I started classes back up a week ago yesterday, and I can see already how intense it is going to be! My Survey of Illustration class is not only a lecture (with two exams, two papers, note-taking, the works), but a studio class as well (four assignments complete with sketching and roughs and critiques)! Our first assignment is to create a piece illustrating a pirate of choice, using some form of inspiration from any of the illustrators we covered whom worked from about 1890 to 1920. The task is clearly taken from Howard Pyle's love of pirate illustration. I have chosen to illustrate my dad as a pirate. He is rather obsessed with the idea of being scoundrel on the sea (in a past life, I suppose) and I couldn't resist the minute I heard what our project was! It is too perfect! So far, all I have are sketches though, so no solid work to show just yet.
©Howard Pyle 1902- Illustration for "Harper's New Monthly Magazine"
In Relief Printmaking, I have begun my first wood cut print. The task is extremely daunting! I chose to try a 24 by 24 inch piece for my first try- we'll see how that works out. It's getting a bit easier to control the carving tools, but today I will do my first test print, and that will let me know for sure how much I'm improving! My concept for the piece is pretty simple- its a fat, round, graphic rabbit fitting sung within the square border of the wood. I'm going to be doing a lot of pattern work inside for his fur. I'm pretty nervous about this one! Here's a photo reference for the pattern. It's taken from my nasty old mat in the bathroom! Funny where you'll find inspiration sometimes...
And, saving the best for last, I'm LOVING Children's Book! The class is going to be a ton of work, but I am so excited about it. After seeing some of my previous work (including my book "Only With You"), he told me that I was "born to do children's books" which is a massive compliment coming from a man who is very successful himself in the field! Needless to say, it made my day. I've already learned a ton about the process, and know I'm going to get even more out of it. In the class, we write, illustrate, and get printed an entire book. That's not too shabby for ten weeks! So far all I have is an idea and some rough layouts. My book will be about what makes a good pet, showing six different children in six different living arrangements, with six different personalities, and what pet is right for them. Hopefully children who read the book will be able to relate to one of the kids and make an appropriate decision in pet adopting! Here's some art from one of my professor's books.
©Allan Drummond "The Willow Pattern Story" www.allandrummond.com
So that sums it about up! Here's some old work, just for kicks.
"Greece" 2009, Gouache
"Jamaica" 2009, Gouache
Off to printmaking I go!