What size should I illustrate my children’s book?

June 6, 2014By Alice Ratterree

So you’re going to illustrate a children’s book. Congratulations! Before you grab a brush and start on a piece of finished art, a few decisions must be made. To name a handful : how many pages/spreads there are, where the type needs to be placed (this may be flexible), color or black and white, spot illustrations (small drawings that stand … Read More

Re-illustrating a classic

April 11, 2014By Alice Ratterree

One treads on sacred ground when it comes to re-illustrating a classic. The classic has already reached the status of, well…a classic. So, is there a reason to “fix what ain’t broke”? Here’s a nice presentation by Lexington Public Library Children’s Librarian Meggan Conway on the subject.  Meggan has also set up a website devoted to … Read More

How to illustrate a map in a hand-drawn style

March 28, 2014By Alice Ratterree

Recent editorial work for Town Magazine involved an illustrated map of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The process, while brand new to me, proved to be very rewarding. It began with a conversation with the editor, in which she provided the key places along the trail that would be highlighted. Initial (messy) notes: To start, a soft-green … Read More

Illustration Noir

October 30, 2013By Alice Ratterree

QUI A PEUR DU NOIR? You know that 5 minute window before you actually wake up and are a bit lucid, but still kind of dreaming too? Well, this is a result of that state, the season, and perhaps also as an homage to the dark children’s books frequently produced by French publishers, which I am … Read More

Sketching with paint

October 7, 2013By Alice Ratterree

I love line work, and generally only utilize the pencil and sometimes a pen. Recently, though, I’ve been working with the push and pull of a paintbrush, and I’m very happy with the trembling energy it leaves on the paper. Here’s today’s sketch using watercolor (M. Graham) and a no. 2 Kolinsky sable. I still … Read More

Flat Out Under Pressure: 24 hours to make art

June 9, 2013By Alice Ratterree

The challenge: you have 24 hours to make a work of art. How do you fill the time? On Friday and Saturday, June 7-8, Greenville’s Metropolitan Arts Council held the annual event, Flat Out Under Pressure. A challenge to create a work of art in 24 hours. On Friday morning, we had our surfaces (free … Read More

Worried Owl

May 31, 2013By Alice Ratterree

A horned owl lives in my back yard. Sometimes in the night we hear him calling. My daughter was fascinated by this at first, and answered back. They had a relationship calling back and forth to each other, or so I like to believe. Now the sound of that distant call send her into a … Read More