Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Drawn by Hand

Tiger recognises Quentin Blake's illustrations straightaway from: (1) Quentin Blake's very unique illustration style, and (2) reading all of Roald Dahl's books.

Quentin Blake is probably best known as the 'official' illustrator of Roald Dahl's books but we decided to get to know the illustrator better by looking through his official website and books.

It was interesting to hear him talk about his working method and how he approaches illustrations as a way of storytelling: 

To understand his work in its own right, Tiger read many of his books with the focus on looking at the illustrations in relation to how effectively they convey the stories, as well as the techniques and materials used in the different books:

We chanced upon an exhibition of Quentin Blake's work at the Fitzwilliam Museum so we went in to take a look at original copies of some of his work.  It was a small exhibition but was fascinating nonetheless to see a living artist's original work, look at some of his working materials, and understand his techniques.

The idea of illustration is not new to Tiger.  It seems to me that it is a very natural act of self-expression for many children to write and draw about the stories that they create.  Tiger jumped right into the activity with gusto and enthusiasm.

Even though he has watched carefully Quentin Blake demonstrating how he draws and has access to the various art materials that Quentin Blake uses, Tiger decided to just use pens.  He drew directly using a fountain pen and filled in some of the colours with a ballpoint pen.  I gave him a few suggestions on how he could emulate Quentin Blake's style and use of materials, but Tiger was only interested to draw in his own style.  Below the story that Tiger has written so far -- it is still work in progress.

I can see from Tiger's drawings where the influences of his illustrations came from: the idea of the fair has come from the Winter Wonderland we went to last Christmas, the house is of the structure of castles that we have visited, the roller-coaster and resultant water splash idea come from a ride we took at Legoland.  I can also see that he is trying to combine both written words with the idea of wordless stories (as he has read in Quentin Blake's book, Clown).

What I'm really seeing are a few skills that can be introduced to provide some gentle guidance on more effective ways of storytelling, using either words or pictures or both.

This post is linked up to:
1) Look What We Did!
2) Virtual Refrigerator
3) Homeschool Mother's Journal: March 29, 2013
4) Hobbies and Handicrafts - March 29
5) Collage Friday - Books LEGOs, and Endings/Beginnings
6) Homeschool Review
7) Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with More Birds
8) Hip Homeschool Hop - 4/2/13


  1. What a great way to encourage writing! Many moons ago I had planned doing something similar with the FIAR books and asking the older children (who, obviously were younger then) to try to write a short book in the style of the author and illustrator.
    I love Tiger's drawings and his story. Well done!

  2. It's interesting when kids recognize art work in books they read. My kids decide before we begin reading a book if they like it based on the familiarity of the artwork.

    I think you are spot on too when it comes to artwork and story telling going together. Illustrations is one way kids tell stories.

  3. This is a very interesting way to see the formation of illustrations in books. I loved your entire process. As for Tiger using Quentin Blake's techniques - Tiger will find his own voice, his own illustration method. I liked the way you let him flow with his ideas.
    Many blessings,
    Janis Cox - author and illustrator of Tadeo Turtle

  4. Visiting from Virtual Refrigerator.
    This was an interesting study. We haven't studied illustrators very much.

  5. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your kind comments, ladies. Much appreciated. :-)

  6. I'm bookmarking this page. My son would love this art education.
    Stopping in from Weekly wrap-up.

  7. Thanks for sharing. This looks like such a wonderful resource. Have a great week!


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