Thursday, March 5, 2009

Watercolor

As an erstwhile artist and someone who wants to learn to draw someday, I really love a well illustrated children's book. Two books we've been reading lately are A Fawn in the Grass and Off We Go!. I noticed that they both were done in watercolor. I've always loved that layered style of watercolor that takes full advantage of its translucency, and these books really do that. Even if you don't have kids, they're both worth checking out for the illustrations. Off We Go! is written by Jane Yolen, author of the "How Do Dinosaurs..." series. That series also has fun illustrations by Mark Teague, but they're not the same style at all. I dearly love that light watercolor style. The illustrator of A Fawn in the Grass is Keiko Narahashi, who endearingly has a childhood picture for her author photo. Laurel Molk illustrated Off We Go!, which is really gorgeously layered though not quite as delicate as Narahashi's work.

Also, the story of A Fawn in the Grass is very moving: the author, Joanne Ryder, had a doe come into her yard and give birth. The fawn stayed in the yard for several weeks, and the mother returned every night. They let the grass grow long so the fawn could hide safely until it became strong enough to go off with its mother. One of these days I want to take a watercolor painting class. After I learn to draw.

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