Traditional vs Digital Childrens Books

  • SVS OG

    So I went into the book shop and got some children's books to study and the best ones looked like they were done traditionally. In fact most of them do. Do creative directors favor traditional over digital in the children's book world? Most of the classes on here use photoshop shouldn't there be more on watercolours, pastels, pencils etc.

    I'm not complaining as I enjoy the classes I just think there is a lack of traditional media.

    Also I watched a programme on a children's book writer and illustrator Judith Kerr and I found it very interesting the way she created her books. Again it was traditionally created. Anyone else got any thoughts on this? 🙂

  • SVS OG

    @Jason-Bowen From posts I've seen, there is an acrylic class coming from @Will-Terry and likely a watercolor one from @Lee-White per what he said in another post recently: Live Portfolio Class: "I think I'm going to do the watercolor class in the Spring because it is taking so much prep time..."

    I do agree that the bulk of picture books seem to be traditional media, at least at first, quick glance. Though, there are several digital artists out there. Will Terry for one. But also people like Bob Staake and Ashely Spires come to mind (both have multiple books). Also there are artists who may do the line work traditionally but colorize digitally, or people who make composite images in the computer of traditional work, textures, etc. And of course, there are artists that simulate traditional media using photoshop to create watercolor, etc. looking imagery.

    I'm not so sure I'd say that the middlegrade/junior children's book category is quite as traditional leaning as the picture books though. Maybe, but there seems to be quite a bit of digital there.

    I'd love to watch that video on Judith Kerr. Is there a link to it?

  • SVS OG

    Yeah maybe I was fooled by the photoshop trickery haha. I can't remember where I saw the Judith Kerr doc. It was a repeat I just happened to flick on it. Another one about What Do Artists Do All Day? Shirley Hughes was but the whole programme has been taken down it's ony clips. That was interesting too.

    I'm looking forward to Will's acrylic class and Lee's water colour one. Should be great.

  • Pro SVS OG

    Be aware that many successful digital artists have a style that looks nearly exactly like traditional work. It is very difficult to tell at first glance. Also, there is a lot of mixed-media approaches that harness the best of both worlds.
    My current favorite children artist, Johnny Duddle, is a digital artist - but his work looks nearly exactly like oil (including delightful dry-brush-on-canvas textures). Another one that works only digitally but looks traditional is Marco Bucci (who has a couple of courses here at SVS). And now that I have barely tested digital watercolor, I am already sure you can make it look exactly like real watercolor. Why, Lee White does exactly that.

  • SVS OG

    @Jason-Bowen ahh i c - thanks! I'll savor as much as I can from the clips then!

  • SVS OG

    @smceccarelli I forgot about the mixed media approach. I might try that. 🙂

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