Book Illustrator Micheal Austin visits SCAD

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Last Wednesday, Jan 27th, Atlanta based Illustrator Michael Austin was kind enough to come visit Jay Montgomery's Book Illustration class. Micheal has illustrated for Highlights, Spider and Cricket magazines. His illustrations hang in Children's Museums and has even made an appearance on the GCPSTV television program, The Author in You. As an Author, Illustrator and full-time Art Director he has seen the many sides of the Illustration market. He currently has 8 children's books and has received several Society of Illustrator awards and countless book publishing awards. He is a truly busy man! I first learned about Michael through our friends over at Peachtree Publishers. He has illustrated a few books working with Art Director, Loraine Joyner.

He brought in several large originals mainly created with acrylics and a tad bit of airbrush and colored pencils, but he does what ever it takes to make right. A set of well organized and clean tight pencil sketches on tracing paper gave the students a clear understanding of what a tight pencil should look like. He was very insightful about the publishing industry and had some great stories about working with Art Directors and illustrating a whole picture book in 18 days!


As you can see he was gracious enough to do a quick demo in acrylics. He works mainly on Strathmore illustration board with thin washes of color. Michael showed us how he would create an old wooden fence. He masks off certain foreground and background areas with frisket film being very careful not to put very wet acrylics right up to the edge of the film. Using a fine round brush he paints in the open spaces between the wood with a dark brown.


Then applied thin washes of oranges and grays for the tone of the wood using acrylic glazing liquid and water. He tested his colors on top of the frisket before applying the paint.



Added texture with a natural sponge. Then with a fan brush he quickly and almost effortlessly created all the wood grain. In about 30 minutes he had a realistic wooden fence.

He got the see some of the students work and to quote an e-mail I got from him: "You have some gifted people in your class who appear to be on the path to very successful illustration careers! I was sincerely impressed and inspired."

Many thanks Micheal for an exceptional and informative visit to SCAD!

1 comment:

Solongo Mellecker said...

Oops I missed this event, would have been there if knew!
Great illustrator.