Writers & Illustrators of the Future Blog

The purpose of this blog is to provide a forum for winners, judges, entrants and anyone interested in sharing information regarding the contests and the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future volumes. For more information you can also go to www.writersofthefuture.com

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More Hints for Illustrators Entering the Contest by Val Lakey Lindahn

1. Action. How do you add dynamic motion to an illustration? You may have a single interesting but stagnant figure, so why not have several characters interacting with each other or environment? You can add wind to hair, fur, clothing, and blur part of the figure into the background, but why not go one step further? Watch people and animals constantly for their body language so you can add this to the mood of your piece. Our pets do this every moment checking chances for a snack.

2. Point of View. Most illustrations are at eye level. As earthlings, that's an average 4' 10" to 6 feet high. If you move that to a child's point of view, (2 or 3 feet) hero's and villain's appear to be stronger, bigger than life, and more menacing! Conversely, if our view is looking down on a character, they are perceived as defenseless, weaker, or more delicate and frail.

3. Compelling. Our job as illustrators is to grab the reader by the lapels, and shake them up to attract their attention to the story or book. The old Masters and Classical painters created a sense of wonder and magic with color, lighting, and form to their compositions to compel the viewer to take a second look. We want the reader to be curious what will happen next. It is useful to study old black and white films to see how depth was achieved with lighting and atmosphere without the
use of color, and we will cover more on this later.

As a professional illustrator, we can make our subject more dynamic and compelling by changing point of view and creating motion and action.

good luck and more later, Val.


  • At July 24, 2007 at 6:43 PM , Anonymous candace_b_2000@hotmail.com said...


    I can't agree more. . . I incorporate all of those techniques into my illustrations.

    Thank you for validating me as a serious artist. I entered this quarter, The Illustrators of the Future Contest.

    I am using my illustrations for concept art for an animated movie i am writing and producing.

    These tips will empower other artists. . . they are keenly insightful.


    Candace AKA "Miss Disney"

    c's animation studios

    "My job is to make you believe"


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