I've updated and expanded my other site: The Drawing Board for Illustrators, with resources, links, information, organizations and associations, career and portfolio development, copyright, marketing, book recommendations and an art supply store for beginning illustrators.
Even in the digital age printing technology for books is intricate, complex and interesting process. This post by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick is a great overview of the traditional printing techniques to bring a picture book to life: Giant Press Pass
This video is a time lapse of our creative team repainting a recycled backdrop. Kristin Plansky designed the illustration for the backdrop to coordinate with a set design for Beauty and the Beast, Jr. The videography is by Nathan Parker.
One of our favorite family events since 1994 is Paint The Town in Morrison, Illinois. "For one Saturday, each September, Morrison’s downtown is transformed into an outdoor canvas for hundreds of amateur artists of all ages who gather to Paint the Town. The Children’s Art Preservation Association created this unique family art event as a way for the community to participate in the arts together, as families and individuals. The focus of the event is the painting of five- foot squares on and around Morrison’s Main Street. The number of squares painted has grown steadily since the event’s debut in 1994, when 250 squares were painted to the nearly 2000 squares that have been painted in recent years.. More than 6,000 attend the event annually to enjoy the painting, variety of entertainment, and great food."
My brother, R. Joe Brandon, has created videos document various years of Paint the Town including a massive mural that I designed and coordinated the work of 26 family members in 2009. Paint The Town is sponsored by the Children's Art Preservation Association, a group that is a prime example of the pride that Morrison takes in Art Education.
Here are some of my paintings from previous years of Paint the Town
One of my favorite props was this version of Milky White which was built for Huntley High School's production of Into the Woods.
We had inherited a pathetic, vaguely cow shaped prop from another high school. It featured spindly legs, a rectangular body, peeling masking tape, and a broken knee that was held together loosely with tape, glue, and 13 different kinds of fasteners.
I spent several weeks renovating it into a proper cow. I built up her form using layers of Great Stuff expanding foam, covered with layers of muslin. I went through 14 cans of Great Stuff, a gallon of Elmer's Glue, and a bolt of muslin. Each layer of foam was shaped with planes, saws, and rasps.
(The black goo in this photo is a version of Great Stuff that is used to mend ponds, I was using whatever I could find on sale)
Her new hooves were made of plungers and helped to cover the new casters on her feet. I worked on giving her the appearance of a once sturdy cow, now fading into elderly emaciation.
I did not know that different cans of Great Stuff would have varying expansion rates (perhaps related to the age of the can?). I was surprised to come in one day to find that all of the foam I had used the evening before had expanded twice as much leaving Milky's head to look more like a chipmunk with huge cheeks and tiny slits for eyes. I had to peel off the muslin and carve quite a bit of foam to reshape her head into a more bovine shape.
Her udder involved several hysterical attempts at filling latex gloves with Great Stuff foam....
Several coats of white paint later and she was starting to look better. (This is one of our high school crew looking a bit aghast at painting the rear end of cow.)
I found a pair of horns on a "Viking" helmet so those were transplanted. Her eyes were large teddy bear eyes with added long fake eyelashes. Her ears were made from thin craft foam.
Milky has gone on to appear in several other theatrical productions and is a proud mascot for our tech crew and set shop.