stories and illustration

The Midnight Hare, page 25

MH page 25

It is useful for me to put these images on line, as it distances me from them, and I can apply a more critical eye. The next stage is to print out what I have done and assemble the pages opposite each other. I am working on small sheets of paper, and keeping the paintings within a pad, of pastel paper, actually; so I cannot truthfully gauge the effect until I put them together.  In the past, when working on white paper, I did the pictures that were on opposite each other on the same sheet of paper, as I could get books of  watercolour paper that were big enough. I don’t know why I don’t work on a drawing board, I have always preferred to work with books of paper; though now, the studio I work in is too small for a drawing board, when you take into account the box of crayons, the box of gouache, the two paintboxes, the  bamboo serving tray I use for my watercolour tubes, and the box of neocolor crayons, and the waterpots and the brush pot and the pencils etc etc. that have to share the smallish table (which originally was a breakfast table from a bed and breakfast next door in Berwick which closed down) and the two tiny tables which cower in its small shadow. I do have about five blocks of papers on the go with this story, so can offer up images opposite each other; but there will  have to be adjustments.  I seem to have started to work to a specific hardish edge in a lot of the recent paintings, so think I will deliberately loosen this up, though when there are two images on a single page, as above, then a hardish edge is necessary for coherence.  Next week I start work on the four double-page spreads, having ordered some large sheets of paper, and having cut down the cardboard from a large block of watercolour paper to serve as a base. I may work these so that they do not have any kind of a margin.  The paintings are on different coloured papers, though all within a certain range.  This is a bit of an odd way of doing a book, but I can’t see anything wrong with some oddness here and there.

August 12, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare, page 6

MH page 6

Just noticed a typo, which I can’t change on this scan has the print has been rasterized – that shows me that I will need to read everything through at least four times before I present the final scans.  This is a much looser picture, but I don’t think suffers from this.

August 12, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare, page 7

MH Page7

This is a fairly dark image, I shall probably have brighter patches in it, and also more detail; but the design is as I want it, for a picture that does not have a lot of action.The cat is a part of the story unmentioned in the text.

August 11, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Midnight Hare: page 21


Work in progress, a half finished picture – this was always going to be a difficult page, and going back to it, I see that I shall have to rework it, as the hare is too big, and Milo’s head is too big, and his expression is not right.  But the birds, which I was worried about, are as I want them. I have ordered some paper that is wide enough to cross over two pages, and am now going to get back to work and finish enough of this book to send it out.  I have been going through a stage when I feel somewhat dissatisfied, but this always happens at some point in a project; I still like the story and I like the techniques I am using, but still  I see these faults after I have been working some time on a painting.  However, doing a painting  again, when the basic design is there, does not take much time. What else do I like?  I like the colours, and I like the hoopoe… well, I like the birds on the whole.  They are both scary and fun, which is what I always wanted.

August 11, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | 7 Comments

The Midnight Hare pages 22 and 23


April 6, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare:A Boy Called Milo…

A boy called Milo

March 2, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare: A Boy Called Milo…

A Boy Called Milo

February 21, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Picture for a Story: The Midnight Hare



This is a watercolour painting of the Midnight Hare and a boy flying over the Borderlands.  It is an illustration for a text I have written about a brown hare, a boy, and the Midnight Hare. The Midnight Hare is a psychopomp, a charismatic intermediary between two worlds.  In the painting I am trying out a new technique which does not involve much use of pen and ink, because the sepia pens I have been using for a long time are no longer available; and besides, I feel like experimenting, since I have no deadline, unless I set one for myself.

In illustration many different media can obviously be used in the same painting, but I want to get an overall technique that uses line without the usual pen outline  In this painting I have got nearer the feeling of which I want than in any of the previous work I have done for this story.  I think I need to plan out paintings more carefully; then paradoxically, it will be easier to be spontaneous. I want to keep the colour clear and unmuddied by overwork, and have a good structure, even in the softened elements of the landscape.

For the background I will use the Borders landscape, including pictures taken from the air. The Hare flies with the boy to a place very like, but not exactly similar to, the Alnwick Garden, which is not far away from here.  It is not going to be a book set completely in the night, there will be daylight and fields in it as well, which of course will be taken from the landscape around me. I have photographs taken on my walks this year, and they will give me details to work from, so there will be poppies, and wheat, and the river, as well as the boy, the brown hare, and the Midnight Hare.

July 17, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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