My latest painting is filled with foreboding questions. Will the bandits escape? Will they be caught by the evil witches and their posse of bats? Will the entire cave and structure around collapse, annihilating everything around?
The Chronicles of Narnia – The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe.
I’ve been reading CS Lewis’s books to my son. He’s not really that fussed about them, namely because he doesn’t understand any of the words. However, I’ve been enjoying reading them to him; enjoying them enough to want to do my own interpretations of the text with my own illustrations.
I’m not sure how far I’ll get in the grand scheme of things, but as it stands at the moment I’ve got busy with a couple, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get a few more done. Though to be honest, that’s all yesterdays news as we’ve finished the book and are now a third of the way through The magicians’ nephew.
Edmund’s first encounter –
Edmund is the baddy of the do-gooder children. Here he is meeting the witch for the first time. Everyone draws him eating turkish delight, but I wanted to show him looking all small and meek under her malevolent grandeur. It was suggested that the witch looked a little like Cruella Da Ville from 101 Dalmations, and Mortica Addams. Naturally, as she’s part giant she should tower above everyone else.
Mr Tumnus enters the scene –
Tricky drawing snow. Especially when you’ve painted everything a mix of yellow and brown first as an underpainting in watercolours. Still, it kind of looks like snow on the boughs so that’s a good thing.
Childrens book! Over the last little while – maybe six months or so – I’ve been developing a new children’s book with a local author. We’ve been through all sorts of character designs and strategies for laying things out and placing scenes and people in suitable places, and finally, a couple of weeks back I got to work on the actual drawings.
Hoobally Choobally clan
A tale of misunderstanding between two rival tribes, (who really shouldn’t be rivals and frankly have no idea of why they are rivals) gave me plenty of opportunity to come up with some fun scenes and pensive shots. Here’s a couple below. I should imagine the book will be out soon – I’ll let you all know when!
Walking the plank has never been so easy. Stage two of my pirate illustration has undergone its first coating of paint. Notably a mixture of yellow, brown, gold, and several other browns all mixed together and then dabbed in place on the stretched paper than had been doused with a fine spray of water. I was pleased to note that the pencil pigment had, as I’d hoped, stayed embedded in the fibre of the paper. I guess I wouldn’t be writing this now if it hadn’t.
Mixing it up.
Starting with a blob here and a blob there, keeping the paper moist with an occasional additional squirt of the sprayer, then slowly building up the density of colour to gradually show the darker (and lighter) areas and essentially building up a tonal under-painting.
I’ve been reading Grimms Fairy Tales, (finally). It’s sat on my shelf since time began, I’m sure, and whilst I thought I knew them all, as it turns out I actually only know a very small number.
To be honest, I’m not sure I’m enjoying the way they’re written that much, the style is very much of its time, and like most things that are antiquated, it reads as much. However, the underlying stories are quite good; a little Aesopian in nature with their moralistic overtones from time to time, but a good read non the less. And frightfully macabre to boot, which can only be a good thing in this day and age of nanny-stating everything.
Off on a mission
This particular illustration is for the first story in the book. Namely one about a prince who hitches a ride on a fox to win the heart of a comely maiden, only to find he has to do a succession of missions in order to balance the books correctly.
Here he is, sitting on the foxes back, prancing through the veg fields in the German Schwartzwald.