9/28/2014

Tudor Houses


Illustration for "Can it be true?"
written by Susan Hill for Long Barn Books.

I thought you might be interested to see some of the thought processes and inspiration behind my recent illustration project for "Can it be true?” for Long Barn Books.

It was decided from the beginning that this book would have either black and white illustrations or restricted colour, we wanted to give a more simplified “printmaker” feel to this new edition in contrast to the very detailed water colours used previously.



When I had to think of an image to use to illustrate the towns page I immediately thought of Tudor style houses. This very decorative style of building lends itself to black pen and ink drawing and so was a natural choice. There are very many wonderful examples around our home and county town of Chester. Some date from as far back as Henry VII.





The illustration started as a black and white pen drawing, which I scanned into the computer. I then added colour and a lino print texture on Photoshop. The original idea was to have gold on some of the pages but to do this would have added considerably to the costs. We decided to add a gold effect instead, this was also done on Photoshop by scanning a piece of gold leaf and then “pasting” the effect in the windows and onto the stars. (see top)

The illustration suggested a repeat pattern so when the book was finished I turned the page into a textile design. To see how this would look on fabric I decided to try out the Spoonflower site. This is a place where you can upload your own designs and have them printed for your own use or for sale in an online shop.



The problem for me was choosing the right fabric, in the end I opted for Kona cotton, thinking it might be nice to quilt. The obligatory sample arrived in due course and when I saw it my mind turned back to books again. I thought it might be good to try out the fabric as a book cloth;- here is my very old and tatty address book sporting its new cover. It seemed an appropriate choice.

If you feel so inclined you can try out the fabric yourself, you will find it here-

10 comments:

  1. Valerie, I love your Tudor Houses, and the photographs in this post also reminded me of some scenes i saw in Shropshire last year.

    The book and the fabric both look fabulous!

    Please be on the lookout for an email from me.

    xo

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  2. What a novel idea! It's okay to groan at me. :) I like your tudor houses. They're more affordable. Your cover is lovely. I hear something about Spoonflower quite often. I must visit them again.

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  3. Love the Tudor Houses, I would never have imagined how much thought, detail and work goes into creating an illustration.

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  4. A fabulous transition from illustration to surface design ... I really like both :)

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  5. It was interesting to follow your thought process. It all turned out beautifully. Love the old Tudor buildings.

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  6. Love hearing about your processes, and the fabric is fab. Can't resist a B&W house :)- we've still a few nice ones round here, but I remember greatly admiring the ones in Chester when we had a mini break some years ago. Really must go back!

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  7. Most interestingly done!
    and what a wonderful use of fabric in the address book cover.
    Lovely illustration too.

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  8. Since your last post, I've visited Spoonflower and ordered a few samples, I am so impressed with the quality of the reproduction. I saw your Tudor Houses on their website and went to your fabric/paper page, looks so good. Interesting how you used Photoshop for the gilding.
    I may email you with a few questions... Jeri

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