With the preparatory studies finished and making clear the way forward, work on the cover of Marly Youmans’ Glimmerglass is well underway. I won’t be able to show the finished design until the book is published, and so until then what I hope may be tantalising fragments must suffice.

While black and white is often my default position in graphic design and illustration matters, Marly’s novel shimmers with rich colour that I wanted to reflect in the imagery I’m wrapping it with. (The page vignettes, will be in black and white.) For colour inspiration I’ve been using the prism that stands in the window of the sitting-room, throwing rainbow light onto the walls on bright summer days. With this project it’s good to be drenched in colour again after the long monochrome of The Mare’s Tale.

You can see some of the studies of the beasts of Glimmerglass HERE and HERE.

5 thoughts on “Glimmerglass

  1. A tantalising eyeful of stupendous colour…..a real teaser for the finished thing! I use those pencils too….fab, aren’t they? Although I do wonder if I’m poisoning myself when I am too impatient to use a wet brush and lick them instead to get the effect! Your lettering looks superb with colours nudging the black. When will the book be published?

        • The Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils are glorious. But Shellie, promise me you’ll stop putting them in your mouth. That’s really not a good idea. The pigments used by manufacturers today, while a lot less poisonous than many once common ingredients in artists’ colours, are not intended for ingesting. Keep a moistened sponge to hand, and work your pencils without unpleasant side-effects. You know it makes sense!

          I had a correspondence with Mark Golden last year, when the company changed the recipe of a colour, Cobalt Teal, which I’d always relied upon as a mixer. Alongside the Golden colours Quinacridone Gold and Napthamide Maroon, Cobalt Teal contained pigments deemed so toxic that the manufacturers who milled and supplied to the factory were discontinuing production in the interests of worker-safety. (And there’s no arguing with that.) The Golden laboratories created new products to ‘mimic’ the earlier, discontinued ones, but I couldn’t make the re-invented Cobalt Teal work for me, and so Mark Golden sourced a largish quantity of the old colour, so that I had a good stack in reserve. (Golden are extremely good at customer care.)

          I’ve been looking at my horde of ‘old’ Golden paints, and quite a few have ‘poison’ warnings on their labels, which must have meant that the many people involved in the manufacturing process were at risk. Artists’ colours by their very nature come from myriad sources, and the chemistry involved is complex. The colours can be wonderful to look at, but because these days I have more knowledge of what goes into them, I’ve long since discontinued ‘pointing’ sable whip-brushes by twirling them in my mouth, or moistening pencils with spit. You must start exercising similar caution.

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