Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Illustrator visit: Brian Deines

As part of our celebrations for Canadian Children's Book Week, the Blair Library was fortunate to host acclaimed Canadian illustrator Brian Deines. In preparation for his visit on Tuesday, the intermediate classes all spent time looking at his amazing illustrations in the several picture books we have in the library. Many students remembered reading these books when they were younger.


Students from divisions 3 and 4 prepared a welcoming display for our visiting illustrator!
On Tuesday morning, Brian Deines presented to two groups of our students - divisions 4 and 5 and then division 3 with some students from divisions 1 and 2. The students learned about his process of creating illustrations for children's books from receiving the script (draft or manuscript of the story), to creating thumbnail sketches called squibs, to creating drawings with pencil on tissue paper to completing the final oil paintings on canvas.

Brian described that to create the 15 or so oil paintings for a picture book, he may take about 1000 photographs and do 350-400 drawings and that the process took about six months. I think the students now have a much greater appreciation for the work that goes into creating a picture book!

The students were so impressed by Brian's paintings and as they came into the library and saw the paintings there were lots of oohs and aahs as they recognized familiar images from his books. The intensity of the colours, the brushstrokes and the depth and richness in the paintings were things the students commented on. Brian explained that each painting has up from 15-20 layers of paint in order the get the depth and colours that he wants.

The students were full of thoughtful questions for Brian and we had line-ups to get his autograph!
The students and teachers had a very inspiring morning with an extremely talented artist. Brian graciously signed all the books we had of his!

Thank you Brian Deines for an amazing experience for our Blair students and thank you to the sponsors of Canadian Children's Book Week that helped to make this visit possible!

~Ms Novakowski

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