I have been kept busy with some more illustrations and page design work for 2 new books. One is ready for printing, so I thought of sharing some visuals from the contents here. It is a book on old Sinhala folk poems typical of my father’s native Sabaragamuwa Province in Sri Lanka. The author of the book is my father who in his youth used to collect and memorize folk poems, initially to take part in poem-reciting contests at school. Having decided to write down what he could recall from memory, he agreed to compile them into a book based on one condition. “I will do it”, he told me, “provided that you do some nice illustrations for some of the poems and stories”.
So, without further ado I decided to get started. Since the poems refer to a by-gone period in time ranging from 65-100 years ago I decided to do most of the illustrations in sepia. I felt that it would add a touch of old-world feel to the illustrations and complement the contents of the book. The poems are divided into 13 categories and each category has an introductory description with an illustration representing the overall contents of that section. This is one such section on poems known as gal kavi recited by bullock cart drivers during their long, lonely journeys:
The illustrations such as the one above were done using ink and tinted charcoal pencil. I used an erasable MG gel ink pen for some of the areas which I thought might require re-working. The Derwent tinted charcoal pencil proved very much up to the task of evoking the rough texture required for most of the rustic scenes in the book. The rest of the pen work was done using my trusty Faber Castell PITT sepia pens. You can view some more samples of the illustrations in Gallery 5 of the Graphite/Pen/Charcoal Illustrations page.
However, apart from the sepia illustrations I also had to do two
double spreads in full colour. Since the book is A5 size, the double spread was done slightly larger than A4 with bleeds. They depict the background story of a poem which my father learned in kindergarten. For some strange reason he loves it, whereas I had a hard time making myself draw the injured leopard although he is the ‘baddie’ in the story! I used watercolours, tinted charcoal and an erasable gel ink pen on cold-pressed rough watercolour paper for this illustration:
The book will contain a total of 190 poems and 16 illustrations, plus one illustration for the cover. Hopefully, it would be ready for sale at Vijitha Yapa Bookshops and Vijitha Yapa On-line Store by August!