Monday, November 26, 2012

The Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration

Recently I had the chance to attend a fantastic webinar organized by ALA's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) in honor of The Caldecott Medal 75th Anniversary.

This webinar, The Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration, was presented by Dilys Evans, artist, agent and founder of the Original Art, as well as author of Show and Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration.  

Ms. Evans discussed the 10 Principles for Illustrating a Great Picture Book, and kindly allowed me to share them on my blog.  They are (drum roll, please):

1) In the Beginning is the Word -- it's essential that illustrators fall in love with the manuscript and stay true to the word, bringing their own expertise and artistry to the table.

2) Preparation is Paramount: Research, Research, Research.

3) Every Picture Must Tell a Story: A Great Cover is Where it All Begins.

4) Endpapers, Flaps and Title Pages: The Opportunity of a Lifetime -- use every space to put a picture that explains more about the characters, time or place.

5) Set the Scene Before the Story Begins.

6) The Medium is Part of the Message.

7) Working Sketches are the Stepping Stones to a Great Picture Book.

8) Art and Typeface Should be a Perfect Marriage.

9) A Great Picture Book is a Form of Dramatic Art.

10) White Space Rules!

Great stuff, right?  Get thee to a library and start looking for these principles in your favorite picture books!

PS.  Archived sessions of the webinars are available for free and unlimited viewing for members of ALSC!