Illustration Friday: Repair


After the sketchcrawl and the moleskine exchange, a quick and simple scratchboard illustration this week!

Sophy Hatter, putting Howl’s blue-and-silver suit back together again, after she cut it into little triangles to make a patchwork skirt, after it was stained but before it grew out of control. I was tracking down extracts of the book online (I’ve no idea who has my copy) and I’d forgotten how that suit is all through the book, right from Howl’s first appearance. And I remembered how much I liked it and how much I need to Read It Again Right Now (the movie is wonderful, but only really bears a resemblance to the plot of the book for the first half hour).

Seen in person, this is a very small illustration: 5.5cmx5.5cm (just over two inches square). The colour version (below) is about life-size, but you can see that larger on Flickr if you click on it.

I’m not sure about the black circle background yet. It is an effect I generally like (especially in chapter headers) but am still experimenting with. I think it might work better with an ink drawing or with at least a cleaner background. I’d like to do a more frenetic version of this picture as well – this is rather calm.

Repair (colour)

10 thoughts on “Illustration Friday: Repair

  1. I like this very much indeed. The balance is beautifully achieved, and to me at least the black circle is right, because its initial impression on me is of the reverse of those ‘silhouetted against the moon’ pictures, which somehow fits Sophy’s position perfectly.

    Yay1, in fact.

  2. I like the black circle too! It echoes the curve of the skirt nicely, & sets off the white thread.

    You startled me by commenting on mine because I hadn’t posted the thumbnail yet– in fact, I’d quite forgotten about it, wrapped up in other things– so thanks for the reminder!

  3. Thankyou Minnow! I am glad it works – sometimes it’s hard to judge something I’ve done myself without some distance.

    Curious Art – I’m faster than a speeding bullet :) And thankyou!

  4. I like this. Circular fits because of the circular lines of skirt and blue fabric. Frenetic would work too, because wasn’t she furious with Howl for most of her sewing?

    There’s a lot of DWJ I’d like to reread. I nearly got sucked into Spellcoats the other night, but rescued myself by saying firmly that floods may rise, but so would the sun if I tried to read it all that night. :)

  5. The image is imbued with a sense of magical activity but I could not put my finger on what gave it the quality until I read in Minnow’s comment that the silhouette of the moon is inverse.

    It so looks like a print from a woodcut, but you did not mention it so I am not certain. Also, I loved HMC(Ghibli) and have really enjoyed DWJ, glad to find out the connection.

  6. Thankyou all for your kind comments!

    Tim – it is scratchboard/scraperboard which can give an effect very similar to woodcut, linocut or pen&ink, depending on how fine you work.

    Aimee, I quite like the circle, but although I like the black and white too Danyell, I agree with crisitunity that it is a bit overpowering. I am going to keep experimenting, but I think a bit more bold blackness elsewhere in the picture could have balanced it out.

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