Illustration Wednesday

This is an illustration I’ve been developing over the last week for a picture book text I’ve written.  I coloured the mum and daughter using watercolour paints, then constructed it digitally in photoshop using collage and some digital shadowing.  I’m really enjoying this technique – it certainly feels like the most natural way for me to communicate visually.  It also means I forever have a pile of strange things on my desk to scan in and use for background texture.  Like right now: I cleaned out my wardrobe on the weekend and have three skirts and one pair of pants that I like the fabric of, and need to scan in before I drop them off to St Vinnies.  Probably the strangest thing I’ve collected for texture so far is toilet paper while I was in Europe – they have really interesting patterns and imprints on theirs.  And just in case you’re wondering, it was CLEAN toilet paper – I’m not that weird.  For this image I used mainly recycled papers, but also easter egg foil and wood.

Anyone else got any strange collecting habits to admit to?  No holding back now.  Come on – it’s liberating.


10 Responses to “Illustration Wednesday”

  1. 1 Lynn Priestley March 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I loooooove your illustrations. You’re a very clever woman!

  2. 2 Kathleen Noud March 4, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I used to collect cicada shells as a kid and stash them in my undies drawer…but your European toilet paper definately tops that.

  3. 3 janebretl March 5, 2009 at 4:49 am

    A quick glance in my pantry revealed an unplanned and uncatalogued collection of expired salad dressing bottles…

    Other than that, it’s books, new and old.

  4. 4 Sheryl Gwyther March 5, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Hey, Kath, I’ve been a fanatical collector for years of all sorts of things. From dead dragonflies to rocks and shells, paper and fabric. You’re welcome anytime to check it out for textural scanning purposes. :)

  5. 5 Katherine Battersby March 5, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Thanks Lynn!

    Kathleen, I think the fact you stored them in your undies drawer adds a new creepy level that could rival my collection.

    Jane, unplanned collections are the worst, especially when expired… I detest cleaning out kitchen cupboards and fridges.

    And Sheryl, I knew you’d be a collector – we do seem to have a fascination for similar things!

  6. 6 Angela Sunde March 5, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    That is the cutest illustration. You inspire me to start playing around with photoshop. How did you get started?
    I brought home a piece of toilet paper from East Berlin once, before the end of communism there. It was dark,thick and really rough and scratchy. I couldn’t believe it, so saved it to show the German classes I taught.

  7. 7 Katherine Battersby March 5, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks Angela! I started out in photoshop just teaching myself, but was lucky enough to have a few subjects at uni that went into it in more detail. It’s so complex – there’s no way I would have been able to learn in all on my own. But such a great tool once you know how to use it.

    And glad that I can now say I’m not the only one who’s brought toilet paper back from overseas…

  8. 8 duckofalltrades March 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm


    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with strange collections like this! Just the other day I had a pair of pajama pants rip. My wife tried to throw them away as I pleaded frantically that I needed to save them to scan in for texture. My closet is teeming with “need to scan” objects. Some textures and patterns you just can’t replicate.

  9. 9 Katherine Battersby March 14, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Duck – my own ‘need to scan’ pile is growing by the day. I really need to get in and do it or it could take over the house…

  10. 10 Madeline Stephenson March 25, 2009 at 6:03 am

    I seem to collect recipes. I love cooking but very much dislike the time it takes to do so (and the cleaning up). So I frequently search the internet and blogs and print out interesting recipes that I want to try. I have a large pile of these underneath my actual recipe box that keeps growing. Every month or so I try a new one. My favorite blog for recipes is 101 Cookbooks. Lots of good recipes and new cookbooks to try not to buy!

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About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

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