We were invited to work with Wimbledon Bookfest this year to put on a two day illustration course for children.
Artist Ania Bas and Illustrator Amy Pennington took on the challenge to lead a group of children in activities that helped them develop ideas on a grand scale for new characters.These characters began larger than life then were edited down to form smaller drawings that could begin their life in a new story.
We began the afternoon with some warm up activities – some small drawings and an opportunity to get our bodies moving.
We then did a giant collaborative drawing looking at each other for inspiration. We tried not to take our crayon off the page to help us look at one another carefully. It also broke the ice and helped us get to know one another.
Continuing to look at portraiture – a crucial skill for illustration – we worked in pairs to draw one another’s portrait
We then cut the portrait in half and joined it back together to create a new morphed person. Strange looking twins appeared!
We then began to talk abut Alice in Wonderland and the illustrations made of her. We talked about her character and what she was like compared to the modern woman. Did she look like the kind of girl who would disappear down a rabbit hole and discover a world of new adventures?
We then went through the looking glass ourselves and started to develop our own character, thinking about its likes, dislikes, fears and strengths.
Our new charters started to emerge.
We would create our character in three sections – head, body and feed – like a giant game of exquisite corps – a game invented by the surrealists.
Starting with the head, we used collage to create some weird and wonderful faces.
They were truly marvellous when all laid out together!
Finally we ended up with a giant game of exquisite corps! Moving round the pieces to see what new creatures would emerge.
Book via the bookfest website.