Drawing children FOR children is a special challenge.
The illustrations need to be lively, expressive, and fun to attract the young reader in the first place.
Then, subtly, the illustrations must be true to the feelings and actions of the young reader so that they will identify with the characters.
Once the youngster is transported into the magic realm of the story — and its art — lessons can be taught in the guise of entertainment.
Sometimes authors prefer a more “realistic” style of illustration, believing, perhaps, that humorous drawings do not take the story seriously enough.
I’m certainly biased, but I believe that cartoon illustrations catch the reader unawares and convey all levels of emotional impact through humor.
Indeed, as I look back on my own favorite childhood reading experiences, I think many of the best ones involved cartoons — from Dr. Seuss to Maurice Sendak’s Wild Things — from Charles Schultz to Curious George and Disney.
In this blog entry, I offer you my sketches of kids being kids.
A little redheaded girl on a swing, two sisters quarreling over a Teddy Bear, and a Mom and daughter baking together.
This last sketch is significant as I try to include more ethnic diversity in my drawing. These are “quickie” sketches again, utilized to clarify characters for a client; however, hopefully you can see that these light, witty cartoons also convey a variety of authentic and evocative emotions.
Cartoons are a “serious” art form.