It’s no secret,
that to become skilled in art many artists recommend to copy other artists work,
FOR LEARNING PURPOSES only of course. This is where you try to work out ‘how did they do that’ and then you ‘go do that’.
I found a great looking sketchbook at a cheap shop and thought it would be interesting to fill.
In December, I decided to use it as a diary of my illustrator studies, where I would do a layout of an illustrator I had been researching or had been reading…
(YES, I read kids picture books! it’s research, and I love them…)
The goal is to achieve a likeness or similar effect by deciphering and replicating the techniques. Keeping in mind to make the spread of images fun.
As a lover of ink and watercolour, I started trying Maurice Sendaks’ work and drew Max and some of the Creatures from ‘Where the Wild things are’ - I really love this style and will definitely use it for a book or two somewhere along the line.
I found ‘Tico’ in the library and just loved the story, I thought I would try to replicate Leo Lionni’s illustrations with Gouache. Some parts showed they could achieve a similar look, other areas need more, but I did not want to invest the time for a cheap sketchbook study where the paper may not hold up.
I won’t show you the next page*
(*it was what didn’t work, where I tried a very different style of a pair of illustrators. I was only happy with one of the 16 spot illustrations I did, - and it didn’t look anything like the style I was meant to be doing! Initially I thought maybe it was gouache with this paper- but later studies proved it works ok.)
Someone recommended to look up Emily Gravett, and thank you I am so glad I did, her work (both stories and illustrations) are awesome! Her Mice and Rabbit illustrations are adorable.
There was something magickal in the Book ‘Two Troll Tales from Norway’, retold by Margrete Lamond and illustrated by Ingrid Kallick.
The flourishes were a little tricky and I intend to practice that style more as I love the Fairytale embellishments. The paper handled the use of gouache here quite well.
The last study is of Renata Liwska’s adorable animals. I tried a few ways but could not really imitate her loose hatching style perhaps it was done digitally, it's hard to tell sometimes but I think it’s still possible to replicate most digital effects traditionally.
One of my pencils was close but very wrong in colour, so I have ordered a few more colours to try out, as I did like the effect. Perhaps my hand will loose-hatch better on a larger scale, I am looking forward to trying coloured pencil hatching in my illustrations.
So far I’m enjoying this illustrator diary very much, and hope to show your more soon.
It’s proving valuable and satisfying, it reminds me of areas I need to strengthen and is also a bit reassuring when something kind of works.
**Disclaimer, I do share bits of these on Instagram so if you want to see my next illustrator study sooner…
Let me know of an illustrator to research!