Sunday, August 14, 2011

SCBWI Illustrator Intensive: Richard Jesse Watson

Continuing my coverage of the Illustrator Intensives at the SCBWI Summer Conference...

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I learned SO much from each of the illustrators who participated in the SCBWI Illustrator Intensives even though none of them focus on digital art (like I do).

In terms of work process, Richard Jesse Watson's was the most similar to the way I work: very loose & quick. But watching how Richard worked, I could see that I've been holding back in my own work, and found his demo hugely inspiring.

One of the many things I loved about his demo was how he's not afraid to experiment with different types of media and textures. At one point, Richard borrowed E.B. Lewis's lip balm:

...and used the lip balm for applying gold leaf (thanks to Diandra Mae for the reminder). Richard scratched and scribbled and erased, turning flat expanses of rich color into fascinating textures. I -love- this, and am determined to figure out how to do this digitally. I already use the digital eraser to create a woodcut effect, but now I can see I could take this even further.

More info about Richard Jesse Watson:

My other SCBWI Illustrator Intensive session reports


  1. He actually used the chap stick to apply some gold leaf-because of course dragon's eggs would be gold. :) I completely agree with you about Richard's fearlessness in approaching his work. It's encouraging me to loosen up as well and take more risks in my work. The Intensive day was like nothing else I've experienced at an SCBWI conference. I'm so glad it exceeded my expectations!

  2. Thanks for the reminder about the gold leaf, Diandra. And I totally agree with you re: the Illustrator Intensive day being nothing like any other SCBWI conference experience.