Thursday, 23 June 2011
I know it's weird. . but that's what I thought of when given the word "launch" this week: a flying pig fleet driven by fighter chickens. They're launching an attack on the nearest Eggland's Best Egg Factory :P.
I spent this past weekend at the Book Passage Children's Writer & Illustrator's Conference. It was my second year attending and once again, I learned so much from each of the workshops/panels. The conference was relatively small in size, which allowed me to have one on one conversations with many of the faculty members there, such as Mac Barnett and Kathryn Otoshi. I also had a consultation with Thacher Hurd, who's written/illustrated over 25 picture books. . .oh, by the way, his father also illustrated Good Night, Moon! Most importantly, all the workshops had a very intimate and supportive atmosphere. . .you felt safe enough to explore and stretch the boundaries of your creativity.
One of the highlights was attending Dan Santat's workshops, where he broke down his own process of creating goooorgeous illustrations. I went home and tried a few of his tips, which you can see below.
I have to admit, to me, this image is a lot more eye-catching and dynamic than my usual style. A lot of his advice centered around making sure that, in each illustration, you told a different part of the story in the foreground, middle ground, and background. He also emphasized the use of contrasting saturations and/or color groups (cool vs. warm) to add definition to the major components in your composition. I hope you can see a few of those techniques in the illustration above. I like the sinister silhouettes contrasted with the warm/playful figure in the middle ground.
During the next few weeks, I hope to share how I incorporate more "ah ha" conference moments into my own work. Next up: establishing a fresh and authentic voice for your main character.