Home > The Art of Illustration for Children
Beatrix Potter was born in London in 1866 and grew up living the conventionally sheltered life of a Victorian girl in a well-to-do household. She was educated at home by a governess with her brother Bertram. Her constant companions were the pet animals she kept which she enjoyed studying and sketching. On summer holidays she delighted in exploring the countryside and learning about plants and animals from her own observations. Beatrix Potter’s career as a children’s illustrator and storyteller began when The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published by Frederick Warne and Co. in 1902. The public loved it as soon as it appeared and Beatrix went on to produce on average two books a year until 1910. In the early years of publishing her editor was Norman Warne and they fell in love and became engaged in 1905. Unfortunately the marriage never took place as Norman died suddenly. The money she earned from her ‘little books', as she called them, gave her financial independence and she began to purchase property in her beloved Lake District. In 1913 she married William Heelis, a Lakeland solicitor, and made Sawrey her permanent home. Writing and painting began to take second place to farming, sheep-breeding and buying stretches of the beautiful Lakeland countryside to ensure their conservation. When she died in 1943 she left over 4,000 acres of land and fifteen farms to the nation.
Dick Bruna (born Utrecht, 1927), is one of the Netherlands’ most celebrated artists. His most famous character, miffy – the little white bunny he created in 1955 - is an international icon, whilst his picture books have sold over 85 million copies and are translated into more than 40 languages.
Dick Bruna’s style of illustration is distinctive: bright, colourful and minimal. “What matters to me is reducing everything to its essence so that no line is redundant. That is the strength of simplicity: the art of omission”.
Dick Bruna has won worldwide critical acclaim for his art, which is exhibited frequently around the globe. The dick bruna huis is a new museum in Utrecht which is dedicated entirely to his work.
|Guess How Much I Love You?|
Sometimes when you love someone very, very much, you want to find a way of describing how great your feelings are. But as Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare discover, love is not an easy thing to measure. Sam McBratney’s enchanting bedtime story of family love and tenderness is an international classic which has been translated into over 27 languages. Anita Jeram’s beautiful illustrations were a labour of love. Even today, she says, “Every time I read this book, I want to cry. The story reminds me of my son, who often plays these games with me when it is time for bed.”
‘Guess How Much I Love You’ was first published in 1994 and ever since the story and illustrations have captivated adults and children the world over.
He has always made his living as an illustrator, as well as teaching for over twenty years at the Royal College of Art, where he was head of the Illustration department from 1978 to 1986. His first drawings were published in Punch while he was still at school. He continued to draw for Punch, The Spectator and other magazines over many years, while at the same time entering the world of children's books with A Drink of Water by John Yeoman in 1960.
He is known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, John Yeoman and, most famously, Roald Dahl. He has also illustrated classic children's books, and created much-loved characters of his own, including Mister Magnolia and Mrs Armitage.
His books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. Most recently he won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given to creators of children's books. He is now recognised, according to The Guardian, as 'a national institution'. In 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate, a post designed to raise the profile of children's literature. In 2002 Laureate's Progress recorded many of his activities and the illustrations he produced during his two-year tenure. In 1988 he was awarded an OBE for services to children’s literature and in 2005 he was made a CBE. In all Quentin Blake has collected over 12 honorary degrees which recognise his outstanding contribution to the worlds of illustration, children’s literature and now also exhibition curating. 2006/7 has brought him another clutch including Honorary Doctorates and in 2007, at the magnificent age of 75, France paid a special tribute to Quentin by creating him Officer de l’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres.
|Roald Dahl/Quentin Blake Official Collector's Edition|
Roald Dahl was born in Wales 1916, to Norwegian parents. After a distinguished career as a fighter pilot and diplomat during the Second World War, he settled down to become a fulltime author; first writing popular stories for adults; then, later, retelling many of the stories he made up at bedtime for his own children . The first book Roald Dahl and illustrator Quentin Blake worked upon together was THE ENORMOUS CROCODILE. The two soon became firm friends, cementing one of the most eye-catching and distinctive collaborations in children’s literature. Roald Dahl died in 1990. His work has been published in over 40 languages and today is considered a modern classic.
“I could never guess what he was going to think of next.” Quentin Blake
“I would like to think I draw with sentiment not with sentimentality. Family life is high drama, not a sweet idyll.” Shirley Hughes
Shirley Hughes is one of the best-loved and most innovative creators of books for young children. She has written and illustrated over 50 books and sold more than eleven million copies, won major awards and created some of the most enduring characters of children’s literature. She had received the Eleanor Farjeon Award for distinguished services to children’s literature, was awarded an OBE in 1999 and has received the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal, twice.
Born and raised in West Kirby, a quiet seaside town on the Wirral, Shirley Hughes spent her wartime childhood drawing, painting and making up stories with her two sisters. Encouraged and inspired by visits to Liverpool’s magnificent Walker Art Gallery, Shirley developed a lifelong interest in ‘narrative painting’, or pictures that tell stories. This led to a year at Liverpool Art School studying fashion and costume design followed by fine art at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. She soon settled in Notting Hill developing her distinctive graphic style using pen and ink, watercolour and gouache with which she infuses ordinary domestic scenes with a mixture of cosiness and magic.
This year, 2006 is the 25th anniversary of Shirley Hughes' best loved character Alfie.