In 2007 when my wife and I started the adoption process for our daughter, I wrote a children’s book. Lately I’ve been thinking it would be great fun to push myself as and artist, and to gry by trying to illustrate this book. I started a thread in the Illustration forum of Wetcanvas asking for recommended reading. One person said that illustrating isn’t much different than painting fine art. He maybe right. I do not know since I’ve never illustrated anything before. He gave a very convincing argument. Taking his words as words of encouragement, and buying the two books that have been recommended, I will attempt to illustrate my book.
To be honest and open up my most inner self, I”m more than a little nervous. I don’t like failure, and the good Lord knows I’ve had a lot of that in my life. But I’ve learned that failure can be twisted into success. Okay that may not have worked like I wanted, but I can learn from it and now I know something that didn’t work, so I’ll try again. This attitude has helped a lot with painting. I learn from painting bad paintings, and they become exercises so it’s OKAY if they aren’t master pieces. So it will be with my illustrations.
To me there is a big difference between Fine Art and Illustration. Fine Art is a painting where I paint what inspires me. My story is to show you, through paint and canvas, what I find beautiful. If you see it and like it great, if you buy it and hang it on your wall, that is icing on the cake. I love it when people love my art enough to want to see it every day and hang it on their walls, in the past, the money just helps to buy more art supplies, but now it is going towards the adoption of another daughter. Illustration on the other hand requires that either the painting support the story, or that the painting shows a portion of the story. The demands are higher on the artist to create a painting that does more than just shows what inspired him or her. The concept and color scheme, value plan, composition and other parts of the painting must be given more thought.
In reading to my daughter, and son before that, I’ve seen some beautiful illustrations, and been totally amazed at some of the art work found in children’s books. My fear is I’m not up to the task I’ve set before me. First of all, I’m horrible at painting people. So, it was a surprise when a fiend gave me not one but two books on painting people for Christmas, THANK YOU DAVID T.. God knew I was going to need them. So, not only have I set a goal of illustrating my book, but learning to paint people. The hardest task for me will be to learn to draw the same person from different angles and still have it look like that person. This is where I admire my son’s artistic skills. But then he has been an artist his whole life, and studied, drawn, and spent many hours drawing people, while I’m just getting started.
Well, it is time for me to go to work and earn some money to support my art habbit…
Have fun painting!