Tag Archives: illustration

Forensics Meets Literary Criticism

Brian Joseph Davis uses law enforcement composite sketch software to create images of literary characters.


Dolores “Lolita” Hayes/Mrs. Richard F. Schiller, Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

After emails from teachers and librarians, asking for images to use in lessons and programming, Davis has provided a zip file with a non-commercial Creative Commons license for download here.


See Davis’ Tumbler here and read more about it at Mental Floss.

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Grades 7-12 Inspired by Comic Books Presentation

Last Friday I had the pleasure of hosting three visitors from Happy Harbor Comics in Edmonton. Store owner Jay Bardala, along with two very talented comic book artists inspired and enlightened our junior and senior high students through four sessions.

Jay Bardala from Happy Harbor Comics with artists Tracey Risser and Dan Schneider

Jay Bardala from Happy Harbor Comics with artists Tracey Risser and Dan Schneider

Jay’s extensive knowledge of the comic book industry and entertaining style kept us all captivated as he described the complex process of comic book production. I for one had never imagined that after a writer has written the script and planned all the panels, there are at least three artists involved in the drawings.

The penciller does the initial drawings after whihch the inker defines the light, shadow and emphasis with black lines and shapes. The colourer then, after determining the mood of the story adds colour, usually digitally. Then there’s the letterer, the editor, printer, distributor, retailer and others. It was all quite fascinating to discover the impressive collaboration that goes into the production and distribution of a $3.00 comic book.

Artist Tracey Risser draws the students' choices of superheroes.

Artist Tracey Risser draws the students’ choices of superheroes.

While Jay spoke, artists Tracey Risser and Dan Schneider drew superheroes in action from student requests. Tracey is a professional graphic artist and works on comics in his spare time. Dan works full time illustrating comic books. Jay writes scripts for comic books some of which Dan has illustrated, but he just does it for fun and doesn’t market them. That’s love.


Two of the drawings the artists left with us. Tracey’s is on the left and Dan’s on the right.

The 8 amazing drawings, 2 from each artist at each session, will be displayed in the school for a while, then offered to the students as contest prizes.


Artist Dan Schneider shares tips with a talented student, while other students and artist Tracey Risser look on.

After the sessions, Dan and Tracey offered to share their expertise with any students who brought artwork to share. It was amazing to see some of the work our students were producing and they appreciated the artists’ advice. I’m hoping to see a few students fleshing out some of those brilliant ideas percolating within, as scripts or drawings.

See also:

Happy Harbor Comics services for schools and libraries
Dan Schneider’s Website
Dan Schneider Artist in Residence interview (2011)
Tracey Risser at Harper PR


Filed under Art & Design, Library Programs

Promotional Posters by Where the Wild Things Are Author Maurice Sendak

From the book: Posters by Maurice Sendak by Maurice Sendak (Goodreads)

Read: Maurice Sendak’s Little-Known and Lovely Posters Celebrating Books and the Joy of Reading by Maria Popova

Via: Neatorama

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Illustrator: Karen Reczuch ~ Award Finalist

Finalist for the 2012 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($25,000)
Sponsored by TD Bank Group

Written by Susan Vande Griek (Halifax, NS)
Illustrated by Karen Reczuch (Acton, ON)
Groundwood Books
for ages 4-7

“A beautiful combination of words and images… The poetic text perfectly captures the rhythm of a loon’s life cycle… Readers will respond on so many different levels – to Vande Griek’s lovely use of language and Reczuch’s beautiful images… A magical combination of poetry and illustrations that is both lyrical and scientifically informative.” (link)

Detail from Loon

Karen Reczuch

A childhood spent with a pencil always in hand has blossomed into a full and varied life for Ontario artist Karen Reczuch. Apart from her here-featured work as a children’s book illustrator, Reczuch has enjoyed extensive travel as part of post-secondary studies in advertising, work in educational publishing and employment since 2008 as artifact illustrator for an archeological expedition in Turkey.


(Click on the above thumbnails for their Goodreads page with reviews, and here for the full gallery of children’s books illustrated by Reczuch.)

Reczuch’s website cover image. Click to go there.

“Whether spending an afternoon sketching in a nearby woods or absorbed at my desk drawing an ancient artifact, I enjoy examining and recording the intricate world around me. Time spent drawing and painting is an opportunity to truly “see” and often an exercise in personal discovery and connection, not unlike meditation. My hope is that my work allows others to make similar discoveries and to share the delight of visually exploring our shared environment.”   Karen Reczuch

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Books in Art: Pierre Ceriano

Alta Plana by Pierre Ceriano

Pierre Ceriano's buddy iconLes Cités Obscures – François Schuiten

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All Fiction Books Should Have Maps

Wizard of Oz

The Princess Bride

Winnie the Pooh

“If I ruled the world, or at least a publishing company, all books would contain as much supplementary information as possible. Nonfiction, fiction—doesn’t matter. Every work would have an appendix filled with diagrams, background information, digressions and anecdata. And of course, maps. Lots and lots of maps.”

Read more and see more maps at The Maps We Wandered Into As Kids by Victoria Johnson

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A Christmas Story About Empathy for the Older Students

I hesitated to write about this beautiful book because it is out of print like my previous recommendation. However it might be wasting away on a library shelf somewhere and fully deserves to be brought to light.

And light is the perfect symbol for this book. Telling a story of an ‘enlightening’ candle by that candle’s own light, it was the illustrations, reminiscent of Rembrandt, that first drew me to this book. Painter Jacob Collins is described on his website as, “…a leading figure in the contemporary revival of classical painting”.

Click on the image for the Goodreads page. (Different Cover)

Luminous and rich, the paintings demanded a story with equal depth, and Richard Paul Evans was equal to the task. This is a story of the awakening of empathy, told without reference to any deity and thus open to any receptive listener.

I wanted my students to get the full impact of the images, which I believe have the potential to open the heart in ways that words might not. Although I knew it would compromise the quality, I scanned the images and showed them on the Smart Board while I read the story to the Grades 4 & 5. I turned off some of the lights so the paintings would show up better and read by the scant light emanating from the board itself. If I dared, I would read this by candlelight.

The students were completely absorbed throughout the story and were highly appreciative of the message and of the art. I expect to have a chance to show this to Grades 6-9 before Christmas and although I expect the junior high students to demonstrate the obligatory ennui, I have confidence that it will touch them all and perhaps light a little candle of empathy within many of them.

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Fly! Great-OHARU’s Books Day Fair Illustration

By Great-OHARU - Click to go to source

Via Booklover

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Governor General’s Literary Awards to be Announced November 15th

Maxine Trottier’s Migrant, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault is one of the finalists for Children’s Illustration.

Check out Isabelle Arsenault’s portfolio.

You can see the rest of the finalists here where the prize is administered by the Canada Council for the Arts.

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