Part 2 of my search for very dandy children’s book illustrators is Kevin O’Malley. I fell in love with O’Malley’s illustrations when I read a very cute book written by Susan Pearson and illustrated by O’Malley, called Slugs in Love. The story is cute but it’s the illustrations I was really looking at. O’Malley creates his illustrations using coloured pencils and bumping up the colour intensity in Photoshop. This is a nice technique as you can still see the pencil lines which keeps the book child friendly and spurs creativity from children. The different angles and viewpoints are creative but what I’m really impressed with is the lack of sky. This is an interesting way around creating an opening for the text to go. Everything in the image is coloured and detailed but the sky is just a white void and what’s most impressive is that you don’t even notice that the sky is missing. There are also little bugs on each page that add a fun bit of character to the garden patch and something else to look forward to on each page.
Here are a few images from other books Kevin O’Malley has illustrated in the same style.
And his website isn’t bad either. I would have loved to have seen some original illustrations decorating it but as far as I can tell they all come from books he has done. It’s still a very nice website, and he’s still a very dandy illustrator. www.booksbyomalley.com