Tuesday 2 October 2012 by Angela Sunde
Asleep in a gently snoozing ball Little possum's soft and small. In a twisty tunnel and cosy bed Little wombat rests his head.
Today we're interrupting illustrator Lisa Stewart in her light-filled home studio to chat about the delightfully soft and textured illustrations she created for the must-have new picture book for parents and grandparents, Bushland Lullaby, by author Sally Odgers. The calming, serene images and beautifully crafted rhyming text will entrance the most wriggly baby or pre-schooler as the pages are turned.
Knock, knock! Hellooo!
Hi Lisa! Thanks for inviting us in to your illustration world. Looking around, I have studio envy; you have so much space!
Thank you for wanting to blog about Bushland Lullaby. I was very happy I got to illustrate Sally Odgers' beautiful words.
Yes, aren't her words divine? I've been enjoying following along with Sally's interviews for the Bushland Lullaby blog tour and have learned a great deal about the craft of rhyming, but my blog discusses illustration in depth as well, so I wonder if I might focus on the illustrations for Bushland Lullaby and your creative thought processes behind them?
Sure! I really love Sally Odgers words, and being an animal lover myself I really responded to her message of not just thinking of yourself but the animals too.
Your artwork in the picture book, Can I Cuddle the Moon, has been so successful in Australia and internationally; the paper collage is beautiful. Did you use a different medium for Bushland Lullaby? Would you be able to tell us your reasons behind this choice and how your ideas for the images developed?
Bushland Lullaby is a little different from my previous picture books in that I use more watercolour and am feeling more confident with that medium, yet I notice the collage comes creeping in so I go with it and I do so love the textures it produces!
So do I! And I love the images below of some of Bushland Lullaby'sartworks in progress, showing texture through collage and watercolour. Thanks for sharing them with us:
The wombats are purely watercolour with a little lead pencil, yet they snuggle on rice paper to represent the burrow.
Oh, they're gorgeous; so warm and snuggled together, a harmony of watercolour and collage.
Lisa, it would be terrific while we're here, if you might also share the process from start to finish for one of the book's double page spreads, perhaps starting with your research and rough sketches.
I do spend a lot of time researching at the library, sketching outdoors and at the zoo, and also watching David Attenborough documentaries over and over. I like to use sketchbooks and do think a lot about the composition of the page and text.
The koala and her joey are so soft in texture, colour and tone. It's wonderful to see them progress from sketch to rough illustration. I'm looking forward to how the final illustration comes together.
I have used watercolour, pencil and different kinds of papers that inspire me and remind me of animals.
The Australian landscape is muted in colours as in details like gum leaves and the grasses, so I wanted to have those colours that represent Australia and the feeling of wanting to curl up and go to sleep.
I admire how you've combined the various parts in the final composition. The collage gives the artwork a real depth - stunning.
Here are a couple more pics showing the papers and my side room I work in.
Wow, each leaf is carefully cut out and I love the freedom your large work space allows you to create beautiful illustrations.
Thanks for inviting us into your studio today, Lisa. And congratulations on the release of Bushland Lullaby. It's a picture book gem sure to fill a few Christmas stockings this year.
You're welcome, Angela.