Saturday, April 19, 2014

Illustration Sensation, Quentin Blake

Q is for Quentin Blake*

Sir Quentin Blake has been an illustrator for over sixty years. His art appears in magazines, books, galleries, and on postage stamps and hospital walls. In 1999, he became the first Children's Laureate. He was knighted by the Prince of Wales in 2013. He has received numerous awards including the Bologna Ragazzi prize, the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, and the Eleanor Farjeon Award.

He is perhaps best known for his illustrations of Roald Dahl characters.

Willy Wonka, Charlie, and Grandpa

The Big Friendly Giant

A Near Thing for
Captain Najork
, by Russell Hoban
Walker Books recently re-released three of Russell Hoban's classic books with the original Quentin Blake illustrations. ">Quentin Blake works loosely with pen and ink. 
To keep each illustration fresh, he works on a light box. The sketch shines through the paper, but not enough to copy it exactly. In this way, each drawing takes on new life of its own. He endeavors to create characters which are defined enough to tell a story, but not so defined that they interfere with the concept formed in the reader's imagination. Of artistic talent, he says, “Don’t worry about being a great artist … just draw until you find your style” 

I remember him best for his comic, Waldo Widdershin, which he produced for Cricket Magazine in the early 1980's.

More recently, Quentin Blake established the House of Illustration, the world's first non-profit dedicated to illustration as an art form. His work can be seen in various gallery shows, including Quentin Blake, Larger than Life, which showcases his mural work.

From the exhibition, Large As Life, at Hall Place & Gardens

You can read more about him in his books, Laureate's Progress, Beyond the PageWords and Pictures, or see his work in over 300 books.

*Follow the A to Z Challenge.

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