Friday, 18 November 2016

Illustrating Children's Books e-course

I had a very busy October as I took a wonderful e-course "Illustrating Children's Books" with Make Art That Sells with top art agent Lilla Rogers and children's book art director Zoë Tucker. This 5-week intensive class covered different areas of illustrating picture books from facial expressions and poses all the way to cover design. After five weeks of working with the course assignments and other commissions I was exhausted, but very happy.

Before the course started we had to choose one of three texts to work with. I chose a text written by Zoë Tucker. It was a story about the life of Ada Lovelace, an English mathematician who is often regarded as the first computer programmer. "Ada Lovelace and the Number Crunching Machine" was my choice over a traditional folk tale and Edward Lear, as I love a bit of research!

The course was packed with information about pretty much everything. I was familiar with illustrating children's books, but now all that knowledge was presented in a fresh, inspiring way. The teachers Lilla and Zoe were fantastic and encouraging.

My main character Ada evolved quite a bit over the five weeks. I enjoyed the "Expressions" week the most, maybe because it was a good reminder of how many other facial expressions there are than just smiling, happy ones! Also "Poses" week was a very useful one to remind me of the power of exaggeration.

Since the course finished I've felt a lot more confident about my work. It was an intense five week period. It's taken a while to catch up with the rest of my life! We even got our first snow during the course, really early this year (now it's gone...).

Ada's friend, fellow inventor Mr Babbage in my neighbourhood forest!

Week 4: "Environments"

Over the five weeks I had a chance to properly experiment with new techniques, mixing traditional media with Photoshop. Now I just worry that I forget all the things I learned. The cover did require some serious help from my studio partner, PS wiz spouse. All those masks can get a bit confusing at the best of times! With my patience, well...

Week 5: "Cover"

Anyone interested on the course, I give it five golden stars!

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