My name is Heather Robertson and I am studying with Maggy Roberts on the Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma Course. My illustration below is from the ‘Scary Poem’ Assignment and I found this to be the most difficult of all the assignments. Firstly because it was a subject matter I don’t enjoy much or spend much time looking at, and it was all in black and white which meant i had to work really hard on tonal values which I struggle with. Then I had to use ink, which is very unforgiving! I went through many scraps of paper, post it notes and tracing paper before I was happy with it, and wish I’d used tracing paper with some of my earlier pieces as it makes layout so much easier.
I had to do a lot of research before I was able to complete these pieces, and looked through countless children’s books at the library and in bookshops, looked at Halloween advertising and old movie posters etc. The design was entirely my own, but elements of it have been influenced by other artists and movies (the scary house). It was interesting to see how other artists interpret similar pieces.
I don’t think I’d choose to work in pen and ink again even though the piece was successful, as it doesn’t feel natural and comfortable to me and I prefer to work in pencils and in colour, but it was a good experience and it’s good to know that I can do it if i need to. It was a very challenging piece and I definitely learned a lot from it. It’s silly but the final idea for this was drawn on a small post it note, before I started the final drawing.
Illustrating Children’s Book Diploma