Dragons at Safeway!

Today something really exciting happened!  Marc McBride, the illustrator of Emily Rodda’s Deltora Quest novels, visited a local shopping centre.  He spoke about what it is like to be an artist and showed us how he creates his masterpieces. 

It was really interesting to see how Marc uses contact when he is working.  He places contact on a sheet of paper where he does not want the paint to go.  He didn’t show us this step but it’s likely that he puts contact on the whole sheet, sketches the outline of the drawing and then peels off the contact inside the drawing.  In the photo below, there is a dragon in the centre and contact all around.


Contact – the secret ingredient!


Marc does a lot of his work on computers. However, today he showed us how he uses an airbrush to paint pictures. Did you know, that sometimes it takes a whole week to do one picture? 


Time to use an airbrush to bring the dragon to life.


He said that it’s impossible to make a mistake and that is why he likes painting. Some other tips Marc shared with the audience were to use opposite colours to make things stand out, start with light colours and then use darker ones and if you are using a pattern make sure it is all the same shape. 


Stencils are handy tools for artists.


Marc peeling off the contact from around the dragon.


Contact removed. Ready for a background.


Once the contact is removed it is time to work on the background. You can use stencils to help create the background and use dark colours to create shadows.  Marc did this on the dragon’s legs and joints.


The finished product.

It was a terrific opportunity to see and hear how an illustrator works.  Thank you to the local library for organising such a wonderful guest to entertain us during the school holidays.


What types of things do you like to draw?

Who is your favourite illustrator or artist?  Why?