Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Little Red Riding Hood

One story illustrated so many different ways! I posted these as Inspiration for my class's homework assignment. (illustrating part of 'Little Red Riding Hood') Most images are named with the illustrator's name. Just click on it and the respectful names should come up. If not save it to your desktop to see the name if you have some where you want to know who the artist is. Sorry, it's just too many to post underneath each respective image. Maybe I will do it retroactively however.

Homework Assignment #5 (NEW):

Everyone illustrates the same part of a classical children’s story. Create at least 3 images. (but at least 1 full spread) Pay attention to:

a) The characters you use (do the character development exercise)

b) Composition (do the composition exercise if you get stuck)

c) Attention to detail. What type of line are you using for your character etc..---shows you need to employ consistency within a story / within a chosen style. Your style

*Bonus: If you want, try to illustrate the images all in a way that make the story seem very SPOOKY or SAD. But if you choose one of these you have to make all your 3 images spooky or sad. You have to use the same style and mood in ALL of the images, as if they were all part of the same book! This will help you practice consistency!

*Bonus: If you want, try to sketch out the whole story layout in a 32 page dummy book (like the one we made in class) You can get the whole story here.

Attention Students: Bring for next class:

Some things you have around the house you can bear to let go off. Like for example: Tape, newspaper, coloured paper, wire, thread, styrofoam (look in your recycling bin for stuff). If you don't find anything that inspires you just go to a dollar store and look in the craft section!

A GLUE GUN and an extension cord if you have one or some tape. Anything that's not too big and you think you could make a fun character out of. Also: Bring some of your favorite drawing tools (pens, pencils markers etc..) and your sketchbook if you have one. Or some paper you like.

Little Red Riding Hood

Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by everyone who looked at her, but most of all by her grandmother, and there was nothing that she would not have given to the child. Once she gave her a little riding hood of red velvet, which suited her so well that she would never wear anything else; so she was always called 'Little Red Riding Hood.'

One day her mother said to her: 'Come, Little Red Riding Hood, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine; take them to your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing; and when you go into her room, don't forget to say, "Good morning", and don't peep into every corner before you do it.'

'I will take great care,' said Little Red Riding Hood to her mother, and gave her hand on it.

The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village, and just as Little Red Riding Hood entered the wood, a wolf met her. Red Riding Hood did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid of him.

'Good day, Little Red Riding Hood,' said he.

'Thank you kindly, wolf.'

'Whither away so early, Little Red Riding Hood?'

'To my grandmother's.'

'What have you got in your apron?'

'Cake and wine; yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick grandmother is to have something good, to make her stronger.'

'Where does your grandmother live, Little Red Riding Hood?'

'A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood; her house stands under the three large oak-trees, the nut-trees are just below; you surely must know it,' replied Little Red Riding Hood.

< 2 >

The wolf thought to himself: 'What a tender young creature! what a nice plump mouthful - she will be better to eat than the old woman. I must act craftily, so as to catch both.'

So he walked for a short time by the side of Little Red Riding Hood, and then he said: 'See, Little Red Riding Hood, how pretty the flowers are about here - why do you not look round? I believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the little birds are singing; you walk gravely along as if you were going to school, while everything else out here in the wood is merry.'

Little Red Riding Hood raised her eyes, and when she saw the sunbeams dancing here and there through the trees, and pretty flowers growing everywhere, she thought: 'Suppose I take grandmother a fresh nosegay; that would please her too. It is so early in the day that I shall still get there in good time.'

So she ran from the path into the wood to look for flowers. And whenever she had picked one, she fancied that she saw a still prettier one farther on, and ran after it, and so got deeper and deeper into the wood.

Meanwhile the wolf ran straight to the grandmother's house and knocked at the door.

'Who is there?'

'Little Red Riding Hood,' replied the wolf. 'She is bringing cake and wine; open the door.'

'Lift the latch,' called out the grandmother, 'I am too weak, and cannot get up.'

The wolf lifted the latch, the door sprang open, and without saying a word he went straight to the grandmother's bed, and devoured her. Then he put on her clothes, dressed himself in her cap, laid himself in bed and drew the curtains.

Little Red Riding Hood, however, had been running about picking flowers, and when she had gathered so many that she could carry no more, she remembered her grandmother, and set out on the way to her.

< 3 >

She was surprised to find the cottage-door standing open, and when she went into the room, she had such a strange feeling that she said to herself: 'Oh dear! how uneasy I feel today, and at other times I like being with grandmother so much.' She called out: 'Good morning,' but received no answer; so she went to the bed and drew back the curtains. There lay her grandmother with her cap pulled far over her face, and looking very strange.

'Oh! grandmother,' she said, 'what big ears you have!'

'All the better to hear you with, my child,' was the reply.

'But, grandmother, what big eyes you have!' she said.

'All the better to see you with, my dear.'

'But, grandmother, what large hands you have!'

'All the better to hug you with.'

'Oh! but, grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have!'

'All the better to eat you with!'

