Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Friday 1 December 2017

Water – an artistic challenge

Lois Bury resides on Bruny Island, surrounded by water and stunning vistas. Lois is an artist, painting birds and other wildlife for Art at the Point, a local gallery, along with illustrative commissions, particularly in picture books. Join Lois as she explores some of the artistic challenges she grappled with in her latest endeavour.
Quentin the Quoll on Bruny Island is about to go to the printers, and is the second in a series of picture books written and published by Kate Morton in Tasmania.  The first, Little Spot, was published to draw attention to the endangered 40-Spotted Pardalote and the efforts of the Australian National University programs to increase the population. The problems that Little Spot faced are similar everywhere – loss of habitat, predators and disease. The series tells of the characters that are the birds and animals that live on Bruny Island.  

In this book, Quentin is having a water adventure and the first step was to get the storyboard and dummy book together and develop the Quentin character.

Then I had to start thinking of painting the precious, flowing water. I did refer to Jackie French and Bruce Whatley’s book, Flood, and Bruce’s wonderfully fluid paintings. I use the drip technique in some of my big bird paintings but didn’t feel it appropriate to introduce them again.  A watery palette was easy to decide on and I had already used the Daniel Smith watercolour paints on some smaller projects.  They are American and are mineral based so there was something very elemental about them.  The key to portraying the muddy waters was introducing ‘Bronzite Genuine’ to the ‘Ultramarine Blue’ and ‘Ultramarine Turquoise’ as different layers with some white pencil to indicate the swirling, gurgling water.  Indigo, one of my favourite colours, brought some depth and darkness, especially to the evening scene.  When I was painting and the medium was still wet I wanted to stop it there, it felt quite sad to see it dry.  Practicalities meant that I had no choice.

Lois Bury
Artist and illustrator
Website: http://www.loisburyart.com.au/

1 comment:

  1. Not being an artist l have always found the effects created through different techniques, medium, color and styles very intriguing. Understanding the illustrator's perspective, influences and ideas enhances the readers appreciation of the books. Thanks for sharing Lois!