“Secret Garden” Process

Here’s how the illustration of my Secret Garden book cover progressed:


Here’s the initial sketch.  For me it was important to have it read immediately as the book using familiar icons, but with the sense of excitement that the book always gave me when I read it as a kid.


Warmth was important.

This was a test of colors and textures– according to my instructor she seemed a little too much like another young blonde girl (named Alice 😉 ) and perhaps not so much like Mary.

I’d also decided to collage in some wash drawings when executing this image, to give a little touch of the surreal (and in turn, magical).  The plants were made of water soluble ink pencil drawings done in my cousin’s garden.  Here’s a few:


I sat on a couple of bricks, doing most of these. 😉

The final product:

illustration for The Secret Garden book cover