Painting with soft pastels…

10 11 2013

 

I was lucky enough to attend a talk by Caldecott winner, Erin Stead at the National Book Festival, and I was intrigued when she mentioned painting with pastels dissolved in water. At the time she was working on her second book, Bear Has a Story to Tell, written by her husband, Philip Stead. See some of the illustrations from the book here.

I thought I’d share these illustrated instructions for this technique. Enjoy!

me + art = 🙂

I got this idea from Erin Stead (Caldecott Award winning illustrator for A Sick Day for Amos McGee), and I believe she used this technique to create the illustrations for the book Bear Has a Story to Tell.

1.  Start with a small glass or plastic container (glass works best because plastic tends to stain).  I get ALL mine from secondhand stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army, and rummage sales or flea markets-I seriously find them every time!  Drop whatever color, or colors, of pastel you like into the container.  I love making my own colors, and its very easy to do that with soft pastel.

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2.  Add small amounts of warm water (you can always add more but its hard to take away)…

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3.  …until it starts to dissolve and look like this.

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4.  When you can see no sediment left on the bottom of the container, then its ready to…

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Linoleum Printing and Coretta Scott King Award

20 02 2013

Ellen's Broom coverBecause this is Black History Month, I thought I’d highlight one of my favorites from the 2013 Coretta Scott King Awards. Ellen’s Broom, with art by Daniel Minter. I did mention it earlier in the month, but this time I wanted to explore the art a bit more closely.

Minter’s linoleum prints are painted with watercolor. After experimenting with lino prints this summer (see Jungle of the Night, 5th picture down), I now appreciate how difficult this medium is to work with. Artists who choose it know that they have a long process ahead of them.

First is warming and carving out the linoleum block. I found this the most difficult step, as you have to cut away whatever you don’t want to be printed. It’s the opposite of painting, because you’re taking away rather than adding. Getting delicate detail on the block without cutting away too much or leaving too much behind is a real art.

Once that’s complete, the block must be inked and prints pulled. Once the prints dry, the painting begins. If you make a mistake at that point, it means starting over. (And how do I know this? Don’t ask.)

Minter’s details are amazing, and deserving of the award.* But I also want to mention the great story by Kelly Starling Lyons. I’ve highlighted Kelly’s writing on my blog before, so if you’re interested in finding out more about her, you can read about her One Million Men and Me, which tells about her books and her childhood.

*Interesting fact: Did you know that only one book illustrated with linoleum prints ever won the Caldecott?





Inspiration for Art, Writing, and Life

11 01 2013





African Animals

4 04 2011

As long as I’m on the subject of art, I thought I’d post one more picture I finished recently for a book on African Animals. Because the series of stories and folktales are from West Africa, I wanted a mudcloth border for the pictures.

Jaguar

© Laurie J. Edwards 2011

Anyone who knows me, knows I love drawing jungle animals, so this book was a treat. Perhaps my love of the jungle comes from living in West Africa when I was young and impressionable. Which reminds me of a story… which I’ll save for another post.





Hidden Pictures

28 03 2011

lemursI loved hidden pictures when I was younger. OK, so I still do. When I saw these lemurs, they reminded me of raccoons. Sort of. Maybe it’s the striped tails. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been staring cross-eyed at the computer screen for hours tweaking my art to get it sent off.

Whatever the reason, I thought I’d share some art I did recently for a book. And if you look closely you’ll see the two raccoons.

Junkyard

© Laurie J. Edwards 2011





Bawwwk, Bawwwk…

22 03 2011

bantam-henCouldn’t resist this picture. Perhaps because I just finished some book illustrations, one of which was of chickens (see below).

My favorite part of this illo is the rooster strutting to the right. Reminds me so much of someone I know. He’s just got that attitude…

Rooster

© Laurie Edwards 2011

Here’s the full scene…

© Laurie Edwards 2011





Tony DiTerlizzi

27 10 2009

Check out this fabulous interview by one of my fav illustrators:

http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=1821

The art is to die for…