...

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