Friday, July 27, 2012

In Pictures & In Words: Chapter 10

This week’s chapter was all about tone. You know…. Don’t use that tone with me! (I know I can’t be the only one that heard that as a child!) In other words, this chapter was full of techniques for how illustrators convey emotion.

Technique 34: Crafting Tone with Background Color
Background color may impact the tone of an illustration.
These pictures are from “Zin! Zin! A violin” and what is interesting is that as the introduce each new instrument, the background color changes, giving you a sense of the emotion each instrument evokes with it’s sound.

Technique 35: Crafting Tone with Size
The size of objects in a picture impacts tone.
This picture is from “The Paper Bag Princess” which I’ve talked about before. You really get the feeling that the dragon is large and intimidating. It gives you the feeling that Elizabeth not even as large as his head, but also gives you the impression that he is so large the rest of him can’t fit on the page!

Technique 35: Crafting Tone with Space
The Physical distance between animals, people, and objects affects tone.
The space in this picture from “Tacky the Penguin” clearly gives you the feeling that Tacky is VERY different from his friends.
Likewise, this picture from “Alexander and the No Good, Very Bad Day” leaves you feeling that Alexander is quite isolated from his brothers.

Technique 37: Crafting Tone with Shape and Texture
Pictures drawn with sharp, pointed lines, edges, and angles evoke a different response than those drawin with softer, more rounded lines and edges.
This picture is from “Tuff Fluff” Normally, the very large teddy bear would be seen as intimidating (see technique 35) But his rounded edges, and soft stuffing spilling out of the seams leave you feeling that he is a “giant teddy bear” so to speak.... not threatening at all.

Technique 38: Accentuating or Exaggerating Features to Impact Tone
Accentuating or exaggerating a particular feature of an animal, person, or object can affect the tone of the picture.
This is the cover art for the story I just mentioned, “Tuff Fluff” just look at those ears! Gives you the feeling they are going to play a key role in the story doesn’t it?

Technique 39: Using Whimsical Detail to Lighten the Tone
Whimsical detail lightens the tone in illustrations.
I have to go back to Tacky with this one. Just about everything about him is whimsical… the Hawaiian shirt, the cannon balling into the sea in an inner tube instead of diving, his tuna fish sandwiches…
Because let’s face it, this is a story about penguins being hunted by bad guys. Without these whimsical details it might be rather frightening.  

Don’t forget, my Back to School Bash ends tonight at midnight! If you haven’t entered make sure you do for the chance to win a plethora of awesome resources!!


  1. Phew so glad it wasn't about toning our thighs! This is a fabulous post and great resource. Thanks for sharing Rachelle!
    -Christy & Tammy

  2. Wow! Well done Rachelle, Yours was as good as Deanna's. Was it time consuming to do the link up? Just wondering because I would like to do it just a little aprehensive. Nice job!

  3. @The Convenient Teacher
    It's not time consuming to link up, but it does take some time to go through books, find examples, take and upload pics, and add them into your post!