Unedited drawings: Part 1

I love to draw on a variety or interesting papers so my drawings are often not on a crisp white or untextured background. Because of this, I edit the majority of my drawings to give them a cleaner background which changes the drawing itself ever so slightly even though I always try to make the final digital version as close to the physical drawing as possible.

You can use the best scanner in the world and have your illustrations printed at the best printers but nothing’s quite the same as the original drawing. Therefore, I thought that it would be nice to share some of my drawings totally unedited, how they are straight from the scanner (with a few tea stains and smudge marks).

These particular drawings were used for the first children’s book I worked on during my children’s book MA ‘A Natural Order’. The book showed 50 various animals in size order and to scale.

British Mushrooms

For this illustration, I wanted to create something specifically with the purpose of being a print. Usually the prints in my shop are drawings which I have worked on for another purpose and then later thought that somebody may want to have the drawing as a print.

Autumn is possibly my favourite time of the year so I was feeling inspired to create a print that represented autumn in Britain and that’s when I got the idea to draw mushrooms. I drew common species which can be found in the UK and across the northern hemisphere such as the Fly Agaric mushroom and the Field mushroom. I drew these over the course of a few weeks from real life studies of mushrooms which my brother was kind enough to pick for me and various photos which I had scoped the internet for.

Once I had finished the illustration I was really happy with the end result and I had spent so much time on it that I wanted the quality of the end product to show the illustration at its best. Because of this, I decided to  make the print limited edition with only ten of them being printed which allowed me to print them at the highest possible quality and on the highest quality of paper.

If you are interested in buying one of these prints you can find them in my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LaurenFitton?ref=l2-shopheader-name


My Finished Books

I am quickly coming the end of my children’s book illustration MA so in preparation for the final show (10th October) I sent both of the books which i have been working on over the past two years off to be printed. I now have a hardback copy of each of my books and I’m so happy with them. Seeing a book which you have but so much love and time into as a physical book makes all of the hard work worth it.

I have had a few queries about whether I will be selling hard copies of my books and unfortunately I can’t afford to buy hundreds of copies of them which is what i would need to do in order to sell them at a reasonable price. I will certainly look into buying paperback copies of the book which may have to be saddle stitched in order to lower the cost. If I ever do have my books in my shop I will let you know as soon as they are for sale.

Every Whale

For the past year, I have been working on this book and earlier this week I finally finished it. My drawing style has changed a lot since my first picture book back in 2016 and while I am so much happier with the final product, it has made the process of making a 32 page book a lot longer!

The book tells the story of all humpback whales during their first year as they learn from their mothers how to survive on their own. I first got the idea for this book while researching whales for my previous picture book which looked at 50 various animals from the smallest to the largest when my fascination with whales began to grow. In particular, humpback whales interested me. Learning about their close familial bond, group hunting staratagies and their annual migration which is the longest migratory journey in the animal kingdom made me have to tell their story in a picture book format.

The colour palete for this book took a lot of playing around with to get to a point where I was happy with it. As my drawings are all in graphite pencil, I found that brighter colours didn’t compliment the drawings and actually overpowered them a lot of the time. I experimented with colour behind the pencil drawings as well as for the water and that felt too digital. In the end, I decided to keep the pencil drawings as they were and only use the colour for the ocean and even then, I was keeping the colour fairly unsaturated to compliment my drawings and layering various textures over the top. I also found that this colour palette worked perfectly with the subject matter as it made the book feel quiet and calm.. if that makes sense? 

Manchester Bee Print

As I am a Manchester based illustrator I felt that I was obliged to draw a worker bee – the symbol of Manchester since the industrial revolution. Over the past year, the bee is probably my most requested drawing and I love drawing the detail in small insects.

I am currently getting a number of print samples from various printers to find a decent printers that wont break the bank and when I do, these along with a number of other new prints will be added to my easy shop. I decided to have a black and white illustration as well as the coloured illustration in my shop because I think it look equally as good and the yellow may not match everyone’s walls.

I’m really happy with how these have turned out and I would love your feedback as well as any suggestions for future prints.