Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SCBWI Illustrator Intensive: Denise Fleming

Continuing my coverage of the SCBWI Summer Conference Illustrator Intensive...

Denise Fleming needed a lot more room than the other illustrators; I heard the cameramen discussing their strategy ahead of time, knowing that she was going to be moving around a lot.

The reason? Denise was going to be doing pulp painting, a paper making technique where she makes the illustration and the paper at the same time.Very messy and very entertaining to watch!

Denise showed us the picture she was planning to paint, then demonstrated how she mixed paint with paper pulp before placing the pulp on the framed mesh.

She ran into some challenges because the paper pulp hadn't handled air travel well so was lumpier than it was supposed to be, but Denise coped like a champion. I loved her down-to-earth attitude and dry humor, and especially the rapport between Denise and moderator Pat Cummings.

Above: Denise gives the cameraman a glare as he tries to be surreptitious about moving her pulp cup to avoid blocking camera shots. :-)

Some notes:

- Denise advises artists to try all kinds of media. You never know what's going to click for you.

- She has paper making videos on YouTube, for those interested.

- She listens to music or audiobooks while she works.

- When she teaches her technique to kids, she uses construction paper.

- Because it's a challenge to do fine details with pulp painting, Denise uses character body language to convey expression and emotion.

To find out more about Denise, see:

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