Illustration Wednesday

Many prefer illustrating in full colour.  And yet there’s something striking about the stripped back palette of black and white art. With their carefully balanced tonal qualities and the bold use of contrast, they hold an appeal which possibly has something to do with evoking memories of the past (like an old photograph).

That said, it’s a very different skill to working in colour, but it’s something I really enjoy. Working in black and white forces you to spend longer in the designing phase, focussing on contrast and laying out the elements. Although I always design an image by hand, I often construct it digitally, using Photoshop curves and channel mixers to adjust the tones of each component. I also use texture as an extra element – as a way of adding contrast – which, combined with positive and negative space, gives me a little more flexibility.

Below are some images I finished today. My goal was to illustrate three scenes that evoked entirely different moods.




7 Responses to “Illustration Wednesday”

  1. 1 Lynn Priestley June 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm


    These are sensational illustrations. Just beautiful. You are one clever bunny!

  2. 2 Scrib June 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Lovely, just lovely – cute little Katherine waiting for little Andrew at the bus stop!

  3. 3 Katherine Battersby June 4, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Thanks Lynn! I’ll happily take a comparison to a bunny any day – one of the greatest compliments you can pay me :)

    And Syb, how funny! Neither Andrew or I picked up the likeness, but you are embarrassingly astute. Although I think I’ve made our likenesses cuter that the real deal. Did you notice they’re wearing WAS uniforms?

  4. 4 Scrib June 5, 2009 at 10:03 am

    I was going to comment on the uniforms as well, but then I would have had to go into the technicalities of it all, that even though he wasn’t there, and would have been wearing a different uniform etc etc… so it was just the likeness (my brain is only working at very simple levels these days)

    And well done on getting an agent – that is amazing news! I am so proud of you – I have run around the office telling everyone (not that they know you, but who cares!)

  5. 5 Katherine Battersby June 7, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Thanks, Sybil! You’re so cute. I love the image of you running around your office, especially because I was home alone when I got the news and couldn’t tell anyone face to face!

  6. 6 Bryan June 20, 2009 at 4:21 am

    These illustrations are amazing! You are so talented. Congrats on getting the agent.

  7. 7 Katherine Battersby June 20, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Thanks for your lovely words, Bryan. It’s all been a bit of a wonderful roller-coaster!

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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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