On the fourth and final day of this years SCBWI Australia & NZ Conference programme I attended as illustrator masterclass with the lovely Nina Rycroft. I don’t have many notes for this class, the reason being that it was very hands-on, which is exactly what you want when it is a practical class. She demonstrated the following:
- how she presents her work (sample pieces) to publishers
- what a ‘tear sheet’ is (something I had never heard of)
- how she draws the first thumbnails for the whole story concept
- the various stages she goes through to get to the final piece
- if your animal characters move from left to right this helps the children read the book in the correct direction
- do not paint any detail where the fold of the page will be
- don’t particularly illustrate in order of the story
- mark out the ‘crop marks’ and ‘fold marks’
- consider where the text will go
- left hand text should generally be higher than right hand/page text so children scan the words in the correct direction
Nina is a big believer in acting out what it is you are trying to draw. So if you are drawing a dancer, stand, move, dance in the position you are trying to illustrate. feel where the weight is. How is the body balanced? Feel as well as observe.
Move your face into the expression you are trying to draw. then try to convey this with amnimal faces.
I learnt so much from this masterclass and Nina was a great teacher. Now all I need to do is practise and find my own style!