Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hula-Dancing Hippos... and a Mixed-Media Experiment

For my latest assignment in my Children's Book Illustration class, we had to choose the first letter of either our first or last name and create a double-page spread illustrating that letter for an ABC book.

My initial brainstorming for the letter H ended up with a disconnected assortment of H words:

happy, humungous, hippopotamus, hairy, hammock, hero, hip-hop, hummus, home, heart

I ended up picking a few of my favorite words from that list: happy, hippopotamus, and hammock and started there.

I thought about where a hippo in a hammock would be happiest: Hawaii! This location conveniently brought along two more H words: hula and hibiscus...

And here is the finished H illustration: (the line in the center marks the page break)

Lesson Learned: Chalk pastel works very well over gouache for adding highlights and transparent washes of color. I used colored pencil to add detail later on, and I'm quite pleased with the result of this mixed-media experiment on cold-press illustration board.

Also, pattern is a great tool to help focus attention where you want it.


  1. Yet again, you are gifted in this genre:)Deb

  2. I just love it!
    Mama Marie