Then the butterfly stamped. The Djinns jerked the Palace and the gardens a thousand miles into the air…
Illustration for The Butterfly that Stamped,
from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, published in a limited edition of 1,000 copies by The Folio Society, 2012. Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico cold pressed (the old kind no longer in production), 180 x 255mm.
I enjoyed myself with this one and included ‘portraits’ of myself and a few friends as Solomon, Balkis, and the Djinns. By ‘portraits’, I don’t mean actual likenesses but rather attributes and visual clues. I am the djinn on the far right.
‘I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me’
Illustration for The Cat that Walked by Himself, from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, published in a limited edition of 1,000 copies by The Folio Society, 2012. Watercolour and Chinese ink on Saunders Waterford hot pressed, 265 x 150mm.
I managed to scan the progress stages of this one, too. I incorporated more of the Gongbi methods of Chinese painting into this illustration, using glazes of ink in combination with the watercolours.
First layers of ink washes.
First layers of colour washes.
The completed piece.
Detail of the cat, which measures about 50mm or so (I’m afraid I can’t remember!) in a vertical line from ear-tip to tail-tip. This view is larger than the original.
Binding design for the limited edition of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, published by The Folio Society. Gouache and ink on Havana Canson Mi-Teintes paper, approximately 325 x 245mm.
I wanted to use copper gouache along with the gold and silver, but Winsor & Newton had long stopped its production, and I had mislaid my sole tube of it some time ago. So I mixed some antique copper powder into the gold as an expedient. It didn’t quite give off the fieriness of true copper, but it was serviceable enough just to give an idea of the different metallic foils to be used for the actual binding.
You can see the final binding in this post. Some of the very fine details had inevitably to be given up (in particular those of the little animal heads in the four corners), as spreading does occur during the blocking process. The ‘copper’ of the original design also became this rather wonderful, slightly brownish but still metallic foil in the final binding. We had two other alternatives which were tried out, but one was too orange and the other too dark a brown.
Red deer stag. Pencil, sepia powder and tinted charcoal on train ticket prepared with gesso, approximately 85 x 54mm.
The ticket is from when I was staying with my friend, palaeontologist and marine reptile expert, Dr Adam Stuart Smith. Adam showed me around Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, presently rather famous for having served as Wayne Manor in the latest Batman film. Though I must say I’m much keener on the deer and the natural history collection myself.
‘Everything has its proper name. I shall call it “Armadillo” till I found out the real one…’
Illustration for The Beginning of the Armadillos, from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, published in a limited edition of 1,000 copies by The Folio Society, 2012.
Watercolour on Saunders Waterford hot pressed, 140 x 240mm.
Still ran Dingo — Tired-Dog Dingo — hungrier and hungrier… and wondering when in the world or out of it would Old Man Kangaroo stop
Illustration for The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo, in Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, published in a limited edition of 1,000 copies by The Folio Society, 2012.
Watercolour on Saunders Waterford hot pressed; 265 x 150mm.
Detail of Old Man Kangaroo.
Detail of Yellow-Dog Dingo
So he pulled, and the Elephant’s Child pulled, and the Crocodile pulled…
Illustration for The Elephant’s Child, in Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, published in a limited edition of 1,000 copies by The Folio Society, 2012.
Watercolour on Saunders Waterford hot pressed; 255 x 180mm.
I shared a detail of the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake a little while ago. Here is another of the foreground.
This illustration also accompanied an article by the author and former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo — who also wrote the introduction to this edition — in the books section of the Saturday Guardian on 5th January, 2013.
Many thanks to my friend, Marc, who saved this article for me.
They spelt my surname correctly beneath the illustration, but added an extra letter to it at the end of the article.