Illustrating a Fairy Tale

Because I don’t very often draw bears, when my friend, Dom Conlon, wrote a fairy story about a bear I said I’d do an illustration to go with it. You can read the story here.

This is the picture I drew.

bearsnow

After I had drawn it, I thought it would be better if the wood was a lot darker, so I had a second attempt.

bearsnow2

I like this one better and so did Dom, so it’s the one he’s used. It made me think a lot about how illustrations help create the atmosphere in a story and I thought I’d try drawing the same scene in different media.

The next one was drawn with my Rotring pen and then a few washes of ink added.

bearshadedsnow

I’m quite pleased with this, although the trees need a little more depth.

The next version is in acrylic. I like the softer look to the bear and there is about 2 square inches on on the trees that sort of works.. I think if I were going to finish it I would end up reworking the entire thing. It’s headed for the bin.

acrylicbear

And finally…. this version is pencil and washes of ink. It’s a watercolour technique really, but you can do it with any paint that you can thin down.  I like the softer look of this.  I’m quite pleased as this is a method I’ve hardly ever used before.  I think I’ll be experimenting with it again soon.

watercolourbear

I hope you’ve all read the story. 🙂

I’d be interested to know which version of the illustration people prefer, so please comment below if you want or tell me on Twitter

Thank you.

3 thoughts on “Illustrating a Fairy Tale

  1. They all look great! Something about the colour on the trees reminds me of Mabel Lucie Atwell. I very much like the Rotring pen one too.

  2. Jools,
    I like them all, but I like the nighttime ones the best because of the contrast between dark and light. My favourite illustration is the first nighttime one with the brown bear. The second nighttime illustration with the lighter bear is nice too. I also like the soft look of the last illustration.
    Tammy 🙂

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