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Rosie's Rabbit

      In picture books, words and pictures work together to deliver the story. Illustrations often give as much information, if not more, than the text. To me, the whole idea of a poem is that you capture something in words, which will hopefully paint pictures in the mind of the reader - to give too much information infringes on the mental pictures being conjured up by the words. Therefore when it comes to poetry, I find that illustrations have a supporting role only. They can decorate and evoke a mood, showing the setting rather than the details.
      When I began this book I had no idea what style of artwork to use - all I knew was that in my head I envisioned the pages as being coloured; this led me to use paper collages. Working in different mediums draws different aspects out of you as an artist. It’s like asking a pianist who normally plays classical music to start belting out some Boogie Woogie.
Guess Boy      I began this adventure by hunting down a huge range of colours which became my new palette, and then started playing with it - sketching, tracing, tracing, ripping, cutting and sticking. Using paper makes you very aware of shapes because you are physically laying the colour down in shapes rather than gradually applying it from a brush or a pen. In collage lines are not drawn but created by the edges of the pieces of paper. I soon realised that I could create different types of edges by either cutting the paper for sharp edges (as used on the boys hair in this illustration) or ripping it for a soft textured edge (as seen on the shadow under the door).
      As this was a collage book I made a rule that I couldn’t ‘cheat’ by drawing any lines onto the artwork; this proved a challenge when the subject matter required a fine line. For example, check out Miss Chadwick’s handwriting, and the tooth marks on the orange pencil in the illustration below!

My Class