By Beverly Love-Warren
Beverly grew up on Long Island, New York. She is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology where she studied illustration. After graduating she worked as a paste-up artist and taught art for grades K-8. Later she became a member of SCBWI and illustrated children's literature. Currently she lives in Washington state with her husband. When she is not illustrating you can find her writing stories, hiking, sewing or enjoying time spent with her family.
Thank you for the opportunity to be the first featured illustrator for the new Inland NW chapter website. Also, thank you for your kind comments about my illustrations.
Your illustrations are gorgeous, can you tell us what mediums you use and why you
Primarily I work traditionally in watercolor and color pencils, but sometimes I use color pencils alone. Either way the color will get enhanced digitally in procreate. I find that enhancing the color in procreate brings more life to the illustrations after they have been photographed or scanned because some of the color gets compromised when it becomes digital. I work traditionally because this is how I had been taught years ago. Although I like the look of digital and other art forms of illustration, I’m mostly attracted to line and the subtle nuances of watercolor and its “happy” accidents. Fairytale illustrator, Trina Schart Hyman, was a great inspiration to me when I was learning how to illustrate with her water media and line work. I was also drawn to her work because I like fairytales!
Can you describe your artistic process from initial idea to final design?
When I am beginning a project, I paginate the story first. Then I begin to work on the look of the characters. If they are human, I will look at clothing references and hair styles for ideas. If they are animals I will check my files, books or google the animal(s) for accurate anatomical information. While I’m waiting for approval for the b/w and color character sketches I will begin the thumbnails (storyboard) on an 18”x24” sketch pad. From there I go to the full-size sketches and then the final art. Depending on the publisher’s request the cover may be done first or sometime later. For the final art I use a light box to transfer the sketches onto the watercolor paper and go over the lines with color pencil before and after I paint.
Ideas—where do mine come from? I try to work off the emotion of the scene and look for what else I can add to it; another story within the story, background scenery to compliment the life of the character(s), a funny characteristic that can be viewed throughout the illustrations that is not mentioned in the text. Sometimes I look at other picture books to jumpstart or add to ideas I’m already working on.
Can you tell us about a favorite project you’ve worked on?
My favorite project would either be my debut picture book as an author/illustrator, HAVE YOU SEEN MOUSE?. Or a book I illustrated years ago, MY CHILD MY PRINCESS. The reason I’m including this second book is because I used live models—my daughter, a son and my husband. I also used several personal photo references for the little town in Germany that the story was set in, including photos of Leavenworth, Washington, near to where I live.
Where can we find more of your amazing work?
Primarily my work can be found on my SCBWI illustrator page, and my website, www.beverlylovewarren.com.
Again, thanks so much for this opportunity. I look forward to seeing the work of future featured illustrators.