I have been illustrating my stories for as long as I can remember. Half the purpose of them at first was to show everything I couldn’t or didn’t want to describe. (Do you know how arduous typing is for a nine-year-old?) Also, I have always loved a good picture to go with my story.
My all time favorite is Sydney Paget, who illustrated 37 Sherlock Holmes stories and one novel. One thing I admire about his style was his consistency. Sherlock Holmes always looks like, well, Sherlock Holmes. That level of consistency is hard to obtain. The image below is both my favorite (He looks so happy listening to DeSarasate play, doesn’t he?) and is from my favorite short work The Red-headed League, a very smart story indeed.
Another favorite was Graham Rust’s rendition of A Little Princess. That was my favorite book for the longest time and I loved his colorful, scrumptious rendering. (Tasha Tudor’s I liked as well, though the edition illustrated by her had fewer pictures than Graham’s, so I liked his more. That may not be a good reason, but I was ten.)
From time to time I have shared bits of my artistic attempts on social media, and I have featured a few on this blog as well. I kept few of my early artistic attempts. One I know, has been reserved in the back cover of a coloring book. The rest I’ve discarded in various cleaning sweeps.
Here are a few which survived, by which I will demonstrate how my style has developed thus far.
This one was from 2012. I have no words. (Their heads. Their noses. Henry’s hair.) *dies laughing*
This is from just last year, probably eighteen months ago. I’m still proud of the detail, but updating the people is out of the question. I erased a hole in the girl’s head, along the profile, I think, and it will have to remain as is. 😦
I couldn’t have improved without the generosity of a good friend who is also a good artist. (Thanks for drilling proportion into my head, girl.) Big heads and big hands is the way to go.
Bethany also gave my watercolor pencils a little over a year ago. The above is my first go at them full-scale.
This is the illustration for Chapter 1 of The Good Adventurers. Because who doesn’t love a grand library?
I’ll probably look back on this in a year and cry about something in this painting. I hope I do because I’ve gotten better. I never hoped to come this far. The idea here is, keep at it. Keep at whatever it is you do.
Even if practice doesn’t make perfect, you’ll still gain experience and you will learn.
Watercolor is all about layers, people are all about structure and proportion. I have a lot of learning to do on both, and I have my work cut out for me. There are currently thirty-nine chapters in The Good Adventurers, and I hope to do an illustration for all of them. I have five, maybe. And cover art, also a pencil and watercolor work. I will be sharing more of them in the future, in snippets and character interviews both, so keep an eye out for ’em! I do it because I love it and my stories wouldn’t be complete with out them.
Are any of you artists? Tell me about your projects! Not artistic? Leave a comment and tell me who your favorite illustrator or artist is. I love hearing from you!