Thursday, July 26, 2012

Anna Walker illustration workshop

I spent a most wonderful Saturday last weekend doing a workshop run by the lovely, generous and super talented children's book illustrator Anna Walker.


I'm such a fan of her beautiful books so I was very excited to get a little insight into the way she works. Anna showed us some folios she's put together to demonstrate the process of story and illustration development, from the conception of the book idea right through to the finished product. We got to peek into her visual diary, see rough sketches, page layouts, dummy books, original illustrations from her books and ones that didn't make the cut. She talked about her process, idea generation and about technique, style and materials. Can you tell I was in heaven?

Loot from the workshop ;)

Anna does most of her work with acrylics and acrylic ink (and I always thought she used watercolour!) so that was really cool to know. It was the first time I had a go at using acrylic ink. It really took a while to figure out how it handles - and I certainly haven't figured it out yet! - but by the end of the day I could control it a little better than I could at the start. You can see how I was playing with it in some of the pictures below.

One of the things I love about Anna's work is the way she incorporates collage and she encouraged us to try the same. She brought a whole stash of papers and fabric and I had a lot of fun cutting out leaves for my tree. This is how it ended up:

I'm going to keep playing around with acylic ink. I really liked it. Maybe I'll try a few other colours too...

It was such a wonderful, relaxed and inspiring day and I feel so lucky to have been there. Thanks for a great workshop, Anna!