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Children's Book Art

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plume

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Those  of you who do children's book art, especially those who are published, what do you use for your art as far as pens, pencils, ink, paints etc.? What do you prefer to work with and what brand supplies do you use? Do you use different tools to outline and to color? If so, what are they?
#1 - August 19, 2011, 01:51 PM
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 01:56 PM by plume »

I draw stuff for chocolates.
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There are as many answers to this as there are illustrators. I've seen books illustrated by traditional 2-D media, 3-D media and digital images. Some incorporate all three or a combination of art and photo. I've seen collage with paper, fabric and quilting.

My personal media is a combination of traditional watercolor and digital drawing.

My advice to an artist starting out is to to use the best quality materials you can. From pencil, to paintbrush, to paint or paper, to digital tools and programs. It makes a huge difference on end product and frustration factor.
#2 - August 19, 2011, 05:40 PM
patreon.com/wendymartin
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (PiƱata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

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I agree with Lyon's answer. Art is pretty personal, and even among people who use the same medium, you'll find a variety of answers.

I use permanent ink wash/line and watercolor on watercolor paper. I have a lot of different brands of watercolors, but they are all artists' quality. I've tried the expensive 300 lb Italian rag paper, but I find 150 lb works better for what I do.
#3 - August 19, 2011, 06:15 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
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I use whatever I can get my hands on...

At the moment my work is primarily digital but I do like to work in watercolours, acrylic and ink. I used to scan work into the PC before working it up but now I work directly in Photoshop with a Wacom tablet. I was experimenting with MS Paint a few days ago...I wanted to see how my method translated from high end to basic graphics software.

Experimentation is really important - whether it be with your style,pens, subject matter - never be too busy for it x
#4 - August 21, 2011, 11:32 AM
Big Whoop! (Pow! Books) July 2014
Sorry, Dad! (Caterpillar Books) May 2014
Pi-Rat! (Caterpillar Books) Aug 2013

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I work with cut paper collage and anything is fair game.  I might buy expensive origami paper to make a kimono or I might use the interior of a security envelope.  (Some of those have COOL designs.)  I use a few different glues depending on what I'm laying down: Elmer's - hard core spray adhesive. 

I sometimes paint my own papers.  When I do this, I usually use Arches watercolor paper (weight and texture depends on what I'm going for) and I LOVE Holbein watercolors.
#5 - August 21, 2011, 03:02 PM

Enigmainthemist

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Ninja Woman that is cool. I like art that uses paper like that. Do you have a website to show your artwork off?

I love to use Adobe Illustrator. It took some time to get use to after working with Adobe Phostshop for so many years.
#6 - August 21, 2011, 04:29 PM

Simon_Turnbull

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As said, there are as many different answers to this as there are artists. The most common traditional materials for workhorse illustrators are good old ink line and watercolor. Hard to go wrong there, if you know what you're doing. Artists who are more production and mass market oriented will usually be digital painters, as you can mimic a wide variety of styles, and be very flexible to revisions.

Everything is good fun though, just get some materials and start trying them out. Even though you will definitely have to upgrade to artist quality supplies, I think it is best to start with student grades. That way you can find if you like a medium and can produce acceptable results.
#7 - August 21, 2011, 08:57 PM

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The most common traditional materials for workhorse illustrators are good old ink line and watercolor.


so I should consider myself a workhorse? Awesome. lol  :horse:
#8 - August 21, 2011, 09:29 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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I used to primarily use colored pencil with a tiny bit of digital. BTW, Prismacolors are THE best. When I first decided to try using colored pencils, I went for them first-off and was spoiled from the getgo. I tried others as they were a littlle easier on the pocket book . . . but then went back.

Then this workhorse of an illustrator and another workhorse friend (who uses digital but produces a heckuvalot) convinced me to try water color washes under my pencils. I got some watercolors . . . good ones . . . and some good brushes too. They sat for a couple weeks. Then I considered the similarities between rendering with the Prismacolors and watercolors . . . there are quite a bit, with light source and opacity to name a couple. So I tried them. Working with both mediums is making my time with the art all the more fun and timesaving. If something is drastically wrong, I can fix it in Photoshop, for the most part.

Most of the illustrators I know use digital, if not for rendering their entire scenes, it's used for enhancements and clean-up.

#9 - August 21, 2011, 10:10 PM
Fur Balls & Feathers & Fins, Oh My! Animals Are My Kind of People
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*guilty workhorse illustrator* Hi Cyn!

I don't use digital for my finished artwork, but I use it to play around with my sketches sometimes if I want to change the composition a bit, then print it off and use a lightbox to trace it.
#10 - August 21, 2011, 10:21 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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When it comes to materials, it's all about finding your style. Very similar to a writer finding their voice. Experiment, then experiment some more.  Try everything until you find something that makes you happy and allows you to sink into the creative groove.
#11 - August 22, 2011, 05:02 AM
"Maya was Grumpy"
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Enigmainthemist,

Thanks.  My webpage is www.jcphillipps.com.  There is a gallery there.  Or, I always post new work on my blog, www.blogspot.ninjawoman.com.  Click on the "art" or "picture book" subjects.
#12 - August 22, 2011, 05:32 AM

Enigmainthemist

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NinjaWoman
Your work is wonderful. I love how you use everyday things like news paper in your art work.
#13 - August 22, 2011, 09:47 AM

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When it comes to materials, it's all about finding your style. Very similar to a writer finding their voice. Experiment, then experiment some more.  Try everything until you find something that makes you happy and allows you to sink into the creative groove.

totally agree. I tired a lot of different mediums, and was never really satisfied with the results. But when I tried what I'm working with now, it was almost like a revelation. It felt right, I really enjoyed the process and I was finally producing work that made me happy.
#14 - August 22, 2011, 11:01 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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NinjaWoman
Your work is wonderful. I love how you use everyday things like news paper in your art work.

