I really had no idea until recently how much fantastic work gets created in the field of children's illustration. ( as mentioned by +Gianna Butterfield in some comments on a post I made in Google+ red balloon triptych almost finished ) It's really been eye opening for me, in a good way. (I need to get back to work, so I'll hopefully remember to post a list of some of the illustrators who I've found to be really inspiring later.)
Those comments reminded me that I sometimes wonder if a lot of the high end galleries miss the boat on it too; if the people who decide what's important art for the serious collectors are much too serious to appreciate a sense of whimsy? Are they too serious? Or am I missing something?
Although I'd love to be represented by one of those high end galleries, you know, like the famous ones in NY or LA. I'm probably completely naive imagining that they'd open the door to being able to make a decent living as an artist. I also know I have to stick to what I intuitively know what works best for me, and that includes allowing a sense of whimsy and wonder to show in the work.
I know most people are usually getting ready for the weekend/ scrambling to get things done before the end of the week, But if you want a minute for some safe for work Internet distraction, here's the triptych with the clouds finished.
German Shible on twitter asked me about photographing artwork, and considering the amount of trial and error I've gone through to figure it out (lots and lots of error, but that could just be me) I thought I'd put up a blog post about it, since the answer takes a little more than 140 characters.
Here's a list of the equipment I use: - DSLR camera - so you can control the aperture, ISO, and white balance. - natural / prime lens - I use a Nikon 50mm, which is relatively inexpensive and has very little 'fish eye' distortion to it, so I often don't have to straighten out the image with Photoshop. I use a 35mm lens for larger paintings if the painting is too wide to get with the 50mm in my relatively small studio. - tripod - this should be solid to keep the camera from shaking. - remote control for the camera - so you don't shake the camera by manually triggering it. - gray card so you can adjust the colour digitally after shooting.
I set the ISO to 200 for a clearer image, and put the aperture at 7.1, so there's decent depth of field and the whole painting stays in focus even if the camera's not 100% square to it. Then I take a series of shots with different exposure times. These are usually between 1/2 to 1/5s exposures, so they're slow, which is why I need the tripod and remote control. Since my camera is a 6MP Nikon D70, I can't get really hi-res photos of large pieces, so I also take shots of each quarter just in case I need a hi-res some time in the future, then I can (theoretically) stitch them together to make a bigger image.
The day job is done for the week, so now I'm back working on the clouds on the triptych.
Someone on google+ commented on an earlier photo I posted that it looks like something from a kid's story, which I think is great. That feel has probably started to show up in my work because of the great books I get to read to my almost-2 year old daughter, and all of the great illustrators I've come across on twitter and google+
Ps- I'm also testing out blogpress' tweet and FB features, so thus might get double posted or something.
Just Finished the sky, and I'm going to mix all the blue blobs with some umber so I'm not tempted to keep adjusting it. Sometimes you just have to say it's done. (my studio's too small to have all 3 on the easel at the same time.)