Interesting to scan this, the sky is supposed to be blue, I’ll have to apply some more colour. And maybe there is too much of a yellow tinge. I have just solved a kind of very very elementary mistake vis-a-vis Photoshop in that occasionally, but importantly, I have been muddling centimetres and millimetres when trying to copy and paste. Never done this before, it must be the new system. Anyway, mea culpa, yes indeedy. My consolation for this foolishness is that buildings, or parts of buildings, have been constructed with people making similar mistakes and not noticing at the time. Which is a tad more serious. I also notice that in the original painting I was going to put the lettering at the bottom, but seem to have put it in the sky; however, I think this suits the story better, as it hangs over the head of the hare – so I shall fill up the bottom with more flowers. This book seems to go heavy on the buttercups. I think it is because of those fields of flowers that I saw in Liddesdale, swathes of them, with occasionally a deer half hidden amongst them, staring towards the road where I stared back.
The roads are full of farm machinery travelling at a ponderous rate, some of the machines great beasts as big as houses. This field was sown with rape seed, its pungent smell wafting down the High Street earlier on in the season. The new machinery levels the ground and makes of the earth fine tilth, nothing like the great ruts of old that were left by ploughing. I can remember stumbling over ploughed fields when young, and my boots getting heavier and heavier with wet southern clay; and I remember the sheen on the side of the ruts themselves where they had been cut. Two summers ago, over in Liddesdale, where there are hill farms, and very little arable land, I came across a much wider range of flowers, insects and birds, even though the main farmer in this more eastern area has a good reputation for conservation as well as good husbandry. And one can walk round the big estates round here which are more loosely cultivated. Hawks are seen often at this time of year. And so many butterflies are thronging the buddleia, it is quite cheering..
Widened and shortened the images so as to get the text underneath. Still trying to get used to my all-singing, all singing, and therefore frustrating, up-to-date version of Photoshop. Not that I use it for painting, but nothing replaces it for setting up images. If I publish the book myself I shall have to widen my repertoire of Adobe, but for the moment, beautiful complex irritating Photoshop will do. I shall have to start reading the manual for dummies.
Instead of putting the text on to pictures in illustrations which are quite specific as to their edges, I have decided to put the text against the background colour, so that it is quite separate. To make the images fit thus on to the size of paper I have chosen, I widened the illustrations and then reduced them, so they are a slightly different shape than before, and there is enough space left to put in the text. It is much easier to do such alterations when using gouache, neocolor crayons and ordinary coloured pencils rather than watercolour with pen and ink, which is such an unforgiving medium. I started to repaint the illustrations, but I like the feeling of these two, so decided to alter them. Milo has been given a few more possessions – I liked the bareness of his room aesthetically, but thought he looked a tad deprived.
The bridge between two countries. Heard babble of passports today. Madness. Referenda (ums?), pah!