Beyond the Cover

Having come up with the character, I messed around with some illustration ideas and began giving a lot of thought to making images for different important parts of the story, but one weekend I decided to, first of all, do some observational work around the pier where fishermen tend to be, and also look at other book covers out there, and discover some illustrators.


The trip to the pier wasn’t as I’d hoped in that, perhaps because of the time of day, there was only one fisherman at work, and he left ten minutes into my session. Still, my friend, Sarah, and I stayed and drew things around us. For me, that mostly meant the sea. I’ve been trying to get the hang of drawing it, and I definitely noticed a few things about it’s patterns of moving, the way light shines, and how it looks hitting a shore, which I’m going to be trying to apply to my drawings, instead of relying on assumption.
I also got some reference photos.



After withstanding the wind and the cold long enough to deserve a stiff drink, Sarah and I trundled over to Waterstones to indulge in the world of paper. Here I was mostly looking for book covers that related to the sea somehow, but also cover illustrations that drew me to a book. There were a number of titles that fitted these descriptions;

I took a picture of the illustrators where I could, but it wasn’t always possible. And, unfortunately, as you can see from most of the images above, there are a number which I didn’t manage to take a picture of the illustrators, and I’ve found now that looking up the illustrator of a book is incredibly difficult. Near impossible for some of the titles.

Discovered titles;


Coralie Bickford-Smith
The Fox and the Star  

Coralie Bickford-Smith is currently an in-house illustrator at Penguin Books, though she has just written and illustrated her first book (to the left). Her designs are very beautiful, ornate, and feel rather ‘limited edition’, which doesn’t quite suit my brief, but all the same. They are beautifully thought out.


Oliver Jeffers
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

I’m going to have to discuss Oliver Jeffers in more detail at a later point (as, having discovered him, I’ve fallen in love with all of his work). Still, having found a copy of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, I found ridiculously beautiful illustrations by Jeffers; a multi-disciplinary artist. His take on the book is beautifully simple and his use of negative space and (what I believe is) charcoal brings something delicate to the work.


‘The Gracekeepers’, Kirsty Logan, illustrated by Jonathan Bartlett

Jonathan Bartlett
The Gracekeepers

Jonathan BartlettJonathan Bartlett‘s work has a fantastic painterly, ethereal quality to it that brings a certain lightness and otherwordlyness to his image. It works for a title as intriguing as ‘The Gracekeepers’ (- and having read the blurb of the book I am even more curious. A book I’d definitely love to read).







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