Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Happy Halloween Witch's cat!

'My Mom is a Witch and I am her special Witch's Cat. She is a good witch and together we are just right.'

My little witch's cat (who I have always called Tabitha) returns for a second story where she has to decide whats she wants to wear for Halloween. Should she be a white ghost? Or a green frog? Or a pink ballerina? Or...?

Again, I created all the pictures by making 3d dollhouse size sets and then photographing them.

Here are a few of my favourite scenes from the book:

I do really love the kitchen scene because I like how I managed to get the light coming in through the window and on to the table. That took me hundreds of shots to get right! I also really enjoyed making all the tiny cookies and the bar of chocolate.

The cookies are all made from cardboard and painted and the rolling pin is made from rolled up paper!

My other favourite scene is the one I have used as my blog header where Mom and Witch's Cat are going shopping.  In the book it says 'COSTUME SHOP' on the blue banner bit but I don't have that version on my computer as the publisher put the writing on. 

I really loved trying out different lighting for this image. I am a fan of dramatic lighting so I enjoyed trying out a quick snapshot where it was darker and it looks like Mom and Witch's Cat are going late night shopping. I think it looks cosy when the shop is all lit up like that. However, I know the lighter, brighter one works much better for the book. I was just experimenting for fun.

Another scene I enjoyed making was the one with the ballet tutus in it. I loved making all the tiny little tulle skirts and all the glittery crowns. I remember my string of multicoloured miniature fairy lights broke during making this scene. I was being too rough with them, pulling them on and off the blu tack too hard. I had to rush to the nearest miniatures shop (40 mins away) to buy more!

This one was just a quick snapshot taken on my smaller camera. You can see the whole set. I had it mirrored on one side as I thought that would be fitting for a costume shop but that part never made it into the shot in the end.

Here are Mom and Witch's Cat entering the costume shop. I think this was the first set I made of the whole book.

And here is Witch's cat looking at the vampire section. Should she be a vampire?... or is a vampire too toothy maybe?

What about the tutu? (I don't know why she looks so unimpressed here. I would have LOVED a tutu like this as a child!)

What about a skeleton?

Here's a view of the whole skeleton set. I actually made it quite a lot bigger that it ended up needing to be. I was originally going to have lots of things in the box that the skeleton is on top of but ended up zooming in on the image more.

All the little boxes in the background I constructed out of card and hung up on wire hooks. It took a long time!

And here's just a work in progress shot of Witch's Cat eating her boiled egg for tea.

I have to say I absolutely loved illustrating this book. I had about six weeks to do it and I remember that it was intense. I actually enjoy intense bursts of work though, I think I work quite well under pressure. It was the middle of summer and some days were quite hot and I just remember sitting in my studio/bedroom at the time, just working solidly every single day. I had breaks for bike rides and eating but that was it. I don't think I even really socialized during that time. It felt so good to finish the whole thing at the end of those six weeks and especially because we went to Cornwall with friends straight afterwards which was so fun and relaxing after doing all that work. It was a good time in my life. I think back on it all with fondness. :)

I hope you enjoyed my post about the book!



Stephanie said...

Oh yes I did enjoy seeing this. I absolutely love your illustrations. You are so very talented.

Plushpussycat said...

Nice stories behind the images, which are incredible! I love, love, love your illustrations for this book! The mini food is from cardboard?! I never would have guessed it! Super fun! xo Jennifer

Dawn Bevins said...

I blinkin' love your work! It's so detailed, I can't believe you could get so much done in six weeks, that's incredible! I'll tweet about your giveaway too in a mo' 😀 your book looks awesome 😀

Jess said...

I love your little details that you make, they look amazing! I love the picture of the shop at night, so very atmospheric and realistic. If I was a child looking at the pictures I'd love it to look like that! (My tastes haven't changed much since then.) :)
Jess x

Jane Chérie said...

I love your creations! I really enjoy looking at your pictures on Instagram! You make everything looks so much fun. Your miniature world is very inspiring!

Jackie M said...

Gorgeous pictures and details, I loved looking at this, you are so talented! Thanks so much for all your fab posts. Jackie x

Retro Rott said...

Hello! I just wanted to say, I bought Your first Witch's Cat book and today it finally arrived ( I live in Estonia, so it took several weeks) and it's really amazing, it is so very cute. Thank You for beeing such lovely artist. (I don't speak english very well, I'm sorry :) )