09/10/2020 - 11/19/2020

Upper Gallery

Tall Tales and Huge Hearts: Raul Colón

Tall Tales and Huge Hearts, an exhibition of original artwork 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 Awards, 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 Colón, 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 Colón.

About Raul Colón

“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. I even tried to write my own comic books…So my illness as a child, which kept me from going outside to play, became a blessing.” ~ Raul Colón.

Colón was born in New York City in December of 1952 and moved with his parents in the 1960s to Caguas, Puerto Rico where he studied commercial art. In 1978 Colón made Florida his home, working at an educational television center designing everything from puppets to short animated films. In 1988 the artist settled with his family in New York City, New York, and began a freelance career. Today, Colón continues to be a versatile and acclaimed illustrator whose work has appeared in important national publications.