The children in Bo and Peggy’s school are putting together a magazine, and I’ve been helping out a little. Before the half-term holidays I was talking to Peggy’s class of five and six year olds on typography. This week I talked to Bo’s class of eight and nine year olds about illustration.
There were a lot of great pictures on show in the classroom, but doing a drawing for a magazine or newspaper is different to making a painting to hang on the wall. A magazine illustration has to compete and co-operate with words, headlines and body copy, and with other images, photos, icons, and other illustrations. Also, magazine illustrations have to reproduce well at sizes that are small compared to what you can show on a wall.
Below are some of the examples of magazine illustration I used in talking about these issues, along with some minimal notes to help start off the conversation.
Here is a page from The New Yorker magazine. How big do you think these drawings were originally?
This big? Bigger?
The drawing is by Otto Soglow. He also drew a comic strip called The Little King.
This drawing is by Tom Bachtell. What do you think he might have drawn it with?
This New Yorker drawing is in colour, but the artist, Seth, has only used one colour.
This drawing has more than one colour, but not much more.
The artist’s name is Cristoph Niemann.
This cartoon is by Gahan Wilson. He has used quite a few different colours, but he hasn’t coloured in the sky. Do you notice anything else that he decided not to do?
This drawing is not from The New Yorker! It’s by a Danish artist, Ib Andersen. He has used a few different colours, but like Gahan Wilson, he hasn’t coloured in everything.
The drawing is for a story about a cat. Can you spot the cat? What makes the cat different to the rest of the picture?
These drawings are by Lucinda Rogers. Some of the pictures we’ve been looking at are rectangular, but a lot are not. Look at the shapes Lucy’s drawings make.
This picture is by Mary Blair. It’s an illustration for a Little Golden Book. Again, she has left the sky without any colour. Another thing she has decided not to do is draw black outlines. Instead she has used clear shapes of strong colour, and some coloured lines.
What else has she done, or not done?
And now back to learning your times tables!
All images are copyright © the artists or their heirs or assigns.