At a recent SCBWI Illustration Workshop I had the opportunity to get tips and advice from inspiring illustrator Eliza Wheeler. Her presentation left me eager to get back home and experiment with watercolors some more.
Watercolors are tough. They require a lot of patience and planning. These are two traits that I have a limited supply of and always need to work on integrating into the illustrator part of my life. Watercolors however, are one of the beauties in life that can inspire me to give that greater effort. They draw you into stories, and that’s what children’s books are all about: being drawn into stories. We want to live in worlds that are carefree, exciting and beautiful.
Eliza Wheeler’s works are beautiful and definitely draw you into the world of the stories she’s illustrating.
Before coming to the workshop she asked attendees to gather some examples of their favorite illustrator’s works whom they drew inspiration from. I was delighted to see that one of her favorites was also one of mine, Lisbeth Zwerger.
I came upon some of Lisbeth Zwerger’s works first through books my daughter’s purchased when our local school held book fairs. Then I started watching for them wherever I went, picking one up, unbelievably, at a community garage sale. What a treasure. Her awareness of and great use of space totally blows me away. How is it she can make so much of nothing.
I scan through the books whenever I’m preparing to pick up my brushes and paints.
They came out two weeks ago when I decided I would get a start on a piece I wanted to create for my living room.
I tried to incorporate some of what Eliza talked about, including glazing and layering colors.
I’ve still more to learn about watercolors. I think I have some nice passages in this piece even though I continually need to pay attention to not overworking areas. Art is always a work in progress.