Friday, March 21, 2014

The book project

Its been a challenging but very exciting couple of weeks for me as an artist as I have been working with my clients on the development of the outline for the cover of a publication about Richmond Hill my local town. The first challenge wasn't so much in the physical drawing of the various elements (well maybe a little in the sheer amount that I have drawn over the last 2 weeks) but was actually more because of the restrictions of getting everything to fit in the allowed available physical space in an interesting, engaging way that people who live in the area of Richmond Hill could relate to and to convey a story about the town both geographically, and environmentally.

The finished painting will be a wraparound front and back cover of the publication but it will also be framed as one finished painting. The completed painting therefore has to work both when viewed  as two separate halves and as a whole (my third challenge).

Today I got final approval of the outline so I can begin to transfer my image which at the moment is a series of separate drawn layers on photoshop onto the watercolour paper ready to paint.  I work this way on such a complicated piece because by drawing each element separately and scanning them into the computer I can then adjust sizes and orientation of things without having to redraw each time I needed to move an object, building or person. Its an awesome compositional tool for those fine adjustments and the not so fine ones and essential when I only have a timeframe of a month from concept to finished piece. So here are a couple of the quickly sketched elements I will be including...

Firstly a very popular Richmond Hill landmark which will appear somewhere on the back cover. Anyone who lives locally recognise it???

and secondly,  giving a young tree a new home which will be the main focus of the front cover section.

Thank you to several of my friends for providing me with their photographs to use as references when my own photo library failed to give me what I needed (It's very hard when asked to create a summer themed painting when the ground is still covered in snow... yes, this was yet another challenge).

I now have just three weeks to get the whole illustration properly drawn out onto the watercolour paper and painted. I've made a start!



  1. That's the theatre in the first drawing and the Mill Pond gazebo in the other one.