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Storybook Illustration with Lauren A. Mills

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Join Lauren A. Mills for a week exploring storybook illustration. Create your own original artwork and discover a wonderful area of France.


About this course:

To create a believable vision of magic one needs to learn the visual tricks of a magician. Lauren combines 19th century style fairy paintings with naturalistic/botanical watercolors in her own illustrated children’s books such as in her retelling of Thumbelina and her book Fairy Wings.

Students will learn the nuts and bolts of book illustration beginning with the layout of a picture book, utilizing compositional tools including the golden ratio, colour, value, atmospheric perspective and emotional compositions. We will explore creating believable characters and putting them into naturalistic scenes by understanding how to combine varied references and understanding simplified methods of perspective, anatomical proportions, and consistent light and shadow.

We will also delve into techniques of watercolour and more, depending on individual’s interests. The area offers much in inspiration for reference for fairy tale like architecture and naturalistic settings. Students should learn many important tools to take home with them while producing an illustration that tells a story combining a variety of references and their imagination.

Saturday

4.00 – Check-in time from 4pm onwards. Guests arrive, settle in and explore Clos Mirabel
6.30 – Welcome drinks and dinner

Sunday
8.30 – 9.30 Buffet breakfast of local and regional produce
10.00 – 1.00 Introductions and a key point presentation on book illustration, especially fairy tale art, and the importance of composition for telling a story. We will go over picture book layout design and create effective thumbnail compositions using three values and golden ratio techniques.
1.00 – 2.00 Lunch at Clos Mirabel
2.00 – 5.00 We will work on character design, proportions and anatomical gesture drawing for portraits and figures. We will block in figures into scenes using simple perspective laws and outdoor observation of atmospheric perspective and how it applies to light and shadow. We look at the emotional impact of light and shadow and the difference between indoor and outdoor perspective on the light source. Students will be encouraged to take advantage of the surroundings to gather a variety of references for their painting.
6.30 – Aperitifs before 4 course dinner in the Manor House or on the terrace

Monday
8.30 – 9.30 Buffet breakfast of local and regional produce
10.00 – 1.00 Lauren will demo watercolour techniques using washes, dry brush and color theory for mixing and layering colors. Studio work with individual instruction.
1.00 – 2.00 Lunch at Clos Mirabel
2.00 – 5.00 Studio work with individual instruction
6.30 – Aperitifs before 4 course dinner in the Manor House or on the terrace

Tuesday
8.30 – 9.30 Buffet breakfast of local and regional produce
10.00 – 1.00 Lauren will show work of artists and demo watercolor techniques combined with ink and colored pencil. Studio work with individual instruction.
1.00 – 2.00 Lunch at Clos Mirabel
2.00 – 5.00 Studio work with individual instruction
6.30 – Aperitifs before 4 course dinner in the Manor House or on the terrace

Wednesday – day off
8.30 – 9.30 Buffet breakfast of local and regional produce
We suggest wine tasting in local vineyard, explore Pau or beyond. Alternatively, stay at Clos Mirabel and paint on your own. Please note lunch is not provided on this day.
6.30 – Aperitifs before 4 course dinner in the Manor House or on the terrace

Thursday
8.30 – 9.30 Buffet breakfast of local and regional produce
10.00 – 1.00 Lauren will demo oil techniques over drawings. Studio work with individual instruction
1.00 – 2.00 Lunch at Clos Mirabel
2.00 – 5.00 Studio work with individual instruction throughout the day
6.30 – Aperitifs before 4 course dinner in the Manor House or on the terrace

Friday
8.30 – 9.30 Buffet breakfast of local and regional produce
10.00 – 1.00 Studio work with individual instruction throughout the day
1.00 – 2.00 Lunch at Clos Mirabel
2.00 – 5.00 Studio work with individual instruction throughout the day
5.00 – Prepare for exhibition
6.00 – Aperitifs and evening exhibition in the studio followed by a 4 course dinner in the Manor House or on the terrace

Saturday
8.30 – 9.30 Buffet Breakfast and departure (Check-out at 11 am)

Non-painting guests: we are more than happy to welcome non-painting guests, accompanying partners, family or friends. There are plenty of activities to experience around Clos Mirabel, that will make your holiday unforgettable Click here for more information.

The Art Studio offers a spacious open plan layout of 75 m2. It is available at all times during your stay. Click here for more information.


To select this course make your choices (See our Accommodation page):

If you encounter any difficulties, you can also send your choices (accommodation & atelier) from our contact form here.

(If you would prefer to book by telephone please contact us directly: +33.6.79.59.04.91)

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