Preliminary drawings

Here are some preliminary drawings from Anthony's current project, 'Our Girl'. Having shown other examples of Anthony's drawing process on this page, we asked Anthony to describe it more fully for us;

'The words and pictures generally come together. At first I have an idea in my head which is a bit like remembering a dream. I then draw out a series of twenty-four rectangles (representing the twelve double-page spreads which form the main part of a typical picture book), and fill them with very rough drawings and scrawls of text. In my mind there is a kind of animation to the idea, and I view my storyboard almost exactly as a filmmaker would. Rather than the fixed pictures they will eventually become, I view the boxes as frames or scenes from the story, with a clear sense of progression through time. “Playing out” the book in this way ensures that the visual and the textual come to me at the same time.

Having made a storyboard, I like to cut-out the individual “frames” and stick them into a small book. The dummy is the first incarnation of the idea that I show to my editor. With the dummy as a reference, we discuss the general qualities of the prospective book and suggestions are offered as to how I could improve the text, the layout and the general rhythm.

I go back to my studio and set to work on the final pictures. I start by making slightly more detailed preliminary drawings on thin layout paper, the proportions of which correspond with the final book. As they are drawings, I can afford to make mistakes at this point, and I alter as many details as I need to until I am satisfied with the image. One thing that is notable about the drawings at this stage is the absence of many details. This maintains my creative interest throughout the production of the final artwork. I then transfer the drawings onto watercolour paper, using a very sharp, hard pencil to trace the image onto the new surface.'