Circus Strongman

Recently, I completed a Curtis Brown Creative illustration course on Children’s picture books. The course was online, with weekly videos and tasks from illustrator Sarah McIntyre. It was very fast paced with a big emphasis on getting stuff done and finished. We were a small group and the forum was a nice place to share work.

In week 3 we created nine characters, in a fairly random process, gave them sidekicks and names and then chose a pair to develop and flesh out a little.

I chose to continue developing the circus strongman:

Week 4 was about exploring media and so Cyril & Rory went on a few little digital and collage adventures:

The final task was working up a story based on the characters and creating full spread final artwork. I hadn’t been expecting to write a story so that was quite tough to fit into the timescale but I got something workable in the end.

In my story, Cyril wants to be a circus strongman just like his great grandfather. He trains and studies and practices until the day the circus is coming to town. He packs his bags and goes to sign up but it doesn’t go to plan when he discovers they already have a really rather good strongman…

For the final illustration I started with watercolour, then scanned and worked digitally in Procreate on the iPad. I mainly added details, completed the sky and then created shadows.

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