Building a world

I’m currently working on my first picture book as author and illustrator, to be published by Walker Books in Spring 2016. I’m using watercolour pencils, a new technique for me, and having a lot of fun experimenting with different ways of smudging.

plants1 plants2I’ve decided to be quite systematic, so I’m building up some style sheets so that I can keep the scenery consistent throughout, and I am creating a flora for the book. The pinkish ones are all marginals, the type of plants found around the edges of ponds and rivers. I spend a lot of time on the river and love the form of reeds and rushes – mostly they are the sort you might find along the Thames, but in a burst of ecological wrongness I’ve also thrown in a lotus from the hothouse at Cambridge Botanic Garden. The bulrushes (reed mace for purists) also have the wrong leaves, but that’s the fun of a picture book…

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