Sketches and notes: their purpose

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I was going back through photos and found this unused sketch from Kij Johnson’s The River Bank.

This stage of a project is very charming — the snapshots of moments, the hint of movement (or, as here, stillness) and expression. They are usually just notes for myself, but a lot of the work involved in finishing a more formal final illustration is about trying to capture that lightness. (Although when I’m making sketches that will be the final illustrations, there’s a lot of unseen work involved in trying to teach my hand the shapes of what I’ll be drawing).

 

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Sketches in progress for Angela Slatter’s The Tallow-Wife

 

Something I’m gradually learning with writing is to treat the early stages in a similar way: quick notes on an aesthetic, lists of “lush language” (per Kim Wilkins), just sketching the best bits (including sketching with words) so that the heart and movement is there.

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And if you are looking for a pleasant, gentle, sunlit story, with nothing more nefarious than foxes and stoats, written with a deft touch and a loving eye, I highly recommend The River Bank.

1 thought on “Sketches and notes: their purpose

  1. Pingback: April post round-up | Kathleen Jennings

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