Working on SFX for Midnight Feast. Here is some genuine, unedited giggling from our four-year-old.
Author Archives: Lynley
Children’s literature is a place of great experimentation. Like children themselves, it can be hilariously playful and deeply serious. It isn’t content to sit on shelves and behave. It is inquisitive, exploratory – and difficult to categorise.
Why is the night sky turning red? from Discover Magazine
Why Is The Sky Blue? from The Explainer
Sky comes in a wide variety of colours — it’s not blue nearly as often as we might think. Changing the colour of the sky is a great way to significantly alter the mood of an illustration. A blue sky is cheerful, a stormy sky foreboding, an orange sky indicates evening, or early morning, and a purple sky might convety a fantastical or magic world.
What if you change the colour of the sky after the rest of the artwork has been done? I read a hint lately in a digital art manual which suggested filling a top layer with the colour of your sky, then setting it to multiply blend mode. This will tint the landscape/cityscape or whatever to the appropriate hue, since the colour of the landscape is influenced by the colour of the sky above. I haven’t had a chance to put this to use, but I did try it out anyway on an illustration I’d already done, and I do believe it would be a good way to get the sky matching the landscape, if you end up with a hue which draws attention to itself, or in which the sky looks somehow separate from the land.
Here are 22 rules of storytelling, according to one artist who worked on the storyboards.
These guidelines make a lot of sense to me.
The one I’d query is Number 12.
#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
I see what she’s getting at. She’s urging writers and storyboarders to strive for originality rather than settle for the easy option. Thing is, maybe it IS your first idea that was the best. It’s just as likely to be the second, third, fourth or the fifth. There is no magic number for how many ideas you have to come up with before you’ve found the right one. When you know, you know.
Artists who work on canvas often recommend a large mirror in the studio, because when you see your work-in-progress in reverse, any flaws you didn’t see previously become immediately apparent. When working digitally there is often a keystroke you can use to flip the canvas both horizontally and vertically, and I am trying to get into the habit of doing this more frequently.
Have you ever been to the When You See It website? It’s possible to waste hours at websites like those. This one displays seemingly harmless pictures, until you keep looking and find something very odd in it.
I came across this picture this morning and honestly I couldn’t tell what was wrong with it. Can you?
Yet when the image is flipped, it becomes immediately apparent what’s wrong.
In case you’re not on a mobile device right now, here’s the same image upside down:
This sort of thing is unlikely to happen in a digital painting (compared to all the ways in which it’s possible to stuff up with Photoshop), but flipping comes in handy nonetheless.
In Artrage, press ‘h’ to flip horizontally and ‘v’ to flip vertically. The image stays that way for only as long as you’re holding your finger on the key, so it’s very easy and very handy.
I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.
- Blaise Pascal
Spoetry is a poem comprising phrases from your spam email folder.
Here’s one from me:
GOOD DAY MY DEAR FRIEND
Black Friday is coming! Prepare yourself!
You’ll never find THIS on a shelf.
USE IT FOR THE CHILDREN.
…people now unblushingly use the term ‘visual literacy’ when a few decades ago the concept, never mind the term, was undreamed of. Such an enormous shift in our ways of understanding the world and ourselves will undoubtedly have had an impact upon a form of text like the picturebook that self-consciously exploits the pictorial as a way of making meaning.
Children born into the first years of the twenty-first century are likely to possess a richer and more deft understanding of visual imagery and its modes of deployment than any other generation in the history of humankind. Their world is saturated with images, moving and still, alone and in all manner of hybrid combinations with texts and sounds. This is the world in which they must function. Competence with images is now a prerequisite of competence in life. Increasingly such competence will be part of the context that young children bring to their readings of picturebooks.
– from David Lewis, Reading Contemporary Picturebooks
(So I’m just going to go ahead and assume high level skills in this area.)
Interanimation = when the words and a pictures in a picturebook work together on a page to ‘interanimate’ each other.
- Words can make pictures into rich narrative resources — but only because they communicate so differently from pictures that they change the meaning of pictures. For the same reason, also, pictures can change the narrative thrust of words.
- The balance is never entirely symmetrical.
- What the words do to the pictures is not the same as what the pictures do to the words.
- The words in a picturebook tend to draw attention to parts of the pictures that the reader should attend to. Pictures can communicate much to us, but only if words focus them.
- The pictures proved the words with a specificity they would otherwise lack: colour, shape and form.
- An image can only live and have meaning as part of the picturebook when informed — or limited — by the words.
- Good picturebooks as a whole are a richer experience than the sum of their parts.
- There is a synergy about picturebooks that ensures that if a reader wants the whole experience, pictures and words must be taken together. This is true even when the language makes perfect sense on its own.
- Perhaps all picturebooks exhibit the interanimation of words and pictures, but not all do it the same way.
- There is currently a lack of terminology/concepts to describe all the different ways in which picturebooks interanimate.