Narrative Illustration

In recent weeks I was working on a project in the hopes of becoming the illustrator for a classic Victorian children’s story book. Unfortunately I was not chosen for the final outcome but came runner up, however it was a great experience to be a part of and I really enjoyed the illustrations that I created.

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My approach was to originally keep the drawings in simple black and white as this reflected the era of when the fairytales were written, like a lot of Victorian and classic novels the illustrations are left in black and white, take Lewis Carrols Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland for instance. The feedback I received from these was very positive, the client said I work to a high standard with clear talent and am very professional. However the illustrations came across a little too complex for the target age group which was 3 – 8 year olds.

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With this in mind, I wanted to progress further and take on the constructive criticism I was given and develop my images further to better suit the young target age group. In order to address this I decided to try my images in colour, which originally I thought against, but after doing some research into children’s narrative illustration, I came to realise that colour or even just a hint of certain colour pallets was mostly popular. So for the second lot of illustrations I decided to paint with watercolours as these give a soft and subtle look and don’t become too overpowering. I also decided to change the composition slightly of a few of the sample illustrations just to try new things. All in all I was very happy with the work I produced and the experience that I had whilst working on these images. I now hope to have a similar opportunity again in the future in order to develop my narrative illustration skills more.

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