Last week, it made a nice change to work for 2 days in a secondary school. They are so BIG compared to primary schools!
I was working the whole 2 days with Y7 students (1st years). We started with a lecture to them all - around 170. Above I am talking about characterisation: how you can use pointy or round shapes to suggest evil or vulnerable creatures, and how carefully chosen clothing can give hints to a character's personality.
In the talk, I follow the process of the creation of a picture book, using various examples from my backlist. These are roughs for is Big Bad Wolf is Good, and I am talking about how important it is to consider the position of the gutter (spread centre line).
The rest of the 2 days was spent doing the same 1 hour illustration workshop over and over, working my way through all the individual Y7 classes. As characterisation is so important to picture books, we looked at how to create animal characters, accessorising them to help make them individuals and using facial expressions to show what they're thinking.
To show how to add realistic movement, I climbed up on a table in the classroom (Health and Safety Officers look away now!) to demonstrate 'running legs' and how to draw them:
Each day I had a yummy lunch in the Learning Centre then did a 1 hour, drop-in session for anyone who wanted a chat. On Friday I had about 25 turn up, so it was a bit crazy, but on the 1st day, it was just me and Edwood (hi Edwood) so he got a 1 hour, one-to-one masterclass.
A big thanks to Mrs Webster for inviting me back and looking after me so well. As she stayed with me through many of the sessions, she was probably drawing animal characters in her sleep on Friday night!