Monday, March 9, 2015

It's a Wrap!

Conference weekend is over, and now comes the fun part...processing everything I saw, heard, ate, and learned. There's always an overwhelming amount of information presented at these writer's and illustrators conferences, so much so that I feel like I just received an entire education crammed into two short days. My brain is fried, but thankfully, I took copious notes, so after a short detox, I'm going to dive into my notebook and bathe my brain.

One of the events in the conference was an illustrator's intensive where we were given an assignment to illustrate a specific sentence in the Pied Piper story. We were instructed to submit sketches to Kristine Brogno, the art director at Chronicle Books, to which she offered feedback. Then, based on her feedback, we created final art pieces which were presented at the conference.

This was my sketch:

The feedback included varying the ages of the children more, as well as the expressions on the adults. Overall, she liked the movement of the piece from left to right, and the environment.

Here's the final:

Overall, she said the piece was very nice. She liked the diverse characters and the movement in the piece, as well as details like the ballerina which she said kids could relate to. While I did change the expressions on the faces of the adults, I could have pushed their expressions and body language further, as well as the expression on the piper's face...she commented that his expression seemed a bit basic.

Other comments from illustrators were to change the red-headed boy's striped shirt because it was too similar to the piper's, reposition the little girl in front to de-emphasize her as the focal point, and to clarify the vignette of the man standing in the window above the piper.

After finishing the Pied Piper piece, I liked the colors and the feel of the piece so much that I wanted to do more. So in the week before the conference, I worked up another illustration from the story where rats are taking over the city because who wouldn't want to paint a plethora of rats?

This illustration still needs some finishing touches, like about a dozen more rats, but the deadline of the conference forced me to call it quits. Deadlines can be a good thing, otherwise, I might still be painting rats!
nessa dee

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