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Children’s Book Illustration workshop

I was interested in going to a workshop that was organised by one of my tutors. Leigh shared an enormous amount of his children’s book archive and in the workshop focussed on allowing us to further understand how illustrators and writers use methods like image making and storytelling to depict children’s books.

All the books were spread out across a number of tables and we were tasked with finding a favourite example in a different book for each of these themes within the books:

Use of colour (think of colour and emotion, colour that activates a sense of drama, sensation, thrill or fear):

  • The Day the Crayons quit - by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers

Use of line (think of the fluidity of line, the confidence of line through much practice):

  • Tyrannosaurus Drip - by Julia Donaldson & David Roberts

Time (look at narratives in a time scale, situations at different times of the day, how colour and light depicts a sequence of time):

  • How to catch a star

  • [missing title of the book]

Weather (find an example of how the illustrator depicts wind, rain, heat, cold, snow, mist):

  • Stick Man - by Julia Donaldson & Alex Scheffer

Anatomical drawing (drawing of the human body in different positions and postures, not just in one illustration in the book, but throughout the book):

  • Penguin - by Polly Dunbar

Anatomical drawing of wildlife and domestic animals (in different positions and postures, not just in one illustration in the book, but throughout the book):

  • What the Ladybird Heard - by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks

Subliminal messaging and a moral standpoint (a narrative that has a deeper meaning that might help children understand a difficult and serious subject like war, divorce, death, oppression, immigration, racism, bullying, veganism, smoking. Think of more personal issues that children have to learn like managing friendships, compromise, generosity, rage, trust, care, loneliness, sadness):

  • Wanted: The Perfect Pet - by Fiona Roberton

  • Gilbert the Great - by Jane Clarke & Charles Fuge

  • The Pirates Next Door - by Jonny Duddle

Best use of typography, lettering or handwriting (think of how the designer or illustrator has specifically chosen a font or hand rendered lettering to act as a voice for the story. Question whether it is serif, sans serif, bold, heavy, light, loud, quiet, entertaining, easy to read):

  • Slinky Malinki, Open the Door - by Lynley Dodd

Paper engineering and book design (look at the construct of the book and its function. Think about if it is wipeable, tactile, hard to tear, collectable.):

  • Airborne - by Chisato Tamabayashi

  • Nibbles


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