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Portland Illustrator Creates A Child's World In Watercolor


“I just love telling stories,” said  Lee White, a Portland-based illustrator.

In college he thought he was creating dark, gothic paintings. “And I’d bring it in and people would say, ‘Oh, it looks like a children’s book!’” White said.

He went with it. 

In the years since college, White has illustrated numerous children’s books, including “Love, Santa” and “Emma and the Whale.”

His latest, “Kate, Who Tamed The Wind,” written by Liz Garton Scanlon, will be released February 2018. Kirkus Review notes, “The story and illustrations strike just the right notes of lightheartedness, determination, and education — on Earth-friendly materials to boot.”

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Lee White

Working in the space between traditional watercolor and digital illustration, Lee White creates detailed, sensitive and surprising worlds in the books he illustrates.

“Everything starts out traditional for me,” White said. “But there’s a speed element to the computer. It’s really the perfect combination. You get the best of both worlds.”

White is also one of the founding members of the online illustration school, Society of Visual Storytelling. You can see the scope of White’s work in his self-published book, “Illumination: The Art of Lee White,” which features White’s most popular illustrations, along with the stories and inspiration behind each one.

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Tell Me A Story (1911)

Oregon Art Beat: Episode #1911
Most Recent Broadcast: February 22, 2018