And scarcely had the wolf said this, than with one bound he was out of bed and swallowed up Red Riding Hood.

When the wolf had appeased his appetite, he lay down again in the bed, fell asleep and began to snore very loud.

(This part of the copyright free Brothers Grimm fairytale "Little Red Riding Hood' has been taken from eastoftheweb.com)

An interesting little fact about Einstein

(Image above: Albert Einstein as child)
Something I will be covering in my class tomorrow will the topic of 'Why Children's picture books are important, and why our jobs as their illustrators/creators are important'. One example I thought would be interesting simply because of the fact that it pertains to the universally known Albert Einstein is something I came across while listening to one of my favorite podcasts called Radio Lab, this one in particular being on the subject of Time. ('Beyond Time')
On the show (at about 25.21 minutes into it if you want to have a listen yourself) a Professor of Physics at City College in New York tells the following story:

When Einstein was a child he read a Children's book by Aaron Bernstein. (The book I have now found out was part of a science series for kids, so not a picture story book but nontheless) In the book the question is posed, what it would be like to out race a telegraph message in a telegraphy wire. In other words, to out race electricity. But this was only the beginning because in Einstein's head, he thought of a different question. Which was 'What would it be like to out race a light beam?'. What would it look like? He obsessed about this for years. After 10 years of thinking about this without solving the puzzle, he was riding the bus to work one day and looked at a famous big clock. As he was moving away from the clock on the bus, he imagined would it would be like if the bus he was in all of a sudden started to move at the speed of light. What would happen to the clock and it's time then. And thus was born the theory of relativity.

The Professor of Physics telling this story also refers to this book by Aaron Bernstein as 'perhaps the most important children's book ever written in the history of the human race.' With which I don't think I would completely agree, but I do definitely see how it would be the most important one to you IF you were a Physicist. Either way, I thought that this little story featured on the podcast would make just another fine example of the power that is contained within the Children's book. Books that make us think, books that make us imagine, books that help transform us and shape us into who we will become later on in life.

Also, on a non related note. Should you not be familiar with the Radio Lab podcasts I highly recommend them to anyone. Amazing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Homework Assignment #4: Text for you to illustrate!

Here is the text for you to illustrate into your 32 page book dummy we made in class. Again, if you have text of your own go with that instead if you wish. But before you start have a look at some of the picture books you've been looking at and see how much a ratio of text and images there is. In other words, make sure that your text is not TOO LONG! However, for those of you who are really interested in illustrating other people's work, I suggest you illustrate this text I'm giving you seeing as this is what you'll be doing usually... illustrating a story that is not by you.

I will not give you the name of the story and also change the name of the main character because I don't want you to be able to reference the original book, so as to not have it influence your work.
I changed the name to Bob, but please feel free to change the name to whatever pleases you. THIS IS THE ONLY THING YOU'RE ALLOWED TO CHANGE IN THE TEXT, everything else must be included as is in your dummy. But it's up to you how much text you put where on the pages. Pay attention to this as it is the layout and the pacing of the book that we discussed in class.

This is Bob the Rabbit. Bob is a busy rabbit. "Bob! Where are you?" calls his Momma Rabbit. "Do you know what time it is?" says Momma Rabbit. Bob says: Is it time to follow a passing ship? Or time to stand on top of the world? Or is it time to make friends with a giant?I know! It's time to win a race. Maybe it's time to grow a mustache? Or time to use my flower-picking machine? Maybe it's time to throw some mudcakes? I think it's time to be the first pirate on the moon. Or is it time to fly across the city? Or is it time to drive a submarine? " Oh, Bob, it's just naptime," says Momma Rabbit. "That's what I was saying," says Bob, as he crawls into bed. Then he closes his eyes to dream of all the things he wants to do...
...and he did.

Good advise from Quentin for Homework Assignment#4(NEW)

Here is a passage I thought might be helpful for you when it comes to deciding what to illustrate out of your text (that I will post next for you). This is written by Quentin Blake and is found in page 57 of his excellent book 'Words and Pictures'.

" Work on a book (one for which I haven't written my own words, that is) begins when the typescript arrives from the publisher; and it begins with reading. In a sense I'm reading the story as if I were two people at the same time: a normal reader, who is relishing a good story for it's own sake; and an illustrator, who is on the look-out for good subjects to draw, good moments. I probably read the story several times to get to know it, and I make underlinings and notes in the margin so that I can easily find the bits I want to refer back to later. Most of my choices I make by what feels like instinct; but when I look back on them I can see that what the illustrations are doing is not always quite the same thing on each occasion. [sic]"

Homework Assignment #4 (NEW)

Illustration by Helme Heine from 'Na warte sagte Schwarte'

Homework for my Class: "Learn through research and example"

Two parts:


