Artistic Media

The medium (plural media) is both the tool (e.g. acrylics, gesso) and surface (e.g. canvas) an illustrator uses. Technique is the manner in which an artist applies one medium to another. There are many techniques for applying media: painterly (painting), drawing, sculptural, printmaking, photography, and digital. When an artist employs two or more techniques, they may refer to their process as mixed media.

In the 1990s, illustrators were just beginning to explore with digital methods. The examples used in the slideshow are pioneering efforts of picture book illustration created digitally. Today it is common for illustrators to create an entire book digitally or perhaps start with traditional methods and finish digitally.

  The term painterly is used to describe a painting done in a style that embraces the medium. Color, stroke, or texture are hallmarks of the painterly style, especially as it applies to the rendering of forms, rather than contour or line. Marks from tools, such as brush strokes or palette marks, are part of the final work, not smoothed away. Type of paint include oil paint, acrylics, gouache, and watercolor.
  Drawings are created with a dry medium -- graphite, charcoal, color pencil, chalk, or pastel -- on a surface, generally paper. It is a two-dimensional work emphasizing line, contour, form, and shape rather than color, stroke, or texture of the painterly technique. It is also a verb, the action of creating such an artwork (e.g. She is drawing a picture.)

  Sculptural technique are neither painterly or drawn, but the rather cut, molded, glued, sewn, and manipulated, and constructed. Artists who work with three-dimensional art photograph the result to create the illustration. The sculptural technique includes assemblage, collage, cut paper, fabric, and modeling clay. These compositions are photographed.

  Printmaking is an indirect means of creating art by transferring an image or design by contact with a matrix such as a block, plate, stone, or screen. Most prints can be produced over and over again by re-inking the printing block or plate. There are four basic processes used in traditional printmaking: relief (woodcut, wood engraving, linoleum cut), intaglio (dry point, engraving, etching, aquatint, mezzotint), planography (lithography), and stencil (screenprint).