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Friday, 14 October 2016

Northern Lights

I've been re-reading Northern Lights by Philip Pullman recently.  I first read the His Dark Materials trilogy when I worked in a teeny tiny workshop as a model tree maker.  Yes, I made model trees.  We worked in the middle of the Welsh countryside down a windy narrow track that delivery men could not find, and lunchtimes were spent reading and eating packed lunches.   There was no phone signal and nowhere for us to go so we dove into our books and visited lands far and wide, real and imaginary.  It was a pretty perfect way to spend lunch.  I was lucky enough to have the set that was beautifully illustrated by John Lawrence.  As far as I'm concerned he's untouchable and that is the version I always think of, but I've been having a bit of a go on my own, just as a sort of personal project, to see how I would do it.  It's very experimental so far, there's so much atmosphere to capture, but here's how it's going... 

I initially had something much darker in mind, concentrating on the lights, but there's something so appealing about the cleanliness of snow.  One of the beauties of working digitally is that you can chop, change and generate new ideas quickly as you work.

Original sketches

The original cover idea

The drawings for the cover.

Some drawings of our heroine Lyra

Playing with watercolour brushes this time.

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