Sunday, 22 February 2009

EDM #211 - and a few observations on Quentin Blake.

The current Everyday Matters challenge is "In the style of..." (or as Jim so aptly put it, "plagiarize your betters") and most people are being very brave and taking on the masters - I've seen Da Vinci, Charles Rennie Macintosh etc, as well as a lovely Beatrix Potter tribute. Well I immediately thought of my favourite illustrator, the fabulous Quentin Blake. Having been a Roald Dahl fan since a very early age, I grew up with the images of Blake's Charlie, BFG, Matilda et al and I really don't think there has ever been an illustrator with such an immediately recognisable style. His scratchy, childish lines are just so distinctive. But it's only recently that I've looked a bit closer and noticed that while the drawings are simple and childish and apparently rushed, there's a lot more to them than that. Everything is in proportion (unless it's supposed to not be). His use of perspective is spot on. And he spends more time on them than you'd think at first glance. He describes his work process on his website. The facial expressions are the best bit. And (at least in the Roald Dahl books I've read, which is probably all of them) the illustrations look exactly how you'd imagine the characters to be. The more I look at his work, the more I love it and want to buy every book he's ever illustrated just so I can look at the drawings.

I will never ever ever in a million years have a fraction of Blake's talent, but for the purposes of EDM I did try and emulate his style. Sadly I don't think I was very successful, but I did get a chance to play with my new toy - my husband bought me a graphics tablet even though it wasn't my birthday or Christmas so I am a very happy bunny this weekend! (Hey Husband - I know you'll read this so THANK YOU again, I love it!!) I really need a lot of practice with it though, it's quite different to 'proper' drawing.

8 comments:

Rhonda said...

Love the drawing and do not worry about it coming from a computer pen. It is drawing in a different medium. The drawing reminded me of my college days, lots of coffee and day dreaming;-)

Denise said...

Oh, you've inspired me to get one of these. I've wanted to for a while. And... drawing is drawing, right? Your image is really cool.

Spinneretta said...

I have been wanting one too... And I always enjoyed Blakes drawings in the Dahl books- which I too grew up reading :)
great tribute :)

Rachel H said...

Actually I think that's a fabulous job - it looks just like his style!

Glad to hear you've got a graphics tablet and are enjoying it. I got mine a couple of years ago and thought I'd never touch a piece of paper again for a while, but eventually I settled into using it for things it's most useful for (image manipulation etc) and got the pencils back out. :) They are fabulous to draw with though, aren't they? And it looks like you've taken to it like the proverbial duck to water.

Nice one!!

Peachtreeart said...

The tablet is great isn't it?! Very natural!

Sarah Ketelaars said...

this is so cute! and successful too - definitely has shades of Sophie, love the caption too. i'm sure Quentin would approve!

bubblemunch said...

Very Quentin Blake!
I've never used a graphics tablet before - you look to be the Queen of the technique!

Ana Tirolese said...

I LOVE BLAKE's ILLUSTRATIONS! Yes, they are simplistic, but they are so spot-on! I too read all of Dahl's books to my son, when he was little. I, being Portuguese, born in the Azores, was not exposed to Dahl until I had my son. His books are FABULOUS and I always loved the illustrations. There was a book on how to draw cartoons, written by Blake, and my son was still small as we walked by the shelf with the book on it and he said "Mommy, look, it is by the man who draws Roald Dahl's books!" Well, we had to purchase it! My son actually learned to draw from that. My son, now 17, still is an amazing cartoonist, although now he draws more in the style of Robert Crumb (not content). Anyhow, I did not mean to get all gushy and excited when I saw your drawing, but it got me all gushy and excited.

Your drawing is PERFECT. It is a wonderful tribute.

Your husband is a doll for getting you a tablet. What a sweetheart!

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