How to Illustrate Workshop


The Italian children’s book Illustrator, Maddalena Sodo, was our lecturer at the first How To Illustrate A Story four day workshop at Al-Shaheed Park. The main things I learned in this workshop are:

– Not to be afraid of experimenting and mixing different media. The teacher showed us a collage technique that I used in the drawing above, it made me feel like a kid again!

– Taking the story in text form and drawing character designs [front, side, back] of the characters, transforming the story into a storyboard, and making the final illustration (due to time limits we made one illustration only).

– Not drawing in the middle area between pages, as that is where the spine of the book is located.

– Drawing characters going to the right means they are going out, and vice versa.

– When characters are wearing black clothes it expresses their sadness. Cool colors express sad emotions, where as warm colors are more happy and vibrant.

– Exercises for the imagination: let someone choose a word for you to draw, do not draw the first thing that comes to your mind, instead try to be creative.

– In children’s stories, the characters wear the same clothes [except when they change into their pajamas] and that is because the child identifies the characters based on their outfits.

– It is not necessary to draw the full image, sometimes omitting parts of an image is more powerful.

This workshop helped me put some oil on my rusty mechanical hands, and pushed me to think out of the box. Thanks to Maddalena Sodo that taught us from her professional experience, and to the organizers at Al-Shaheed Park for arranging the successful workshop!

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