“There once lived in a town of Persia two brothers, one named Cassim and the other Ali Baba. Their father divided a small inheritance equally between them. Cassim married a very rich wife, and became a wealthy merchant. Ali Baba married a woman as poor as himself, and lived by cutting wood, and bringing it upon three asses into the town to sell.” Illustration to accompany the text from ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’.
I have been experimenting with a little collage for my Ali Baba illustrations. The image above uses handmade Indian papers, aluminium leaf, gouache and calligraphy ink to give a mixed media effect. I had fun working on it! I think that using collage has helped me to be a little less precious about the illustration, as I’m working with imperfections in the paper and not trying too much to even out the flaws. However, using lots of media also threw up a lot of questions – one thing that I seem to keep debating is whether or not to paint an outline? The human figures don’t seem to need one, as their paper “clothing” creates a slight shadow against the watercolour paper, so this gives enough definition. However, I’m beginning to think that the donkeys are getting a lost at the bottom of the page, and need a little something to “draw them out” a bit. Hmmm… decisions, decisions… what do you think? Feedback appreciated!