caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

The Midnight Hare Appears

 the hare appears

This was always a difficult picture to do, so I decided to launch the final illustrations with this.  It is half finished, but the main elements are in there.  It is so much more satisfying to work against a coloured background, it has the atmosphere that I have been searching for through so many roughs, so at last this is how the illustrations are going to be done: gouache on Ingres paper.

This was always a project that I meant as a self-publishing venture, but winds having brought down a chimney pot (a chimney pot for which I am unfortunately personally responsible) with damage to the chimney and a neighbour’s roof (though very luckily not to any passers-by, which would have been horrific), and with the insurance refusing to pay up, half my printing money for the book has disappeared in a high gale; so I have decided that I will send out the book as a detailed rough with two or three finished pictures to all the suitable publishers I can think of, as a multiple submission, so I will know by September or so if I can get The Midnight Hare produced in this manner; with self-publishing as an alternative. I am pretty committed to this book, so however things pan out, it will see the light of day (or maybe that should by the moonlight).

Having looked at publishing websites I feel that my work is not at all what is fashionable at the moment, but I don’t really care about that too much, though it might make finding a publisher a bit difficult.  But hey, the luxury of a fallback position should never be under-estimated.

January 30, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | 5 Comments

Cover Design for “The Midnight Hare”

Cover for The Midnight Hare

This is a definite idea for the cover, but I may possibly do a later version simplifying the greenery and strengthening the colours (which are anyway brighter in the original).  At this stage I am going to get postcards printed with this design, with large lettering in the centre, as a preliminary advertisement for the book. How many things there are to consider, once one has decided not try to go the route of conventional publishing.  This design does have something of the feeling of the book, though the actual book is a bit fierce and more active in places.  It is a pretty old-fashioned design, but that doesn’t matter. Up the Grannies, say I.  The specks and little blotches will be removed before making the CDs for the postcards.  The lettering is going to be in darkest blue, at this stage, though again, this may change for the final cover.  Now I need to acquire some ISBN numbers.  This is all quite fun, and I have to some extent done a lot of it before; but the strange thing is, the more one knows the more edgy it can all feel! Whilst doing ths cover, insects kept crawling across the page (I have put a portrait of one of them in there). This may account for one or two of the flecks in this scan.

October 3, 2015 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 12 Comments

A Picture Book – The Midnight Hare

midnighthare 1This is a detailed but unfinished rough illustration for a book called “The Midnight Hare”. About two years ago I wrote a script in two hours, one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon.  I had deep feeling about the script, but it has taken me all this time to decide how I am going to do the illustrations for this work.

When the pens I usually use, which were fine-nibbed true sepia in colour, were discontinued, and when watercolour itself wasn’t giving me the feeling I wanted,  I decided to try new techniques. I treated myself to a real extravagance,  a big box of gouache and a big box of crayons, artist quality, they are just delicious, I drool over them, and keep them all in order, which is so unlike my somewhat chaotic manner of work (though when I was very young I had a lovely box of conte crayons, in a metal box, and  even when my father got locked in the larder and I was the only person able to rescue him – I must have been about 4 at the time – I apparently insisted on putting the crayons back in the box in the right order before trying to get him out – he was expostulating all the while through that kind of mesh they had on larder doors).

I digress.

Using new media, and drawing with a fine sable brush, the feeling of the paintings that I have been working on are at last corresponding with the feelng I had when I first wrote the script. There is a graphic quality that I want to keep, but with gouache it is possible to build up colour, and to overpaint, without the work getting muddy. Also it is possible to paint light over dark. I had always intended to send this book out to various publishers, but after listening to two agents talking about the difficulties these days of getting work published, and the very long time it took, and other limitations, I suddenly realised that I would by-pass all that.  I wouldn’t look on publishing my own work as second best but as something I would like to do in itself, and would not bother to send it out to publishers at all.

As well as having a lot of work published in the past by large publishers, here and abroad, I have quite a bit of useful experience working on small press picture books, and I know that good sales are quite possible. We have a very proficient and friendly printer locally who are proper book publishers, which is an amazing piece of luck – and I have worked with them in the past on books for Serafina Press.  So rather than trawl my work round I have decided to wade in straight away and enjoy the whole process of writing and illustrating, production, costing, publicity and sales all on my own.

I will be blogging now and then on the whole process, I might even give the book its own website nearer publication, which won’t be until 2016.  Wish me luck.

August 20, 2015 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

   

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