January 24, 2011
I submitted 10 minutes before the deadline! I regret that I didn’t have time to touch it up like I wanted to in Photoshop. Those little mistakes I couldn’t brush away are eating away at me…but as far as the general composition and color, I’m happy with it. The women figures are all right too.
Since the winning drawing is going on a Strand Bookstore tote bag, I incorporated the Strand colors and logo shape in my circus-themed decoration. I enjoyed researching vintage circus posters to get inspiration on the costuming. All-time best book for looking at posters is this one.
You can check out all the cool submissions at The New Yorker here (click on Gallery). Almost 600 entries! Many, many wonderful drawings. The New Yorker picks the winners on February 7th.
My interpretation of Eustace Tilley
is titled Circus Strand: The Greatest Books on Earth!
January 24, 2011
This book belongs to those groups of books with recognizable characters that you love. In this case, it’s Ellen Stoll Walsh’s furry little mice and frogs. Think Mouse Paint and Hop, Jump.
In her latest book, Balancing Act, two mice find a stick and balance with it on a rock. A salamander joins in and suddenly they’re put off-kilter. “Luckily, a friend stepped in to help.” And so it goes with more animals. When a large bird swoops down to join the fun, problem ensues. A hilarious spread shows the bird squashing them on one end and the fellows on the other side being thrown into the air. A solution to balance with all is happily achieved — until the stick breaks! Everyone then goes off to do something else. The mice, not the least bit upset, carry off part of the broken stick to find another rock and continue their fun.
Apart from the educational weights and balancing instruction and the fun in predicting the outcome , I enjoyed the other subtle messages; like letting everyone — no matter size or shape — join in the fun, about using invention to create a game, and about making the most out of misfortune.
It’s so deceptively simple, but so beautifully perfect. Walsh’s cut collages are lovely – clean colored paper and colorful little splotches.
This is my library pick of the week.
January 16, 2011
Posted by ellagerman under Portfolio/ Drawings 1 Comment
I intended to submit this drawing for this past Illustration Friday. Happening upon this site only recently, I was left with just a few days before the Thursday night deadline. I thought, hey, no problem, I’ll attempt a quicker, less realistic style. I painfully learned that less realistic does not equate to quicker!
If you’re not familiar with Illustration Friday, it’s a site that asks for links to artists’ drawings based on a given theme for each week — and they get hundreds of submissions! It’s cool too because you can filter your view and look at just children’s illustrators or just colored pencil drawings or what have you.
Here is my interpretation of last weeks theme, Deja Vu. This is my first time drawing dogs, and with no live models to work from, it gave me a bit of a headache. But I think I’m happy with it. I’m very proud of the shoes! And the dog spotting the refuse on the ground? That’s for you, Virginia. :)
(click, then click again, on image to enlarge)
This week’s theme is chicken. How fun it would be to attempt a Chicken Little drawing! I’ve even worked out a sketch, but concede I won’t have time to finish it. The New Yorker cover contest deadline is closing in. I plan to finish my cover in a style like this drawing, so this was awesome practice.
January 6, 2011
Posted by ellagerman under Uncategorized Leave a Comment
No, it wasn’t me!
For those curious about the winners of the Heidi Illustration Contest or the Tomie depaola Award 2011, SCBWI finally posted the drawings that Tomie depaola picked as the winner and three he felt worthy of commenting on.
Click here to view all Tomie’s favorites.
Here’s the link to my submission.
January 2, 2011
I may by stretching the definition of vintage here. My book says it was published in 1980. Doesn’t seem so long ago, the 80′s, does it? But that was over 30 years ago! So, hey, I’m calling it vintage. I gleefully found this one at a library bookstore while we were visiting relatives over the holidays, so it qualifies as my find for the month of December.
I love Frank Ash’s Bear series. And his Milk and Cookies ranks as one of my kids’ all time favorites. But it’s The Last Puppy that has my heart.
A repeated motif in many of Asch’s books is to have a sequential series of small vignettes running along the bottom of the copyright and dedication page. For example, in Happy Birthday, Moon, the moon slowly rises from behind the mountains. In The Last Puppy you see all the puppies (up to eight) being born! Number nine is shown in what has got to be one of the greatest first page images ever in a picture book – a little head and front paws emerging from Mama’s rear, with Mama watching on with a smile. The text: “I was the last of Momma’s nine puppies.”
Poor little thing is last to open his eyes, last to nurse and to learn to drink from a saucer, and always last when he tries to keep up with the others. While the other puppies are happily playing in the background (like tugging on the laundry hanging from a line), the last puppy looks worried as a “Puppies for Sale” sign is put in. When the puppies start being sold, he asks, “Will I be the last puppy again?” He is last, but there’s a happy ending for the little guy. It’s unexpected, smart, and heartwarming.
Asch, a master of minimalism, is at his finest here. I also love the variety of illustration layouts in this book. There are rectangular framed images, circle framed, images on white backgrounds, and my personal favorite, images breaking free of their frames. One great one is where the puppies are running to the doghouse. The puppies are running out of the rectangular framed image on the left side of the page and into a doghouse on the right side that’s illustrated with a white background.
See it for yourself – Frank Asch himself reads and shows you the entire book here!
January 1, 2011
Spending time at the grandparents’ homes meant eating breakfast at this lovely kid table set up by Grandpa,
going on a hike to enjoy the beauty of the Central Coast, getting a plentiful meal at Grandma’s, and then resting…
Capturing a likeness with a quick sketch was a challenge. I did all right in the first two, but probably not so well in number 3 with multiple squirmy wormies to worry about!