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Posted by Penny, August 1, 2012

Penny Dale at Art in Action 2012

Art in Action is an annual event which takes place over four days in July at Waterperry House and Gardens in Oxfordshire.

Artists from Painters to Ceramicists, Sculptors to printmakers – a handful from each area of visual art – are invited to set up small versions of their studios to demonstrate how they work to thousands of visitors. This was my third year in the calligraphy and illustration marquee.

As we set up, the very first copies of my new book, Dinosaur Zoom!, arrived, and on the opening day were soon being snapped up, along with others, by readers of all ages!

I was demonstrating how a book comes together – from first sketches and a text, to layouts – and finally to full colour artwork.

An enlarged story board on the wall behind me showed the layouts for my next book, Dinosaur Rescue! I explained how I work up layouts drawing with a stylus on an iPad, which is really useful for working in layers when there’s resizing and repositioning to do, and there always is in the early stages!

Lots of children had a go too! This little girl drew a dinosaur called ‘Toothy’!

Many wanted to know if I did the actual artwork for the book on the iPad but I said I still much prefer the feel of real paint, ink and crayon on proper watercolour paper for the finished work.

As in previous years there was lots to learn too and not nearly enough time to see all the fantastic work on show as it was incredibly busy.

In the closing hours on Sunday a little girl showed me how to add typography to my layouts using another drawing app I have alongside ‘Brushes’ (the one I use most of the time). Absolutely brilliant and so useful. She was so quick and deft on the iPad she had to show me twice!

Many thanks are due to my excellent helpers – Bryan, Rick, Gill and Ruth – to Imogen and Victoria and to all the organisers and volunteers from Art in Action for creating another exceptional event.

Dinosaur Zoom is published tomorrow. You can order it online here and take a look inside below: