After choosing a colour palette in line with the authors requirements, I started to draft out a rough idea with colour using watercolour.
I wasn't happy with the layout and orientation. I had initially planned to create front, spine and back within this piece (A3 in size), however after trying the layout I felt that it would become too cramped. The front and back covers were subsequently changed to a vertical orientation and each piece was scaled up to A3, thus providing adequate space to add collage.
The next stage was to create a rough of the cottage that John, the author, had asked to be included. A few photos were exchanged and John was happy with the sketch below.
Using the initial draft (thrifty and environmentally friendly!) I changed the orientation and started to work back into the piece with watercolour intensifying the depth of colour. The book "Jack Reusen and The Fey Flame" is atmospheric and magical, therefore it was important to capture some of these feelings within the illustration. As a lamp and flame are involved the piece is set at night to deliberately showcase the strength of the flame.
The following images show the progress of the piece as it evolves with various elements such as the cottage and path being adjusted as the piece develops.
In this photo you will see the cottages appearance has become increasingly darker to create a more sinister looking cottage.
Visited a little cafe today in Inverness called 'Velocity'. It is a joint bike workshop and cafe and although I am not a cyclist the quirky cycling related decoration and knick knacks throughout the cafe area were eye catching and different. It had this interesting little sculpture.
I'm currently working on another Jack Reusen book illustration which is taking up almost every available minute. The title of the book is "Jack Reusen and the Fey Flame". I cannot post any pics as it is all top secret, but delighted to have completed the front cover and spine artwork this afternoon. All that remains is the back cover to be completed.
When I use watercolours I like to test my colours before I start a 'finished' piece of work. I tend to let the colour blend and see how far I can push it with water and how well it responds to the paper. I work with some round colour mixing palettes (The Works is a great place to pick up these cheaply). My brushes are Daler Rowney and I try and buy the best brushes that I can afford. I prefer to paint with flat brushes. I don't always use watercolour paper and often experiment with off cuts and scraps from other projects.