Every Year the House of Illustration and Folio Society hold a competition to illustrate a Folio Society book. Our brief was to illustrate this year’s stories which were; The Treasure of Abbot Thomas by MR James,The Upper Berth by F Marion Crawford, and A Tale of an Empty House by EF Benson.
In our briefing we were told to consider the relationship between image and text.
Talked about the importance of thinking about the relationship between image and text. We were encouraged to not draw the monsters of the stories.
In my illustrations I wanted to focus on the atmosphere and environment of the stories rather than specific events.
I experimented a lot with gouache paints and creating unsettling colour combinations but then started experimenting with quink and bleach which I thought worked a lot better for the stories. Black quink is a really interesting material to paint with because it has layers of blue and brown which I thought would be perfect for the cold, murky atmosphere of The Upper Berth. I also used bleach on the quink to give a glowing look. I wanted my illustrations to be consistent throughout the 3 stories so tried painting all 3 in quink. I used some brow coloured pencil to create some swirling lines on the Upper Berth to create textures similar to rust on a boat.
In this project I tried painting very loosely with quink to create ambiguous shapes from where the ink has bled. I then worked into this texture with imagery that was more controlled. I think this worked well for me and will be trying this again. Although this material worked well the colours could be a limitation if I am using it in a different context I could try this with gouache, ink or even combine acrylic ink with quink to alter the colour but keep the textures.