Uki and the Outcasts

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Podkin takes a rest in Kieran Larwood’s latest book, but we are very much in the same rabbit-centric universe.

Here are a few illustrations, interspersed with some ‘in progress’ examples. As usual, once the roughs are approved, I start the drawing with a cheap H pencil, and gradually build up the tones using increasingly dark (and expensive) pencils. You can see three of my Blackwings in the picture below but I rarely use the softest one. Once applied, attempts to erase mistakes inevitably lead to a smudgy mess.

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Once I’ve penciled as much as I dare, I scan the drawing and improve the contrast in Photoshop, adding some highlights where necessary.

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As per previous Podkin books, I like to get in as much tree action as possible…

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I was too scared to add the fiery splatter around the sprite on the actual drawing, so I cheated by making some separately and overlaying it digitally.

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Despite its apparent simplicity, the above picture proved tricky as the middle of the spread (known as the gutter) cuts out at least an inch of the image. I had to do a lot of experimenting at the rough stage to balance it properly. Despite that, I look at it now and can see that the central birch sapling should have been moved slightly to the left as it will most likely become hidden in the finished book.

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Uki and the Outcasts is published by Faber & Faber in the U.K. in September 2019.

It’s got giant Jerboas in it!

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