What I learned from Dan Santat’s Workshop

Things take time for me to sink in so it makes sense that after a month of attending Dan Santat’s workshop here in Phoenix I finally can sort out what I’ve learned from it. So here is my recap of what I got out of the experience.
Warning: Results may vary depending on locations and illustrators.

1 Know Who You Admire In Order to Understand What You Need To Do As An Artist
Dan asked us to find a piece that we love. So as diligent as I am, I immediately created a Dropbox folder and dragged and dropped pieces that I felt were gorgeous for one reason or another. It didn’t take long until I realized I had over 30 jpeg files. So I had to narrow it down over and over again. Until I was left with 1 piece. The process confirmed my love for Rebecca Dautremer‘s work. In the process I clearly outlined what I love about her work and I know what I need to achieve on my work: her use of light, her portray of different cultures, and her incredible compositions. Now I have a clear direction.

2 Learn From The “Masters”
Part of the assignment was to copy the 1 piece that you loved. So I did my copy. What did I learn? My eyes see colors a lot brighter than they need to be. Rebecca’s work has all these colors yet when I was copying her piece I had to force myself to mute my palette – a lot. I also learned how to use gouache by looking at her illustration. So next time that you love a piece even if you are too busy, I dare you to copy it. You have no idea all that you can learn.


Dan Santat via SCBWI-AZ

This is a repost of the event listed at SCBWI-AZ‘s site.

Download and print the pdf form of the REGISTRATION FORM. Hope to see you there!


Saturday, June 11, 2011 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
at 2233 W Dunlap Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021



Last Thursday I showed my work at ICON6 Portfolio Roadshow in Pasadena, California. I made some really good contacts, got some prospective clients, enjoyed the way-cool neighbors, saw my baby-bro, AND got a fun one-day-Illustration-only escapade from sunny and this-time-of-year very hot AZ.

Roadshow was a nice size – around 100 illustrators. In my opinion, Roadshow and ICON are very heavy on Editorial Illustration so I thought it would be a nice place to show my work. I was right for once: Children’s Illustrators were scarce and cherished! :D

If you are interested to know more about the show, you can check ICON’s site: www.theillustrationconference.org

I’ll be blogging again when I’m back from SCBWI LA Conference. I’m leaving next Thursday and with me are going my 2 good KidLit Illustrator friends Molly Idle and Debra Pehrson Haun – listed in alphabetical order. Check out their sites!

I can NOT wait to go to LA! And in the meantime, keep cool and dry.

[ Cambio y Fuera ]
[ End of transmission ]

Table 27
I took some originals with me. I'm glad!
Two Portfolios: colored pieces and sketches
sneak-peek of my new bc and pc
I love that mini-easel with Romeo's Ladder!

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Claudine Hellmuth’s Workshop – Pieces

Finally I got some time to upload the 4 pieces that I worked on at the Workshop in Sedona with Claudine Hellmuth. Happy little pieces. I hope you enjoy them.

Row Row Row


Madre e Hija

Mundo a tus Pies

Sedona’s Workshop with Claudine

So I’m taking some time away from design work and posting about Claudine’s workshop last weekend. I should have been working, though.

It was at The Barn at the Sedona Arts Center – a very old building that I thought would collapse. It didn’t. In fact, it was a very sound building!

First day was a crashed course in color theory and composition. Next 3 days was all about tricks and techniques. We even played with wax which I had never used in my pieces.

Some pics:

The sign.

The Barn at Sedona Arts Center

Is this going to work?
Is this going to work?

Debbi hard at work.
Debbi hard at work

Lori Garver – now also painting. She is a writer.
Lori Garver

Table One – Tina rubbing paper. We rubbed a lot of paper last weekend.
Table One

Lots of Rubbing that Weekend

Table One – Tina from Monterey and Kirsten from Tucson. People from lots of places attended the workshop. We even had a gal from Switzerland – although she lived in Mill Valley when she signed up.
Table One

Golden promo shot.
Golden promo shot

Table One – Tina, Kirsten, Claudine, Debbi and I.
Tina, Kirsten, Claudine, Debbi and I.

Table One got Claudine a present – “Table One Rocks!” All very much Claudine’s style.
Barn Closed

Barn Open

Leaving for Claudine’s Workshop

Now the next big workshop, Claudine Hellmuth at Sedona Arts Center. Debbi and I are driving up to Sedona tomorrow after lunch. God helps us!

Hopefully I’ll remember to take some pictures. With so many design deadlines, I can’t have a full day worth of painting. In Sedona, I’ll have 4. What a luxury!

Pat Cummings last Friday and Saturday

Pat Cummings was in Scottsdale last weekend. Finally! She is an engaging speaker, witty woman and very knowledgeable teacher in her field – Children’s Illustration.

Friday we had a Round Table with Authors and Author-Illustrators.
Saturday the much awaited Illustrators’ Intensive.

Awesome experience! We shared the room with new people – which was great. We love getting new active Illustrators in the Chapter. Very fun weekend.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, here you go my friends.

Round Table

Round Table

Round Table

Reviewing the assignment

Listening attentively

Listening attentively

Reviewing the assignment

Learning about promo materials

Portfolio Reviews

Discussing the Assignment

Wrapping Up

Tanja Bauerle, Pat Cummings, Michelle Parker-Rock and me

Workshops – Update: Cummings + Hellmuth

One more week for Pat’s Workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Two weeks for Claudine’s workshop in Sedona, Arizona. Can’t wait.

Pat Cummings – Workshop’s Update

All spots have been filled for the October 4th Workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona. We are 22. I can’t wait to see everybody’s pieces! Only two more weeks to go.

Initial sketches of assignments have been emailed to Pat and her comments are starting to come back. Haven’t received mine back yet. Here’s a sketch that I didn’t send. I decided to go with Rapunzel. I’ll post her later.

Claudine Hellmuth’s Workshop in Sedona

One more month until Claudine’s workshop! I can’t wait for her class. My buddy Debbi Pehrson Haun and I are taking the workshop. We signed up back in January!!

Claudine will give a 4 day collage class at the Sedona Arts Center. Class is full now but you can be put on the waiting list by calling the Center: (888) 954 4442.

You can find out more about her workshops here. While you are there take a look at her work and her site. Awesome website and really cool artwork.

Note to Reader – Check Debbi’s website – I had a lot of fun designing it.

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