Today’s guest is Illustrator and Urban Sketcher Lynne Chapman. Lynne has had a fascinating career and lots of tips to share if you’re an aspiring illustrator. But what made us reach out to Lynne was her amazing urban sketching. As you may know Sandra and I are both working on improving our sketching on location and whenever I’d google “urban sketching tips” Lynne’s name would pop up. So if you’re interested in illustration or urban sketching I think you’ll really enjoy this interview.
Originally Lynne wanted to be a painter, but it worked out that illustration was a better fit. She has had lots of interesting twists and turns to her career. After many years of working as an illustrator, she is now lucky enough to make her living from sketch (how cool is that!)
Lynne talks about
- How she trained in Printed Textile Design, but then made the change into illustration
- How she moved from illustrating greeting cards, to editorial work, and eventually to children’s illustration.
- Tips for drawing things from your imagination. Lynne also has an online course for creating Children’s Characters
- The value of keeping sketchbooks (she has over 200)
- How she started urban sketching and how that developed over the years
- The materials she recommends for urban sketching – Lynne also has a fantastic book about sketching people
- How she now makes her living Urban Sketching
Lynne talking about illustrating traditionally rather than digitally
I’m always getting emails from people who want to want to do children’s book illustration. And they asked me what software I use. And they were worried because they don’t know how to use the software. And you know, they think they need to learn it. And I’m always able to reassure them that actually learning illustration is a hard enough challenge on its own, you really don’t need to layer over the top of that, learning this kind of new media if you’re not all, if you’re not already okay with it. So it’s not necessary to do it digitally. And quite a lot of illustrators actually are still not even techie that we’re a funny bunch, actually.
Lynne talking about when she joined the Urban Sketchers Group
…I saw people using watercolour, and I’d never been able to paint. And I’d never learned how to use watercolour. And every time you get a book on how to use watercolour, it’s all about stretching paper and laying layers down. And it’s all very complicated and, you know, slow. And I’m incredibly impatient. And I couldn’t be doing with any of that. So I never painted with colour, and then I saw this stuff. And there are all these people just they’re not doing any of that they’re just chucking paint over paper and drawing all over it. And I thought, oh my god, you can do that. It’s allowed So I started to experiment with colours.
And from the moment I joined Urban Sketchers, I started to draw and colour, either using watercolours, or the other thing I discovered was something that I still use all the time is Derwent Inktense pens, pencils. Because on a train, you can’t really be using watercolours. It’s a bit of a kind of a faff. And, yeah, you don’t want to be tipping paint over anybody or paint water. So I use these pencils, which were, they bought coloured pencils, but they’re not like watercolour pencils you’ve ever used before. They’re sort of like watercolour pencils on acid, you know.
Find out more about Lynne Chapman
- Illustration Site – www.lynnechapman.co.uk
- Textiles Site – www.lynnechapmantextiles.co.uk
- Urban Sketching Site – www.lynnechapmanurbansketching.co.uk
- Instagram – www.instagram.com/lynnepencil/
- Lynne’s Book – Sketching People (Sandra and I love this!)
- Lynne’s Course – Expressive Picture Book Characters
- Urban Sketching on Merchandise
- Detail from one of the Australian residency projects – The sketchbooks were long concertinas. You can see the full thing and other examples here: www.lynnechapmanurbansketching.co.uk/portfolio/dormant-things-2
Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you use the link to make a purchase we will receive a very small commission, without any extra cost to you. This will help to support our website and podcast. Thank you so much.
We’ve now got a Youtube Channel where we put up a new Art Video every Sunday.
Subscribe to our channel and click the notifications bell to be alerted on all our new videos.