Thanks.  Sometimes being a cheap-wad is a virtue.  :)
#15 - August 23, 2011, 03:25 AM

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Shaprie pens, then scan and go nuts digitally.
#16 - August 23, 2011, 04:14 AM

Simon_Turnbull

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I don't know, most work I see that is done with sharpies has a peculiar cheapness to the lines that I find very disagreeable. It really lacks the refined elegance of a pen or brush work. I've seen some good sharpie work done with expressive and scratchy lines but that takes a very confident hand and an artist who is a very good mark maker.

  They are good  for development and presentation work, since the idea is just to present a visual idea and the finish is less important.  Sharpie work is immediately obvious and I wouldn't be brave enough to turn in art for publication done with them.  :jail
#17 - August 23, 2011, 10:55 PM

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Ouch, Simon.  :bandaid
#18 - August 24, 2011, 10:33 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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I don't know, most work I see that is done with sharpies has a peculiar cheapness to the lines that I find very disagreeable. It really lacks the refined elegance of a pen or brush work. I've seen some good sharpie work done with expressive and scratchy lines but that takes a very confident hand and an artist who is a very good mark maker.

  They are good  for development and presentation work, since the idea is just to present a visual idea and the finish is less important.  Sharpie work is immediately obvious and I wouldn't be brave enough to turn in art for publication done with them.  :jail

I guess you don't like my avatar then...  :taz:
#19 - August 24, 2011, 05:50 PM

Enigmainthemist

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I have seen some cool looking are done with sharpies.
#20 - August 24, 2011, 10:35 PM

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And there's some really cool stuff that's been done using an Etch-A-Sketch. http://www.gvetchedintime.com/gvetchedintime/gallery.php
#21 - August 25, 2011, 06:13 AM
Fur Balls & Feathers & Fins, Oh My! Animals Are My Kind of People
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It's not what you use,... it's how you use it.

Could a simple wooden pencil somehow be made into amazing art? Impossible, right? Think again:

http://inhabitat.com/static/2010-08-06-amazing-miniature.html

Wonky.... cute avatar! And doesn't Maggie Stiefvater do amazing things with the sharpie on her guitar?

ETA: Cyn: I own a Etch a Sketch... and those are just amazing. I'd love to see it done in fast motion on video. It almost doesn't seem possible, but I'm sure it is. I know these aren't fakes.
#22 - August 25, 2011, 04:47 PM
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 04:50 PM by SYoon »

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Salina, Maggie's sharpied guitars are amazing!! So intricate! I saw pics on her facebook page.

I like your avatar, too, Wonky! And I can see that style being perfect for a lot of types of books, illustrated MGs totally springing to mind. (I have those on the brain right now I think, I SO want to do an illustrated MG)
#23 - August 25, 2011, 05:19 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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And you would ROCK an illustrated MG, Arty!!!  :hairdude
#24 - August 25, 2011, 05:24 PM
Robin

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*blush* aw, thanks dude!!!   :love
#25 - August 25, 2011, 05:42 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
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Wonky.... cute avatar! And doesn't Maggie Stiefvater do amazing things with the sharpie on her guitar?

Thanks! You know, I saw one of your books in an English-language bookstore here in Tokyo. I think it's the only blueboarder book I've seen on sale here.
#26 - August 25, 2011, 06:47 PM

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I like your avatar, too, Wonky! And I can see that style being perfect for a lot of types of books, illustrated MGs totally springing to mind. (I have those on the brain right now I think, I SO want to do an illustrated MG)

Thanks, the pic is actually from the character sheet of the MC of my MG book. If the book gets picked up I'm hoping to illustrate it, too.
#27 - August 25, 2011, 06:51 PM

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Thanks, the pic is actually from the character sheet of the MC of my MG book. If the book gets picked up I'm hoping to illustrate it, too.

*feeling smug for totally calling that one*  :moose

that's awesome!! I love illustrated MG's.
#28 - August 25, 2011, 07:07 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
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*feeling smug for totally calling that one*  :moose

that's awesome!! I love illustrated MG's.

Hey, I'm glad it's clear what my art style is targeted for.

Lately my wife has been teasing me and saying all my characters look like sock puppets!
#29 - August 25, 2011, 08:18 PM

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It's not what you use,... it's how you use it.


ETA: Cyn: I own a Etch a Sketch... and those are just amazing. I'd love to see it done in fast motion on video. It almost doesn't seem possible, but I'm sure it is. I know these aren't fakes.

Ask and you shall receive . . . but somehow I think you knew. :flower

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYM__s3R5q0
#30 - August 26, 2011, 06:50 AM
Fur Balls & Feathers & Fins, Oh My! Animals Are My Kind of People
 www.cynthiakremsner.com

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