Studio Views: Erasing Pictures

sv_cooper_kneadederaser

I was asked recently to describe the way I paint pictures for picture books. I was very surprised by this request because I thought that by now every soul in America had either read about, heard, or seen me and my amazing little art demonstration, in which I show exactly how I make the pictures […]

Studio Views: Paperies and Trash Cans

sv_sabuda_pearlsticker

I love paper. It doesn’t matter where it comes from as long as I can touch it. This causes my boyfriend no end of consternation. “Don’t touch that!” he’ll screech as I spot something sticking out of somebody’s trash container. “You don’t know where it’s been!” For me, it doesn’t matter where it’s been, as […]

Studio Views: Watching for Accidents

sv_meade_scissors

The boards of my studio floor are strewn with scraps of paper like so many flower petals let go from their stems following an abrupt wind. The eye of that wind storm is where I like to work. The discarded pieces of paper swirl to the floor and make a lovely mess around my feet, […]

Studio Views: My Favorite Medium

sv_meddaugh_2Bpencil

I asked Martha what her favorite medium was, and she said: “Medium-rare, although rare, medium, and well-done are all perfectly acceptable.” My favorite medium is the pencil. I love the pencil. It feels like a natural extension of my hand. I’m comfortable and confident with a pencil. But not just any pencil. My pencil is […]

Studio Views: Why I Use Oil Paints So Much

sv_zelinsky_paint

I like to think that the story I’m illustrating tells me what medium to use on it. And I have used quite a few materials over the years. But there does seem to be a preponderance of oil paints on the roster. Could this represent an actual preference on my part? I’ve had to sit […]

Studio Views

Studio Views

Thirteen picture book artists talk shop in these pieces about tools and techniques.   “Family Albums” by Margaret Miller “My Next Medium” by Chris Raschka “The Sculptural Quality” by Arthur Geisert “Tiny Pieces of Paint” by Peter Sís “Ticonderoga #2″ by Donald Crews “Pulp Painting” by Denise Fleming “Sharpie Markers to the Rescue” by Lynn […]

News from Down Under: Turning Heads

crew_watertower

Picture books for older readers. The topic is a hot one in Australia, particularly in regard to the Book of the Year Awards. Should this art form be judged shoulder to shoulder with the more traditional picture book for a very young child? Who reads these books, anyway? As the controversy whirls on, however, the […]

Writing Backward: Modern Models in Historical Fiction

My Brother Sam is Dead

I expect we can all agree that historical fiction should be good fiction and good history. If we leap over the first briar patch by calling good fiction an “interesting narrative with well-developed characters,” we are still left with the question of what is good history. Alas, there are nearly as many thorns here as […]

Have Book Bag, Will Travel: A Practical Guide to Reading Aloud

Goodnight Moon

By Mary M. Burns and Ann A. Flowers Suddenly, literacy is a hot topic. While definitions may vary, there is general agreement that it’s a good thing, and the more of it, the better. The problem seems to be discovering how to nurture it. Because Americans incline toward Puritanism when faced with self-improvement, the process […]

“Look”

by Lois Lowry My oldest child, a daughter, remembers that when she was three, and we lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while her father was a law student, she often walked with me to a nearby grocery store. She tells me that there were letters painted in the street at the corner where we stopped and […]