Tall Tales and Huge Hearts: Raul Colón

Tall Tales & Huge Hearts, an exhibition of original art work of artist Raul Colón opened at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) in the fall of 2012. An award-winning illustrator of over thirty books for children, the industry has recognized Colón with a Golden Kite Award, two Pura Belpré Award, a gold and silver medal from the Society of Illustrators,included twice in the NY Public Library’s 100 titles for Reading and Sharing; and been a two-time recipient of The Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Award. This exhibition, featuring over eighteen titles from Colon, showcases artwork from books such as Tomás and the Library Lady (1997), Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburg Pirates (2005), Doña Flor (2005), Angela and the Baby Jesus (2008) and Child of the Civil Rights Movement (2009).

Colón uses a very unique technique in his artwork to create texture and rich, deep colors. The illustrations done on watercolor paper combine watercolor washes, etching, and the use of colored and litho pencils.

“I begin with textured watercolor paper, adding a watercolor wash of golden undertone. On top of that I sketch the image and then add the middle tones. There are about 5 to 8 washes on top of each other. I then use color pencils to make the texture of the paper come out. I also use a scratchboard instrument appropriately called a "scratcher" to draw down through the layers.” ~Raul Colon