Thursday, June 09, 2011

Peach and Blue for the Dan Santat Illustration Workshop

This week has been busy!  I'm preparing for an illustration workshop this Saturday, June 11th, sponsored by the Arizona chapter of SCBWI and presented by none other than Dan Santat!  Dan is the award-winning author-illustrator responsible for illustrating such children's titles as Chicken Dance, Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo, The Secret Life of Walter Kitty, and Oh No! Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World

It'll be an intensive, all-day workshop, but loads of fun as well.  What kept me busy this week was a homework assignment that we need to complete and bring to the workshop.  There are two, but I'll just talk about one of them here.  The assignment was to choose an illustration that we love from a children's book and copy it the best we can.

A couple of titles sprang into my mind immediately, and ultimately I chose Peach and Blue by Sarah S. Kilborne with illustrations by the husband and wife team of Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.  Peach and Blue is the heartwarming story of an unlikely friendship between ... a peach and a frog.  I know it sounds strange, but it's one of my absolute favorites!  Only in a children's book can such a relationship exist!  I cried the first time I read it (and just about every other time I've read it).  The gorgeous illustrations accompany the story perfectly.

I chose one of the interior illustrations for my assignment and took some progress shots:

Here's what my desk looks like when I'm painting...

The last photo below is a side-by-side comparison of the original interior illustration from the book and my copy.  Can you tell which is which?
My version is on the right.  Close, but with differences -- most obviously in the peach.  I believe the original illustration was painted on paper, I chose to paint mine on canvas.  It was a worthwhile exercise, as this is more detailed than how I normally paint my children's illustrations and has given me some ideas on painting future illos.

Looking forward to this Saturday!