Author & Artist Corner: Artist
Welcome to my studio! It's a little gloomy out today; usually it's filled with sunlight.
Here I am, working in my studio.
Here are some of my art supplies. The green, pickle-shaped thing is a Chinese brush rest in the shape of a cucumber. My floor slopes downhill, and the pickle keeps my brushes from rolling off my desk.
This is the top of my bookshelf. Like many illustrators, I keep a lot of objects around that inspire me or that I just like the look of.
Then Cricket gave me the assignment for the enchanted horse on the cover. The idea was inspired by one of the stories in the magazine. I was really excited, because I love horses and magical things.
I needed a very special horse, not one that was just, "Oh. A horse." So first I started drawing all kinds of horses. I even made a little rubber stamp of one.
The first sketch I did wasn't quite right. I decided that the horse needed to be flying more, and that the girl from the story needed to be in the picture.
The horse in the second sketch still looked too much like it was lying down. Plus it was supposed to be a strong horse, and the flowers around its neck looked too wispy.
I gave the horse a flower to eat instead, and turned its head to face the girl. Perfect!
You've probably made a linoleum print yourself, or even a potato print. The way I work is just like that. I use a rubber block that's much easier to carve than linoleum, and is also soft enough to let me stamp it with textures before I roll the ink onto it. Here's the printing plate I made for the cover.
When the print is dry, I paint on top of it with watercolors and draw on it with colored pencils. (The company discontinued my favorite pale green colored pencil, and the one I have left is only 3/4" long, so I save it for emergencies.) Here is the finished painting!
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