Art Show and Opening

A Misclassification of Mammals will be showing at:

Paxton Gate's Curiosities for Kids
766 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
on view: July 27 -  September 2, 2018
opening reception: Friday, July 27, 6-8 pm

If you plan to attend the opening reception an RSVP is appreciated but not required.  RSVP Here

Children welcome. It is a gallery in front of a toy shop. I will have an activity for kid's ages 2+.

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Fake Facts: Getting Animal Facts Right In Kidlit

Almost half of children's stories (books, movies, cartoons) feature non-human characters. The bulk of these stories are about animals, yet most do not portray animals as they are in the natural world.

For non-fiction books, it is obvious that all the information should be correct. With fictional books/stories it gets trickier. I get, that picture books are a place for fun and imagination. But how is a young child meant to know what is real and what is made up? Since kids get their information about the world from fiction as well as nonfiction, it's important to portray animals and their habitats correctly, even in fiction. If children read stories in where animals are portrayed incorrectly, with each telling the incorrect information solidifies into false knowledge. This is why there are many adults who believe penguins live at the North Pole. Thank you Coke.

coke.jpg

 

The two biggest issues I keep seeing are:

# 1) MISCATEGORIZING ANIMALS. Apes are not monkeys and whales are not fish. I see no exceptions to this one. There is no reason to call an animal by the wrong names/groups/classifications.

and 

# 2) MIXED UP BIOGEOGRAPHY. Since penguins and polar bears don't live together in the real world, they should not live together in a book. A story about Africa, should not have a tiger in it. Lions don't live in jungles. The stegosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex were not alive at the same time.

There are exceptions for #2. If you want to mix this up, make sure that it is intentional and that it is obvious to the child that it is not real life.

-Exception 1: Address the fact that they don't actually live together within the book, like in Jeanne Willis's Poles Apart.

 written by  Jeanne Willis  illustrated by  Jarvis

written by Jeanne Willis illustrated by Jarvis

-Exception 2: Put the animals in an obviously imagined situation. A panda, zebra and penguin would work together in a black and white factory - that just makes sense. Kid's understand that is not real life.

 written by  Eric Telchin  illustrated by  Diego Funck

written by Eric Telchin illustrated by Diego Funck

-Exception 3: The books takes place in a zoo.

But, when a story feels like it could be real (even if the animals are talking), PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don't just throw in random animals. 

I am going to put together a series of blog posts of the most common mistakes I see in picture books, with accompanying info graphics with the correct information.

Stay tuned.

further reading: Are Picture Books Warping How Kids Understand Animals?

Goauche Color Charts

I wanted to keep better track of what gouache color and brands I liked, so I made a chart. I thought it might be helpful for other artist so figured I'd should post it.

gouache-color-chart2
goauche-color-chart
 The Horadam goauche seems to be the most pure white. I think my brush had a tinge of pink still for the Acryla - so it is actually probably whiter than this pic. I find whites the hardest. They are always a bit chunkier than other colors. The acryla is very smooth but does not mix well with other brands.

The Horadam goauche seems to be the most pure white. I think my brush had a tinge of pink still for the Acryla - so it is actually probably whiter than this pic. I find whites the hardest. They are always a bit chunkier than other colors. The acryla is very smooth but does not mix well with other brands.

 I love the Acryla color selections. Especially the "luminous" colors. Those look great in person and in pictures but do NOT scan well. 

I love the Acryla color selections. Especially the "luminous" colors. Those look great in person and in pictures but do NOT scan well. 

gouache-acryla-blues
 I cut the black on the end because it was a water color and I accidentally had it in the wrong bin. This silver is pretty nice. Partially transparent so you could put it over another color. I also like this blue ash as a grey.

I cut the black on the end because it was a water color and I accidentally had it in the wrong bin. This silver is pretty nice. Partially transparent so you could put it over another color. I also like this blue ash as a grey.

 I was expecting that the Turner goauches were going to be my least favorite because I have quite a few whose tubes were broken - so they were dried out. But I realized that they are at least 7 years old because they are from Pearl Paint. And to be fair I have not been good about squeezing from bottom of tube. When making this chart I found the Turner gouache's actually had some of the most even coverage and the colors were really nice. The Holbein peacock blue was dried out even without a hole in the tube, but is also probably 4-5 years old. The Winsor & Newton Ultramarine is a really nice color. As is the turner Blue Violet.

I was expecting that the Turner goauches were going to be my least favorite because I have quite a few whose tubes were broken - so they were dried out. But I realized that they are at least 7 years old because they are from Pearl Paint. And to be fair I have not been good about squeezing from bottom of tube. When making this chart I found the Turner gouache's actually had some of the most even coverage and the colors were really nice. The Holbein peacock blue was dried out even without a hole in the tube, but is also probably 4-5 years old. The Winsor & Newton Ultramarine is a really nice color. As is the turner Blue Violet.

 The Holbein cobalt turquoise & leaf green are both great color and hard to get that bright from mixing other colors. The Turner sea green is obviously dried out and why it's less even coverage than others. But it was a really pretty color.

The Holbein cobalt turquoise & leaf green are both great color and hard to get that bright from mixing other colors. The Turner sea green is obviously dried out and why it's less even coverage than others. But it was a really pretty color.

 The Winsor & Newton Opera pink is awesome and one if my favorites. I purchased that and the Horadam Purple Magenta at the same time. I thought they would be the same color based on the tube. But the Winsor & Newton was a much better match. As per quality of paint I like the Winsor & Newton better too & it was $5 cheaper than the Horadam.

The Winsor & Newton Opera pink is awesome and one if my favorites. I purchased that and the Horadam Purple Magenta at the same time. I thought they would be the same color based on the tube. But the Winsor & Newton was a much better match. As per quality of paint I like the Winsor & Newton better too & it was $5 cheaper than the Horadam.

 The Holbein pink is a great bright pink. The flesh tint is definitely a fleshy color as opposed to a bright light peach which is what I was hoping or. I love the coral red. It's more coral (orange/pink) than red to me. The cut off one at the end is Holbein Brilliant Orange.

The Holbein pink is a great bright pink. The flesh tint is definitely a fleshy color as opposed to a bright light peach which is what I was hoping or. I love the coral red. It's more coral (orange/pink) than red to me. The cut off one at the end is Holbein Brilliant Orange.

gouache-yellow-orange