Whimsy and Woe!

August 21 2017 saw the release of my latest illustrated book ‘Whimsy and Woe’ , written by Rebecca McRitchie and published by Harper Collins Australia. This book took quite a while in the making, so I’m happy to see it out and about in beautiful hardcover presentation.

Funnily enough, though, it was the decision to go hard cover that actually hastened my deadline. I thought I would have a couple of months to complete the 50+ illustrations; in the end I had about 4 weeks! Luckily I had most of the rough sketches sorted by that stage, so the process of completing the pen + ink drawings turned into a bit of a production line.

(Before + after: L: digital rough sketch  / R: finished art / pen and ink)

Some notes: All of the internal  illustrations are pen and ink on paper, scanned digitally; in some cases the images were edited digitally after completion. Interestingly, my rough sketches were primarily done on an iPad Pro, using Procreate.I decided to go with pen and ink for the finished art  to reflect the ambiguous ‘Victoriana’ era of the text. Hopefully after the next book I will have enough images for an exhibition as well.


The ‘Victoriana’ theme is also reflected in the layout of full page images with borders, referencing old chapbooks / illustrated novellas of the era. An interesting throw back in these digital times 🙂

All in all, given that the story doesn’t sit in a defined moment in history, some modern embellishments (e.g.. car / style of dress) are used, but generally is meant to be around the turn of the century before last (1895-1910).

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