Friday, August 3, 2012

A Little Help from my Friends

For the last several weeks I've been working on the roughs and then the final full-sized pencil illustrations for The Hibernating House by Sandy Leahy and Kathy Tarentino. So far I think it's looking great and I have just a few last details to add in before starting my color work.

When I'm teaching in my classroom, I'm always telling the kids how important it is to research images of things that you are not yet an expert at drawing. Unless we have some kind of photographic memory (which very few people actually have), our minds can't retain every detail of every thing we have ever seen.

To create believable and recognizable objects and people, I take some pictures myself, some I find in books or online, and some photos were sent to me from the authors' own family photo albums.

This is a list of the items I had to research so far (there are some things I could draw without photos, too, but I needed help with this stuff!).

houses and cottages
carousel (including the famous Flying Horses)
“entering town” signs
moored boats
ferry boat
car with bikes on top
car towing a boat
military uniforms
red white & blue banners
lawn mower
a yellow labrador retriever
ticket booth
lamp posts
marching band
fan shutters

So, if you think you are not a great or even good artist because you cannot sit down and just draw something perfectly from your head, think again. We can all use a little help once in a while. My advice: ALWAYS use photos, preferably your own if possible, not someone else's drawings.

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