Monday, 17 January 2011

Quentin Blake

When I went to London in December I also went to the Chris Beetles Gallery where they were exhibiting over 100 original drawings and watercolours by Quentin Blake. The exhibition was called 'Frabjous Beasts and Frumious Birds' and the room was crammed full of his amazing illustrations. What made it amazing was that Quentin was there to sign books and prints and I got to talk to him! It was really special as it was in such an intimate setting; a small gallery with barely 20 people milling around. Obviously only a few people knew about it, so I was really lucky to discover it was going on. I looked on Quentin's website and he sometimes does signings in big stores where hundreds of people turn up, so it was amazing to see him so personally. It was awe inspiring to talk to him so I was a bit excited and didn't really ask the questions I'd wanted to! However, he was really nice and signed my favourite book with his illustrations in, 'Fantastic Mr Fox'.
The prints on display were amazing and I'd never seen half of them so it was a real pleasure to see them so close up. I love his casual yet descriptive style, he can convey emotions and subtly communicate an idea with only a few rough lines. Quentin works with an ink pen and then uses watercolours to add colour. I like how it doesn't matter if the colour doesn't stay in the lines, it gives the drawings a sense of excitement and movement. Blake’s unusual figurative style and distinct scribbly, yet precise, lines make him one of my favourite ever illustrators.

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