Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Making Cut Paper Illustrations

My basic technique is the same for all of my books.
The first step is to write the story. This involves basic research in the library, on the internet, and if possible, observing the animals in real life. I need to find out everything I can about the animal–what it looks like, where it lives, what it eats, how it behaves, what its special adaptations are. All this information helps me with both my writing and my art.
Whenever possible I like to observe animals in their natural habitats. I also like to watch them in the zoo. I always take my camera when I go to the zoo. The pictures are a type of visual note taking. They help me both with my writing and my art.
The first step in creating my illustrations is the drawing. If I’m drawing a baby moose, I need to know exactly what it looks like. I then transfer the drawing onto colored paper, cut out the pieces, and glue them together. The final step is putting the animals on a background.
This illustration is from my book A Moose's World.
Update, September 14, 2011
VIDEO:  You can now see a short video of my cut-paper process on YouTube.  Click here to view it.

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