Friday, September 26, 2008

Crinkly or Smooth?

I like to experiment with painting on different surfaces to create various textures. The illustrations above have a similar subject and style, but one I painted on crumpled tissue paper and the other on heavy watercolor paper. I can’t decide which I surface I like better. I guess it would depend on the mood and setting of the story.

One of my favorite picture book illustrators is Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Grouchy Ladybug). I like the way he uses a combination of painted patterns and layers of paper to reproduce the rich textures of the natural world.

Another favorite of mine, Georg Hallensleben (Fox, And If the Moon Could Talk, by Kate Banks) uses thick, broad brushstrokes to create depth and lushness in his illustrations.

David Kirk’s illustrations in his Little Miss Spider books have a very different texture. At first glance I wouldn’t have guessed his paintings were oil on canvas. They have a sleek, shiny finish typical of airbrushed art. I don’t think the roly-poly Little Miss Spider would have been quite so friendly looking if she were more rough and ragged.

A work of art might have an actual texture as a result of the materials used, or a visual texture that is an illusion made by the way the art is rendered. Either way, texture can convey more than just surface characteristics.

My post title, Crinkly or Smooth?, made me think of potato chips. Why do people prefer one over the other, if the ingredients are exactly the same? Or if they’re like me, does it just depend on their mood?


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm a crinkley girl myself. I love that 2nd picture so much!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I would have something halfway intelligent to say, but I'm still blown away by your jellyfish costumes in the last post!!! Awesome!

I like both illustrations. They're beautiful!

Rena said...

I like both effects. And I love your drawings, especially the one of the opossums -- so cute! Is there a book to go with that one?

Brenda said...

I'm a crinkly/smooth mood eater...there are times that I want to scoop up as much dip as I can get on the chip, so I have to go with crinkly ones then...and then when I want to feel like I'm dieting...I go for the smooth feels and chews like it is less chip there...and this kind of logic could be why I'm not losing weight...grin..

adrienne said...

Green Girl - As for chips, I like the crinkled ones when I'm in a bad mood, or when there's dip!
I'm also partial to the 2nd picture :)

Becky - Thank you!
I think my kids still enjoy what a success the jellyfish were...

Rena - I have been working on a possum story, but not a whole family. That is what prompted the illustration, though. I'm getting ready to start working on the thumbnail sketches.

Brenda - I'm the same way. I want crunchy food when I'm frustrated, and creamy stuff when I want to pamper myself...either way it's all comfort food!

Kim Kasch said...

I think I'd be a smooth girl.

And, OMG, I love your artwork.

Carrie Harris said...

Variety is the spice of life, right? Either that, or it's garlic. But seriously, I like them both!

Suzie said...

Thank so much for your kind thoughts during little B's illness it was much appreciated.He's at school today and doing great.

I love Eric Carl and crinkly potato chips

adrienne said...

Thanks, Kim :)

Carrie - what would life be without variety and garlic?

Suzie - I'm so glad your Little B is better.