Agathe Morisse – Illustrating Children’s Books

My name is Agathe Morisse and I am currently taking the Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma Course with Maggy Roberts. Here are the first submissions I sent to Maggy over the week-end. I’m waiting for her feedback. Exciting and scary at the same time! Read about how I painted them…

Wet on Wet technique:
It was for me the first time using not only the Wet on Wet technic but also water colour paints. I improvised as I went along trying this new medium. I just followed Maggy’s brief with no idea what to expect in the end. The process of cutting the different shape and putting them together to reveal a peaceful scene of nature was really enjoyable. The reason why I never used water colour when painting is that  I remember as a child using it and the result being just really watery, fade, but that was certainly due to the quality of cheap children’s paint. I will now use it very often and hopefully familiarise with it to get better and better results!

Row Row your Boat illustration:
For this illustration I had to think about it for very long before starting to draw anything. I even was waking up at night with the tune of the rhymes in my head sometimes! I tried to dig into my childhood memories and remember what was really making me dream then. I had a passion and fascination for American Indians this is why I decided to have my main character as a little Indian girl turning into the chief of the tribe on the left page. I remember also often dreaming of flying hence the main character flying on top of the eagle. I’m not sure however that the dreamy feeling is entirely obvious, and I think I should have gone further into that direction.
In terms of materials I used watercolours and inks mainly, as they were two new materials I had never used before, so I thought it was interesting to focus on them. For my draft I applied the ink for the contouring first and then the watercolour, but realised that for the detailed leaves of the trees it wasn’t working really well. So on the final project I applied the watercolour first, but for some reason the black ink wouldn’t work so well when watercolour had been applied first. I ended up using really thin fineliner pen to do the leaves.
Here again the whole process was a great way of experimenting and learning along the way.

These illustrations were a really enjoyable way of starting the course. I’ve always loved drawing, painting and arts in general but never really found the time to get more serious about it. The course is a way for me to know how far I could stretch my abilities being guided by professionals. If I can turn it into a side or full time job then brilliant, if not, I know I will have learnt so much it will also be great on a personal point of view!

Agathe Morisse

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *