Feelings by Richard Jones & Libby Walden (Little Tiger Press)

CqikuMWW8AAYnzDIn this special blog tour post we get the opportunity to find out more about illustrator, Richard Jones

Here, he shares his creative processes and gives us behind the scenes access to his latest picture book ‘Feelings‘.

sketchI begin a project with a few rough drawings in my sketchbook. Sketchbooks are very important to me and I often have one within arms reach. I get through four or five books a year and fill them with all sorts, not just drawings – story ideas, overheard conversations, covert sketches of people’s dogs and train journey doodles.

pigeonBelieve it or not, for the initial sketches, I find it particularly helpful to use the thickest, most blunt, broken pencil I can find about the house!


lionThe looseness of line from a thick pencil lead and its inherent lack of precision just seems to help the ideas flow onto the page more easily than with a finer tip and it’s also impossible to get distracted by the smaller details.

static1.squarespaceOnce I’m happy with how a rough drawing is looking I’ll take a little time tidying it up and adding in the bits and bobs the thick pencil has missed.

The colour and the textures come next when I scan the drawing into Photoshop and experiment with different palettes, tonal ranges and compositions.

IMG_0368I try and paint and scan in new textures for each spread although it seems to help the continuity of a book if they are manipulated slightly and repeated across its pages.

I have an ever growing pile of painted textures now, so it’s rare I can’t find one that fits the bill!

roughsOnce the rough spread has been given the green light by the design team I crack on putting the final piece together.

With all of the files open on the screen in front of me, with Radio Four whispering away in the background and my old dog snoring in her bed, I have found that this is when I am most content at my work.

dogMany thanks to Little Tiger Press and particularly Beth Ferguson for co-ordinating this blog post and to Richard for giving such an insightful overview into his own illustrative processes.


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