Monday, February 11, 2013

A Bad Case of Stripes

It's no fun being sick, but right now I have two sick children at home. Reading books is a wonderful past time for both of them and we have a bookshelf exploding with beautiful children's books.  I get a lot of artistic inspiration from them.

My 7yo was reading this wonderful book by  David Shannon called "A Bad Case of Stripes". She thought this little girl was exactly like her and asked if I could draw one of the pictures out of the book so she could watch. We sat by the fire and I drew this from the book into my journal while she snuggled up beside me and watched.  It is one of the illustrations by David that I drew directly from his book with very little of my own interpretation.  It's a lot harder than you think.

Studying the work of other artists and illustrators is a great way to master illustration, practice technique, and get a sense of your own style, but be sure to credit the author/illustrator appropriately and never claim it as your own.

Faces, bodies and people are definitely not my strength, but they may well be my pursuit in the coming year.  I'm looking to take some classes in this area, and am wondering if any of you can tell me the teachers you would recommend who specialize in faces, bodies, portraits, and people? 

(This page was done in watercolor and ink in my Stillman & Birn Epsilon Series sketchbook. It is a direct copy of an illustration by David Shannon from his book "A Bad Case Of Stripes")

Thanks for checking in. xx


  1. How cute! That is a good idea to study children's illustrators. I need to go to the library and check out some kids books. I love them. :)
    I hope you got my email about Jane Davenport, she is great in this area. If it didn't go through let me know and I'll resend it. I was having some email issues last week.

  2. I would go back to the basics with the whole "body" thing and maybe check out some Andrew Loomis books, and Michael Hampton. :)

    I really like this striped girl, and its totally cute. How fun to draw from a book! :)

  3. reading Phantom Picture books was what bought me back to art after many years away from it... but like you I was drawn to objects, and surrounds rather than people... though I was quite adept at drawing Humphrey B Bear for Phantom... remember him from when we are kids ???... love your drawing of a bad case of the stripes... there is a great book called Luke's Way of Looking... I think you would love it... and I know the kids would... Luke has an evil art teacher... it is fab ... sending healing wishes to the little ones...xx

  4. so sorry to hear your children are sick, I know it's especially hard when they are. Great job of the painting mom. so sweet that you did that for your little girl.

  5. i think you are a wonderful mom, dion!

  6. I second the suggestion of Jane Davenport, she breaks it down really well I find. Carla Sonheim's running her Faces 101 as a live class at the end of this month so that might be worth a look (I've signed up for that one myself).

  7. I love this book! I worked in the book biz when it came out and recommended it to everyone. For whimsy I recommend Mindy Lacefield. Tam Laporte and Jane Davenport have very good classes. Juliette Crane has great whimsy girls.

  8. Sorry to hear your kids were sick. Happy that you turned into something good!


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