Thursday, November 19, 2009

While we're on the subject...

I thought I'd stick with my beach theme, but get back to some illustration I did with children in mind. Behold, a surfer girl. I'm thinking she's a teen. Ever since I was a teen I've loved to draw "action-shots," mostly depicting dance or gymnastics. And I've learned that these are challenging subjects for an illustrator. You want the face and body to communicate feeling to the audience, but you also want it to look "realistic" to a point. Here I want to show how much fun my surfer chick is having, but I also want it to look like this girl is in motion, and balanced at the same time. I'm not sure I've achieved that, but it's on its way.

Since I've begun digging up old illustrations for stories I've written, as well as creating some new ones for this blog, I've learned a few things. Some areas I want to improve in are: perfecting skin tones, creating truly finished and polished works, and nailing down my style even further. I've been reading a lot of Tomie DePaola lately, and while I love him for a million reasons, I'm currently in awe of his consistency...even across story genres. I also want to spend more time practicing keeping characters looking consistent through a variety of situations. Now in the case of Jane Chapman's work with author Karma Wilson's delightful Bear series, we are talking about a cast of animal characters. Still, I admire how from book to book (and there are quite a few!) Bear and his friends look so familiar and uniform, yet are still rendered so artistically.

Sounds like I've created a few homework assignments for myself for the week. Better get cracking.


  1. Did you read the Yellow TuTu...awesome'd like it. The girls would too. Love the surfer girl!

  2. We like Tomie DePaola too!! Strega Nona is the best, and the girls LOVE the art. My kids always picked picture books based on the pictures. Even if the story line is great, if the pictures didn't appeal to them, I could never convince them to read it!
    Love your surfer girl -- gives me a modernized Nancy Drew feel; nice girl, but still cool! She could be "George" from the series.

  3. Love this one, Erin! Makes me want to head to Hawaii! --Cathe