Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Children's Book - Clever Rachel

Clever Rachel - Author Debby Waldman/Illustrator Cindy Revell

Clever Rachel is book 2 of the Jewish folk tale series published by Orca Books. It's a challenging and rewarding experience to bring the characters in a story to life but then illustrating a kid's book is always quite an experience. My studio becomes a flurry of activity with tracing paper everywhere filled with character sketches, tiny thumbnail sketches that are used to capture those first initial ideas, then later the fine tuned and enlarged drawings. Finally I scan all the sketches and email them to the art director or editor to meet their deadline. A big relief. I clean up the heaps of paper, work on other jobs and paintings and wait for the go ahead to move on to the final illustrations which usually take about a day each to do. A kid's picture book is a process that takes a few months during which time my regular assignments like illustration for calendars, magazines and educational books have to be worked on as well, and they have their deadlines too. In between all that I work on oil painting commissions, Project Heroes, paintings for my gallery, and practice. There's a busy hum in the studio and with so much going on at once I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed but I can't imagine a life without that creative buzz.

Clever Rachel is in bookstores now and can be purchased from Amazon or Chapters/Indigo. Book launch and signing on Oct. 18, 2009 at Greenwoods Bookshoppe at 7925-104 St. in Edmonton, Alberta. Come join Debby and I at the book signing for coffee and Debby's homemade rugelach which was mentioned in the first book in this series.


Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Oh, another one of your illustrated books that I love! how I wish I could be there for the about translation into French and coming to our side of the world?

Cindy Revell said...

I wish you'd illustrate a book yourself Ronell, a French cookbook!

CookyCat said...

Hi! I just bounced onto your blog by accident, but I really love your art! I'm still in highschool, and want to be a children's illustrator someday. Did you go to an art school? If so, did you learn a lot from it?

Another random question: (if you feel like answering me) Do you use normal oil paints, or water-based oil paints? Do you ever use acrylics...?

Again, it was really inspiring to see your work. I'm going to have to look up your books! :)

Cindy Revell said...

Thanks CookyCat. Yes, I did go to an art school but took design with some illustration. If I could do it over I'd have taken an illustration course for as many years as possible. Learning to draw is HUGELY important in illustration as is composition, colour, and anatomy. There's much more to it than that but those basics will take your illustration to a higher level and opens the possibilities up for a great many types of art. Many people think that you don't need to draw to be an artist and this is true to some extent if you only want to do abstract art (and even then it doesn't hurt to know how to draw) but having a solid knowledge of the basics gives you so many more options.

On your blog you mentioned that you like to doodle, keep that up. It will teach you much about how the body moves, people's expressions, and how people look in all kinds of situations, it helps develop your visual memory, it fires up your imagination and gives you ideas later on when you are looking through your sketchbooks. Never stop doodling and sketching. Take your sketch book everywhere. To hell with photos, actually drawing things is like taking notes, helps you remember and someday you will be very happy you made constant sketching a habit.

I use good quality oil paints for my still lifes, landscapes and portraits but use acrylic and watercolour for the illustrations.

You can visit my website to see both illustration and my oil paintings as well as a list of books.

Any time you want advice please feel free to email me, I'm more than happy to share what I've learned over the years.

Best wishes for a happy art career.

CookyCat said...

Thank you so much for your advice! I think I'll definitely start bringing my sketchbook around with me now. :)

It's really neat for me to hear from someone who actually has a job doing art. I'm so happy to have gotten in touch with you! Thank you again for all your help and encouragement, and I'll definitely send you an email if I have any more questions.

r garriott said...

How wonderful. As a young art student I dreamed of illustrating books so I'm quite envious. That's very kind your encouragement of CookyCat. Your book looks marvelous!!

Cindy said...

Thank you very much R. Your website is lovely, clean and sleek. It's never to late to illustrate a book R.