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Find out about the
award-winning bestseller Dream

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Secrets of the Artists
Legacy Project

RAÚL COLÓN

Raúl Colón

Illustration from Dream
Illustration from Dream

New City, NY

Colored pencil, watercolor wash, and scratching

Achieving dreams often requires the courage to overcome obstacles and fears. A navigational star appears in
the clock/compass on the bedside table. It is implied behind the spinning hands in the first illustration.

Mr. Colón's awards include Silver and Gold Medals from the Society of Illustrators. My Mama Had a Dancing Heart (Libba Moore Gray) was selected as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. His other books include Orson Blasts Off!, which he both wrote and illustrated, and Tomás and the Library Lady (Pat Mora). He's also worked in educational television, doing everything from puppet design to short, animated films.

His artistic technique includes a use of watercolor washes. He covers every spot, always using yellow, sometimes adding other colors to get darker tones. He goes over and over a painting adding washes, often in the same color, letting the surface dry in between. He uses his "scratch tool" after he's finished all the washes. It's made specifically for scratchboard work and reminds him of scratching into crayon when he was a kid. There are six sets of "teeth" with two different sets of widths. He starts cutting into areas where he needs rhythm and texture. Then, in a kind of "glazing" process, he layers in colored pencil.

"As a child I had chronic asthma and would frequently be so ill that I could not leave the house for days or even weeks at a time. But all those times I spent locked up inside, I spent filling up dozens of composition notebooks with all kinds of drawings. So my illness as a child, which kept me from going outside to play, became a blessing."

Find out more about Raúl Colón


© SV Bosak, www.legacyproject.org

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