Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Allan Ahlberg

So I have finally decided which children's poem to base my illustrations around, i'm not sure if everyone has heard it but here it is:

Bedtime by Allan Ahlberg.

When I go upstairs to bed,
I usually give a loud cough.
This is to scare The Monster off.

When I come to my room,
I usually slam the door right back.
This is to squash The Man in Black
Who sometimes hides there.

Nor do I walk to the bed,
But usually run and jump instead.
This is to stop the hand -
Which is there all night -
From grabbing my ankles.

I chose this poem for a number of reasons.
It is short and concise, has no specific descriptions so the reader can interpret their own characters, it has suspense running through the whole poem and it also plays on the childhood fear of monsters and ghouls lurking in the bedroom at night.

This works quite well with what I want to portray in my illustrations, a dark and grim nightmare atmosphere made possible by digital manipulation.

I have had a few different approaches floating around in my head recently but none that were really worthwhile putting down on paper, however these past few evenings have been a great flurry of inspiration and creativity.
Working in a bookshop is a fantastic help when looking for different styles of illustration for children's books, it was while I was browsing the kids books (and doing work I may add) that a realisation came to me, kids books don't need to be overly complicated and detailed, the books and pictures that work the best are colourful, bold and simple.

Now, my illustrations don't exactly follow all these rules, to get the right effect for the poem I have to be careful with what colours to use, the whole poem is set at night time so it has to be dark and gloomy and strike a sense of fear into the viewer.

So far I have used black inks and water to get the outline for my pictures, my next step is to scan the into photoshop and but some backgrounds and subtle light into them. I have photographed some different images to use as textures and with the help of my lecturers hope to get a nice effect.

Here are my initial drawings:

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