Throwback Thursday: Emma

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'Part of my lace is gone... and I do not know how I am to contrive' Emma Woodhouse, Harriet Smith and Mr Elton. Pen & ink and watercolour on 140lb/300gsm Arches hot pressed, 287 x 202mm.

‘Part of my lace is gone… and I do not know how I am to contrive’
Emma Woodhouse, Harriet Smith and Mr Elton.
Pen & ink and watercolour on 140lb/300gsm Arches hot pressed, 287 x 202mm.

Illustration for Jane Austen’s Emma, published by the Folio Society, 2007. This is the only illustration I’m happy with from this book, and one of the (increasingly) few pieces from the three Austen novels I did for Folio that I can still stand. Though I would alter Harriet’s feet now (in fact, the more I think about it, the more I feel it must be done, past work notwithstanding).

It was displayed at the British Library in the Folio Society Gallery as part of the exhibition, ‘A Houseful of Books: 60 years of the Folio Society’ in 2007. At the private view, one lady very kindly told me that it was her second favourite illustration of the exhibit, her most being an illustration for Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina by Angela Barrett, which, incidentally, was my own favourite piece there. I couldn’t have been more flattered.

 

 

Dreadnoughtus and Sir Henry Norton Manley

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Ink on Bristol board, 2.5 x 3.5″. (Obligatory penny-for-scale picture)

Sir Henry Norton Manley encounters a Dreadnoughtus schrani. I think she may be dreading him a little.

I’d long known of Bristol board but never used it before. I’ve found that ink ‘beads’ on it, resulting in thicker lines than I might like, but conversely, its glassy smoothness can sometimes be helpful for nibs.

 

Throwback Thursday: Aladdin, part II

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Amayas the Magician, Ink and gouache.  The scan of the artwork together with the panel as it appears in the book. The border motif was also originally painted by hand in one section and was then stitched together digitally by the designer.

Amayas the Magician. Ink and gouache.
The scan of the artwork together with the panel as it appears in the book. The border motif was also originally painted by hand in one section and was then stitched together digitally by the designer. Illustration for Aladdin, Walker Books, 2011.

In the original Thousand and One Nights tale, The magician from the Maghreb who sent Aladdin to retrieve the lamp doesn’t seem to have been given a name. Entertaining ones have been used in retellings and pantomime performances, but I wanted to give him an earnest north African name. After a little research, I felt that ‘Amayas’ suited him best. I haven’t been able to locate my source again since, much to my chagrin, but in trying to track it down again as I’m writing this post, ‘Amaya’ was yielded as an Arabic female name meaning ‘night rain’.

His costume design has a basis in Tuareg and Berber clothing, with a liberal helping of Mongolian shamanistic elements. I imagined that he had probably supplemented his magic arts in central Asia during his travels along the Silk Road. His staff is topped off with half an addax skull.

More to come! Here is a reminder of last week’s post, in case you missed it.

Throwback Thursday: Aladdin

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I have been making regular #ThrowbackThursday posts over on my Facebook page and on Twitter, but I’ve been neglecting to do so here. Time to remedy this, especially since I still haven’t got round to putting up galleries of my past published work.

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Aladdin and Princess Badoura. Detail from spread 6, layer 1. Ink and gouache.

Aladdin (Walker Books, 2011) is a personal favourite of mine, though it feels slightly overlooked compared to my other work. That may be partially my own fault as sharing anything from it is tricky; the book works rather like a series of theatre scenes and is best seen in actuality. Continue reading

Wild tulip

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Wild tulip (Tulipa sylvestris). Watercolour on Bockingford, 2.5 x 3.5″.

‘Flower, gleam and glow,
Let your power shine…’

Alright, it isn’t that flower, but a friend did remark on its passing resemblance. Incidentally, however, the magic golden flower from Disney’s Tangled is clearly based on a lily of some kind, and tulips are a close relative.

 

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