stories and illustration

The Midnight Hare, page 29


August 28, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare pp.18 and 19

pp18and19augtxtAt the moment I am setting up double-page spreads, quite an interesting part of the project, as they have been painted on different sheets of a notebook up to now.  This rough layout is jpeg at 300dpi, set up on Photoshop; though the finished scans will be pdfs scanned at 600dpi, with the text set up in Adobe Acrobat in a separate process. If I had been doing these pictures across one piece of paper, which is how I used to work when I did pen and watercolour illustrations on big blocks of wonderful Fabriano paper, maybe I would have had the woodland path in this double-page spread more integrated; but the slight oddness doesn’t really both me much, and I have to remember that these images will be on separate pages, which will create a greater space than here. I think a slight jaggedness between the pages is quite interesting, even if aesthetically slightly weird. Many picture books have double-page spreads throughout, but I could never have done this story like that. I have two double-page spreads in the whole book, one when Milo and the Hare are flying over the Borderlands; and one right at the end, pp. 30 and 31, before the vignette and the closing words on p.32.


August 11, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | 7 Comments

The Midnight Hare pages 20 and 21



August 2, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | 7 Comments

The Midnight Hare, page 17


May 14, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare, page 21 rough


Late last night I experimented with putting this particular illustration on to a much paler background and it didn’t feel right at all; therefore I have decided to fill up the pages with colour and keep a specific margin throughout, the same colour as the paper on which the particular illustration is painting (here the margin is taken from another source, so is slightly different in tone). The paler margins didn’t work with having the words within the picture, there were too many things going on. I have also decided to simplify the text so it is sans serif – don’t know whether I will use the one here, it might be a tad “round”, though I like the darkness of it against the background. There is quite some time before I have to decide on what font to use.  But something unadorned. I didn’t envisage when I decided to take on the production of this book how many things would have to be considered – but in a way that is the point of the exercise, to learn during the process.

The birds tail might break into the margin! This way of doing things means that, apart from the two pages which go across the book and which have no margins, I will have to keep the imagery complete within the picture, I can’t have any nice Japanesy cut-offs of the main characters, unless the margin is made specific, which I don’t want – but so be it. We’ll see how it goes.

April 25, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Experiment: The Midnight Hare


There was a problem with margins in the book (too narrow), and problems with integration of content. When I enlarged the margins so the painting wasn’t too near the edge of the page, the whole thing looked much too brown, because of the strength of the background paper. Also I have used different browns for different scenes in the book, and this would have made the appearance of the book patchy (there is a word I am looking for here but I don’t know what it is, even after consulting Roget: harmony is the nearest I can come to it this evening – harmonisation maybe – yes, I want to harmonise the illustrations). I have decided to have a rough margin, though probably less rough than above, and include all the text within the illustration, and then have a margin round about on paler paper, and use this paler colour for every illustration.  It is quite a late stage to decide to do this, but I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders.  I think the framing enhances the painting, whereas having a wider brown border was oppressive. Having computer programmes that mean one can make experiments without repainting everything is so liberating, as is painting with gouache and neocolor wax water-soluble crayons and ordinary crayons on coloured paper, as it is so much freer than pen and ink and watercolour.  If the manufacturers hadn’t stopped making my favourite sepia drawing pens I might never have experimented, and would have done myself out of a lot of fun.

April 17, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Moonwuzo Books


I have taken the decision to by-pass publisher and agents and to publish The Midnight Hare myself. I have opened a separate page for Moonwuzo Books on this site, and will add to it as the process develops – in the long run I will set up a separate website on WordPress.

The Moonwuzo, as I explain, is a character from Old Merlaine, and he will make a great logo.

April 5, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Flying Home


March 6, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Midnight Hare Cover 2

owlandpussycatSet with Boldini Type,think I prefer this to my slightly mimsy lettering.  Tried all sorts of lettering, still sitting in my dressing gown, but as soon as I put this up it felt right. I am also going to do a cover on paler paper, with the same imagery but with more scenery, and the lettering going over the top of the scenery (night sky, Borders landscape with towers).  I can decide later which I prefer, or ask others. Covers have never been my strong point.  I am getting to the point of setting up a mock of the book; then I have to decide what to do next! Now I need to get dressed and get back to the studio. Usually I hate finishing paintings, but this time I am enjoying it.  The mock-up won’t be of totally finished illustrations, but not roughs either.

February 22, 2017 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare page 25 and 23



Realised that I had probably posted page 25 before, and can’t trace 23, so have included that, and will probably not now post any more images of The Midnight Hare, except perhaps the cover, until the book is much nearer ready to print. One of the reasons I have posted images is that I have been a victim of plagiarism in the past and am fond of this story and don’t want this to happen; at least if the book is kind of out there I can prove my original authorship. Am still debating whether to kind of do it myself (under the aegis of a smaller publisher) or send it out to mainstream publishers; there have been developments in both practical terms and in my attitude to the book.  There are surely advantages in keeping control of one’s work, and I don’t see that an agent could not be approached to possibly deal with further rights.  We shall see.  In the meantime, after a bit of a hiatus, I am back to work.  Have to finish my Christmas card first, then it is back to finishing the pictures; or enough of them to send out, if that is what I decide. Next year I want to work more loosely on larger canvases, that should be fun. But children’s picture books are a real love, no doubt of that.

November 29, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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