The Child of Dreams

The Child of Dreams

 
 
The Child of Dreams  is a tender story that floats along on a current of gentle thoughts and sparkles with pin-pricks of emotion. Irena has written something truly remarkable and I’m so happy and so proud to be part of the project.

The Child of Dreams is a tender story that floats along on a current of gentle thoughts and sparkles with pin-pricks of emotion. Irena has written something truly remarkable and I’m so happy and so proud to be part of the project.

The tale celebrates the love between a parent and child and explores the need and belonging they feel for each other. There is no mention of when the story takes place or where it might be staged and I decided early on in my sketchbook wanderings, that the little girl should possess a similar timeless quality. I drew out many outfits and researched hairstyles that would be at home in different countries and times. The colour palette stayed pretty consistent from the start and I already new from Irena’s beautifully written manuscript that the girl had “…bluebell eyes and hair that shone like chestnuts.”

The tale celebrates the love between a parent and child and explores the need and belonging they feel for each other. There is no mention of when the story takes place or where it might be staged and I decided early on in my sketchbook wanderings, that the little girl should possess a similar timeless quality. I drew out many outfits and researched hairstyles that would be at home in different countries and times. The colour palette stayed pretty consistent from the start and I already new from Irena’s beautifully written manuscript that the girl had “…bluebell eyes and hair that shone like chestnuts.”

I forget now where on the web I spotted this boot. I think it may have been found preserved in the mud of the Thames foreshore. It was the final piece in the clothing puzzle and I used it as inspiration for the girl’s own little boots!

I forget now where on the web I spotted this boot. I think it may have been found preserved in the mud of the Thames foreshore. It was the final piece in the clothing puzzle and I used it as inspiration for the girl’s own little boots!

The stork came next. For most of the planning stage he was more of a comic figure (left) and less realistic than he appears in the final paintings. The image on the right is the first sample I shared with the team at Walker. By this point he’d smartened himself up a bit!

The stork came next. For most of the planning stage he was more of a comic figure (left) and less realistic than he appears in the final paintings. The image on the right is the first sample I shared with the team at Walker. By this point he’d smartened himself up a bit!

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The evolution of p 47. The image on the far left is a scan of the first scribbled sketchbook idea for the page. The next is a horribly digitised and photoshopped version used to finalise the layout and to make sure the type had room to breath. The third image is the first painted version. I couldn’t put my finger on why it wasn’t working alongside the other spreads. After a few experiments, I came to the conclusion that it was simply too dark in relation to the pages around it. Perhaps also the path to her house seemed a little sinister, when really it should radiate a sense of comfort and homely certainty. A repaint and a photoshop touch-up later, and our hero is returning to a gentler, more welcoming home.

The evolution of p 47. The image on the far left is a scan of the first scribbled sketchbook idea for the page. The next is a horribly digitised and photoshopped version used to finalise the layout and to make sure the type had room to breath. The third image is the first painted version. I couldn’t put my finger on why it wasn’t working alongside the other spreads. After a few experiments, I came to the conclusion that it was simply too dark in relation to the pages around it. Perhaps also the path to her house seemed a little sinister, when really it should radiate a sense of comfort and homely certainty. A repaint and a photoshop touch-up later, and our hero is returning to a gentler, more welcoming home.

Finally, I think this is my favourite spread from our story. I like the soft curve of the branches around the type and the contrasting colours of the trees. As is usual for a project of this nature, there were several versions along the way, however, they mostly stayed true to the initial concept sketch. The image at the top is my first pencil outline for the page with the final painted art below.

Finally, I think this is my favourite spread from our story. I like the soft curve of the branches around the type and the contrasting colours of the trees. As is usual for a project of this nature, there were several versions along the way, however, they mostly stayed true to the initial concept sketch. The image at the top is my first pencil outline for the page with the final painted art below.

And that’s about it for this little blog. Enormous thanks to Louise, Denise and the wonderful team at Walker Books. Love and thanks to my agents Arabella and Freddie for doing the difficult and complicated bits so I don’t have to.

And thank you Irena, for writing such a beautiful story.

 The Child of Dreams is available now!  You can order it from places like Amazon.