We had a wonderful day hearing Shadra Strickland talk about her illustrating process. She read White Water to grades PreK-3rd, A Place Where Hurricanes Happen to grades 2-3, and Bird to grades 4-5. We saw thumbnail sketches and how those sketches move to larger versions that are transferred onto tracing paper before they finally make it to the paper that will be painted. She shared several of her techniques with students including using saran wrap to create the ripples of the flood water in the large painting of New Orleans in A Place Where Hurricanes Happen.
As usual, I was amazed by the insight that students had into the stories. They asked questions both about the content of the stories and about the process of illustrating. Shadra entertained all questions, even ones about how much an illustrator makes.
A few students were fortunate enough to have a quick portrait sketched of themselves by Shadra. Even though she gets nervous drawing in front of a whole group, Shadra willingly put herself out there and showcased her talent for drawing the human form.
Today was the culmination of many read-alouds, lessons expanding upon the stories, and discussions and comparisons of multiple pieces of art on exhibit for the past month. We are very grateful to Shadra for her visit. We are also grateful to the Auburn Avenue Research Library for supporting this traveling exhibit and illustrator visit.