Colour sampling is key to my process. It defines the style and also the potential of further design development. Knowing the technical aspects of a project helps me to make decisions on how an image might be created. The road is indeed long on this book, on both legwork and art direction. So it was important that I could visualise a final outcome. These experimental coloured pieces focussed upon line quality and methods of colouration. I like to work with various line qualities, ranging from a pencil sketchy to a tighter inked look.  This book needed to retain a strong look. Reason being that there were going to be lots of details which required reduced scaling. So an inked line was adopted. The sketches are printed initially in blue or red then a brush pen is used to create the outlines. Once scanned at 600dpi (this increases the information needed for scaling down) then the balance of flat colour and textural elements can be played with.


The doctor has a hand painted texture behind him. I created this with ink and water. The effect got me thinking about the possibility of illustrating an underlying narrative as part of the background.  Lautrec’s life and lifestyle could be woven into the images in a hand painted style


This then progressed onto some more experimental pieces. Using an illustration of Henri himself, I took some of my old bird paintings and used these to fuse a look that I think has real potential in conveying the mood I’m looking for in this book. These samples proved to be instrumental and inspired a motive to carry the project through.


The Strongman was the first piece I tried. This was experimenting with using textures throughout.  Flat colour is what makes it stronger. A lesson that needs to fully sink in! 

In the Next Post , I’ll be showing the scale of work needed to pull the book into a first dummy.