I had decided to use my 17 year old poem as the text for a picture/counting book, I chose to focus my homework assignments, whenever possible, on my chosen story. The class had received my story very positively during a critique session, so I decided to begin on the illustrations. The second week of class my assignment was to pick one page from my book and illustrate it in three totally different ways. Since I had already decided that I wanted to do the book in my favorite medium (ink and colored pencil), this was a challenge. I had considered other options before, but had chosen not to use them.
|Ink & Colored Pencil|
I wanted to leave it at that, but my homework was not complete. Sigh!! I forced myself to try watercolors. My old watercolor set was not completely dried out, just mostly. A few tubes of colors were useable, so I unearthed my brushes and gave it a try. To be honest, I was rather intimidated, as watercolors had always seemed beyond my ken. My Grandmother Travis was skilled at watercolors. My friend Carol had given us a gorgeous watercolor of wisteria for a wedding gift. I knew the medium could be mastered, but I didn't think it was going to be by me!
I played, and worked, and experimented, and watched a dozen "YouTube" videos on watercolor techniques. Who knew there were so many things one could do with those concentrated tubes of color? A little lifting with paper towel. A dab of wet in wet. A slash of dry brush. It all came together. I ended up with an illustration I was willing to share. Not bad. Not great, but not totally embarrassing.
Now what could I choose for my third medium? I had played a bit with collage in the studio at the Eric Carle Museum of Picturebook Art in Amherst, Massachusetts when I had visited that extraordinary site. If you haven't been there, GO!! One time when I visited, Hardie Gramatky's daughter was there, discussing and reading her father's classic, Little Toot. What a joy to learn more about that old friend from my childhood. On that visit, I also learned a bit about Carle's collage techniques, and how he went about creating papers to cut and paste for his charming illustrations in The Very Hungry Caterpillar.