OUTSIDE PAINTING

Painting outside is exciting, and also difficult. I do not mind the heat, the cold, the rain, or snow, but painting in a lot of wind can be tough. 

Here is a painting I did of a glacier in Chile.

Chilean glacier_blake.8.3.2016.jpg

Hello!

 

I TRAVEL A LOT TO GET IDEAS FOR BOOKS AND SOMETIMES JUST TO MAKE PAINTINGS OF DIFFERENT PLACES.

RECENTLY I TRAVELLED TO THE COUNTRY, CHILE.

Jason asks: Is Chile a nice country?

Chile is a beautiful country! Here is a quick watercolor painting I made in my sketchbook. It shows the boat I was on sailing into a cove in Chile where there is a glacier. It was cold!


Painting Process

Katherine asks:When you made the book PAINTER AND UGLY, did you make all the paintings at once or did you make them one at a time?

That is a good question. I actually worked on them all together, that is, I did not just finish one and then move on to the next one. I did all the beginning stages together, then all the middles, and finally the details pretty much together.

Here are the paintings for PAINTER AND UGLY as I was working on them in my studio. You can see my sketchbooks on the shelves- and my dog's pink "Queenie Bed" on the floor (she feels quite regal when snoring on her bed).


Horses and Unicorns

Jillian asks: Have you ever made a horse book?

I happen to be working on illustrations for a collection of horse stories right now.
Actually, I once did a unicorn book called THE BABY UNICORN. It has unicorns, dragons, and even a little bit of magic in the story. It was very popular.

That's almost a horse book, right?

 

Mush!


Zack says:I like the book PAINTER AND UGLY. Is it easy to get lost when you are mushing dogs?

It is a challenge for me!

 

Aidan wants to know: Do you have a favorite painting in the book PAINTER AND UGLY?

Umm... I actually like all of them. But I had a lot of fun painting the dogs barking and jumping at the Junior Iditarod race start!

 

Sketching

Sari asks: Do you draw a lot?

Yes, I do draw a lot. I draw in my sketchbook every day and do a lot of practice drawing. That's how you get better!
Here is a drawing I did at a diner....

Karin wants to know: What exactly is a sketch?

A sketch is a quick practice piece for the finished piece of art. It lets you see how certain things look before you go through the time and effort of a whole finished piece of art. A sketch may be done with a pencil, pen, watercolors, crayons- anything. Below is a pen drawing sketch I did for the page in PAINTER AND UGLY in which the two dogs meet again during the race.
 


Waterfalls

Kira asks: When you made the book THE PERFECT SPOT did you really go under a waterfall?

Yes, my son and I really did go under a waterfall for THE PERFECT SPOT. I had to know what it would be like before I could paint it!

 


Translations


Yesterday Sam asked if I ever publish my books in other countries:

Yes, some of my books are published in other countries. Here is AKIAK as published in South Korea.

Sam asks: Do you ever make books for readers in countries other than the USA?

Well, I make my books for everybody, everywhere, but they are usually published first in the United States. Sometimes publishers in other countries buy the "rights" to publish a book of mine in their own language.

Here is a book I illustrated, written by France Ward Weller, called THE ANGEL OF MILL STREET. The edition here is published in Greek.

Do Tasmanian Devils Spin?

Tasmanian devils, Tasmanian devils, Tasmanian devils-
I certainly get a lot of questions about Tasmanian devils! It seems my readers like them as much as I do.....


Here is the web address of an article in National Wildlife Magazine that mentions my visit to King's Run in Tasmania, where I studied and met real Tasmanian Devils:
https://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Animals/Archives/2008/Tasmanias-Devil-of-a-Problem.aspx

 

Miriam asks: What zoo did you go to in order to see real Tasmanian Devils?

I did not go to the zoo to see them – I went to Tasmania (part of Australia) to draw them in the wild!

Bill asks: Why do Tasmanian Devils run around in circles all the time?

Actually, Bill, when I was researching the book LITTLE DEVILS in the wild areas of Tasmania, I saw lots of Tasmanian Devils. But I never saw any Tasmanian Devils running around in circles. They do run and travel far when looking for food in the wild, though.

The only place I have ever seen them run in circles over and over is in zoos. Maybe when they are in a caged area, they still need to run and so they run around the cage. Or maybe they get stressed.

Chasing Squirrels

Shannon asks: DOES YOUR DOG PULL A DOGSLED?

No, but she likes to chase squirrels.

 

Sara asks: In the book PAINTER AND UGLY, what happens after the race?

Hmmm....that is a good question. There are several things that might happen. Here's one- the dogs Painter and Ugly play and play because they are so happy.... and then.....

....and then maybe they run away!



When I Was a Kid...

Marty asks:

DID YOU DRAW A LOT WHEN YOU WERE A KID?

Yes, I did. I drew on paper and cardboard and garbage bags and napkins and on our upstairs hallway wall (got in a lot of trouble for that). One day my second grade teacher gave me a "Marble Pad" and suggested that, if I drew in it, I wouldn't lose my drawings because they would all be in one place! So I began my first sketchbook. I now have 118 and I know where all my drawings are.

 

Jimmy asks:

IS ANYONE ELSE IN YOUR FAMILY AN ARTIST?

No, I am the only one. I am also the only left-handed person in my family.

 

My Favorite Place to Draw

Curt from Springfield asks, "WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO DRAW?"

I like to draw people at airports and restaurants.