Vincent Desjardins is an illustrator hailing from Bloomington, Indiana in the United States and his blog, “Light and Shade” will take you down a wonderful memory lane, celebrating the very best in children’s book illustration.
While the blog hasn’t been updated since 2015, there’s much to enjoy here, and not just Vincent‘s book selections.
“When I was a child, my mother instilled in me a great love of children’s books and fairy stories,” says Vincent on his main site. “At an early age, picture books and animated films helped guide my decision to become an artist.
“My artistic style has been influenced by many artists, most of them children’s book illustrators: Garth Williams, Richard Scarry, David Small, Eric Blegvad, William Steig, Maurice Sendak, Edward Ardizzone, John Schoenherr, and Gustav Tenggren. I have a fairly large collection of picture books and I try to keep up with what’s current.”
Along with many great book selections, there’s also some useful guidance to aspiring artists.
These entries, including the last to date, guide you through Vincent’s work process and may offer useful tips for artists either learning the craft.
“My original intention for this blog was to write about illustration – either pieces that I’m working on, or the work of artists that have influenced me,” Vincent wrote of the blog back in 2009). “Many of the artists that have influenced me are those that I was exposed to from my childhood.”
In 2011, Vincent illustrated his first children’s book Secrets of the Magic Ring, by Karen McQuestion (there’s an interview with Vincent about the project here) and the blog ends with a walkthrough of his work on a non-fiction book for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mercy, The Incredible True Story of Henry Bergh, Founder of the ASPCA, by Nancy Furstinger.
He also illustrated four stories for FarFaria’s iPad storybook app and was the illustrator for Instinct magazine’s health column from 2003 to 2005.
“I love animation, classic movies, movie soundtracks, Broadway musicals and design from the arts and craft period to mid-century modern,” says Vincent, who collects toys and all sorts of paper ephemera, often dealing with children’s books or motion pictures, and also loves reading comic books and graphic novels.
Light and Shade might be a snapshot in time given its lack of recent updates, but it is a cornucopia of delights – and once you’ve explored it, you may want to check out some of the blogs he’s linked to… if you’ve got a spare week or two!
(The blog takes its name from the book How to Draw the Head in Light & Shade by Edward Renggli)
• Vincent Desjardins official site: www.vincentdesjardins.com
• Follow Vincent on Twitter @vinpauld
• Check out Vincent’s Tumblr – where you can see sketches, works in progress and other art
• Etsy Shop – where you can buy prints of Vincent’s work, note cards, magnets, pendants and other assorted goodies
All art copyright Vincent Desjardins
(With thanks to Michael Neno for alerting me to Vincent’s blog)