|Cosmic Chef, acryic and oil 20 x 30cm|
One of many covers I created as a younger illustrator for a series of chapter books aimed at reluctant readers. Much educational illustration serves this important role, trying to get a disinterested student actually interested. For a while such work was an important source of income for me (especially in lieu of decent picture book royalties), and while it was still not a lot in those days, I enjoyed visualising these funny and action-packed tales by different writers, combining cartooning with painterly effects. It's worth noting that digital editing was not available at the time, so these were all straight oil paintings, using little watercolour brushes on acrylic-primed paper. I often wonder if I'm a better illustrator now due to a lack of digital convenience, particularly in learning to use glazes to make the subtle colour, hue and saturation adjustments. These always seem better when done by hand, the old fashioned way.