May saw the launch of the last story in Holly Webb‘s wonderful mystery series Maisie Hitchins. This book is called The Case of the Weeping Mermaid and its action centres around dark and mysterious London docks which were the perfect setting for a front cover. I took photos as I was painting the cover so that I would later remember the different stages and here they all are below from the sketchiest beginnings to the final scan. I always find it challenging painting covers, they seem to go through a lot of different stages and look fairly awful for most of the time until suddenly at the end it all comes together – always a bit of a relief!
I have been away from my studio recently and travelling light with just my tiny water colour set to keep me company. I had forgotten how lovely water colour is and how different it is to acrylic ink, which is what I use most of the time for illustrations. I love both mediums in different ways; FW inks are incredibly vivid and very versatile, but water colour has a beautiful quality to it. The colours are subtle and each one seems to settle on the page in a slightly different way. I am by no means an expert but I do like to play – here are some patterns I’ve been working on, the first three were painted with water colour and the ones beneath that are FW ink.