Take your dummy book home and sketch out a very rough layout for the story I will give you! (*or if you already have a story thought out use your own story! But I suggest you try your hand at this one I give you first anyway! Then do your own later or do both) This means you will first have to break the story down into images you want to illustrate. Employ the various Camera angels. You are the director of your movie/book. Get a feel for pacing and variation in composition…


a) From the 3 books you picked out of the library, pick one image where you really like the composition. Take one of the sketches you’ve made in your dummy book and improve it’s composition using this example of composition as inspiration! (like the 'composition cheat exercise' we did in class)

b) Develop this one image further! (use good paper --like the one I gave you at beginning of class for example)

c) Bring your storyboard dummy, and your finished illustration to class along with the book you picked your illustration example from!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Otfried Preussler

Otfried Preussler is a German writer and illustrator of longer what would be labelled here 'juvenile fiction stories'. It's rare to find artist's who are considered mostly writers, (because the text in the stories so heavily outweighs the images) who illustrate their own stories. I really love Preussler's stories and illustrations. Both seem very spontaneous and honest. And both have character oozing out of their every line and word. Also, you can really tell that Preussler was truly an illustrator as well as a writer. His characters whom you can already imagine truly come to live when you see them on the page, usually being tricked or tricking someone. Also, in a 130plus page book there are illustrations on every spread and on most spreads both pages have illustrations. I miss those types of fiction books. ... let's bring them back! Also, seeing as it's pretty much impossible to find anything on Preussler image image wise, I might soon have to do some scanning. This is the little bit I did find. Hard to get a good idea from it if you're not familiar with him.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Homework Assignment #2: Due: Just for you! not for class!

For my Illustration Class!

Here is the 'Homework' that's just for you to be done at your own pace. You don't need to bring these drawings to class, but I highly recommend you Do read and do these exercises because they are devised by the master Illustrator Quentin Blake himself.
So here are a few pages I copied for you from his Klutz book co-authored by John Cassidy titled 'Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered' DO NOT LET THE NAME THROW YOU! This book can be great even for the extremely artistically discovered!
Think twice about if you really need to print this out. Maybe you can just read the pages on the computer and do the drawings on your own paper? Either way... HAVE FUN!!!
Also: if you like these excercises, buy this book! It's only 21.99 and comes with three pens! Fantastic book! (they sell it at the toy store on Commercial Drive and at Oscars Art books or at Chapters etc...)

(*seeing as this is a blog: start from the bottom up!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Two of my Influences Big Time/On the importance of Children's books

Here are two drawings I made when I was 5 years old. One is of Pippi Longstocking and her horse little Uncle, and one is of the Moomins and the little My one of my favorite Moomin characters up to this day. My mom has saved a lot of drawings I made when I was little and I am very grateful for this today seeing as these serve as an invaluable window into my childhood for me now.
Both of these books were a huge influence on me! I have often thought about where I get my particular 'set of morals' from and I have always come back to my favorite children's books that my Mom used to read to me. All the books that have stuck with me the most and that I still re-read to this day are books that have truly inspired me with their stories, underlying stories and beautiful illustrations. I think these books have played a huge part in essentially making the person that is me today.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two interviews with Maurice Sendak

Here are two interviews with Maurice Sendak author of 'Where the Wild things are'. In the long interview pay attention to the part where he and the host talk about his work being Guerrilla Warfare and on why he feels it is important to feature dark subjects in his books.

Also... Sendak is a great example of how divided people are on 'what is appropriate for children'. Sendak is one of the most sold, celebrated and respected children's book illustrators/writers and yet there are to this day many people who very much think of his work as completely inappropriate for children! This is something that seems to come with the territory! The way I see it is to just go with your gut feeling and remember that you can't please everyone!
here is the other shorter interview on Sendak featured on You Tube

Monday, June 14, 2010

H.A. Rey and Margaret Rey: the creators of Curious George

Here are two links on some of the history of the lives of H.A. Rey and Margaret Rey without whom we would not have a Curious little monkey named George today.

Here's them apparently doing a school visit/demonstration/signing of sorts. Also it looks like he is drawing that with both of his hands at once (mirror drawing technique)... how much fun would it have been to get these dudes to come to your school? A lot!?

Sebastien Mourrain

Just found a piece of paper from the last time I was a Sophia books EVER because they now too have closed down due to lack of business! I had written down the name of Sebastien Mourrain for his illustration work for the classic 'Around the world in 80 days'. I would have bought the whole book while there, but it was all in french and is an illustrated novel and not a picture book. ... and I unfortunately do not speak nor read french well enough for something like this. Too bad. Beautiful work though. I added Mourrain to the contemporary illustrators list on the side or check out his portfolio here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Character Model Sheets

In session #1 for my class 'Illustrating the Children's Picture Book' we did a Character development exercise I've created. Everyone in the class came up with some fantastic characters and at the end of the class had a sheet where they had drawn their character from both sides, front and with different expressions.
These here are some model sheets I found online on a great website on comic, and animation art. I think looking at these old model sheets for animations and comics makes it very obvious how similar and intertwined the work of the picture book illustrator is to that of the animator and comic book artist. We all have to get to know our characters and make them believable!