I had to do a lightning fast job for the School Magazine - in between all the book work I have on, I literally had half a day to come up with three illustrations for a lovely story about a little West African girl who finds and falls in love with a scrap of fabric, and then finds a way to get herself a robe made of the precious cloth. I ended up trying a new technique, because I needed to be quick but also wanted the illustrations to feel rich and not rushed. So I did underdrawings with charcoal, then sprayed them with fixative, glued on orange tissue paper for the cloth, scanned the charcoal/collage mess and tinted it in Corel Painter, using a transparent gel layer so all the charcoal texture shows through. The borders were made in Illustrator, based on West African Adinkra symbols, which are used traditionally. I chose symbols that represented resourcefulness, cooperation, community, intelligence, ingenuity and independence to fit the themes of the story. And Phew! Job done and sent.... and I quite like the effect. It fits the feel of the story, anyway.

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