Illustration, Story Telling, and Wondering



Watercolour and gouache on paper.

I present the first revealed finished illustration for my Cock Robin series.

Who killed Cock Robin?

Trickster? Fool? Murderer?

Leaves stain red, fungus creeps,

Mist haunts the hedgerow still.

The year falls; a crumpled heap,

To see a cruel hand raised to kill,

And send so fast to final sleep;

Cock Robin...

The warmest heart grows chill.

Who killed Cock Robin?

Greetings once again!

Alas, I have neglected to keep the blog updated throughout the Summer, but a new term of my MA course has begun, and I am moving ahead with my 'Cock Robin' illustrated book. I will endeavour to keep the site alive hence-forth!

For now; here is a round up of some of my sketchbook work over the past months, through which I have been studying the various British bird and creature species featured in the old rhyme, and figuring out designs for the illuminated pages.

(Click on images to see in full)

#CockRobin #folklore #nurseryrhyme #english #robinredbreast #birds #beetles #fish #bull #wildlife

I present the third in my series of seasonal illustrations; 'Sumer Is Icumen In'. (Watercolour, ink, pen and gouache on paper.)

To celebrate the engorging sun, as midsummer approaches; a palimpsest of folkloric and mythological symbolism pertaining to nature, the beasts and birds, the fecundity of the wood and the meadow, the lost gods of Britain, and the sacredness of the growth that surrounds at this time of the year. The sources of image and idea woven into this piece are numerous and I would like to explore them further in a later post.

The original scan was huge, so I have had to reduce it significantly for web, in addition I had to go through a lot of careful adjustment to the colour and light once scanned, in order for it to resemble the original as closely as possible. Unfortunately this has been difficult due to the complex arrangement of the composition, and the loss of depth during scanning, and to appreciate the image I feel it is necessary to view it 'in the flesh'. It was certainly designed to be an artifact, a page from a book, rather than a digital image, so this isn't it's best form. It also seems to vary depending on the computer monitor display through which it is viewed, as it's appearance on my own Mac-book (which was as close as possible to the original) now seems to look incorrect on this PC monitor, being over-saturated and tinted differently, which is worrying. Hopefully it will look alright on most screens, but I'll warn that you may be seeing an image that differs somewhat from what I've intended.

The lyrics used are taken from the iteration of the medieval "Cuckoo Song" as sung in the classic British horror film 'The Wickerman', an element into which I will delve a bit deeper through the aforementioned later analysis.