edith sittingWritten by Julia Louise
Illustrated by Anne Ryan

front cover scanfcover sketch





Illustrating someone else’s text is a real challenge and a privilege.

Will your visual interpretation of the text compliment the author’s tone and expression?

A talented editor will pair an author and illustrator to compliment each style and voice.

edith headsFinding the little girl character for this picture book took me back to some old photographs of myself as a child.

edith hair 1These photographs helped me to play with some ideas for details and character references, inspiring such things as the ‘T’ bar shoes and knee high frill socks.

Would Edith have a hood?

white cardigan












I wanted Shadowcat’s form to be soft and childlike, rather than a realistic representation of a cat.

first rough shadowcat


I gathered references of knitted patterns that my mother had used for making soft toys and developed sketches of a soft animal that a child might use in imaginative play.





Roughs and thumbnails are an important tool to communicate the storytelling during the development of the artwork. They help to unpack the detail about the characters, setting and emotion that is not written in the text.  storyboard Shape, line, perspective and scale are all important elements at this stage. Colour roughs can be developed after these decisions have been solved.



shadowcat and dahlia




Dahlias are a special feature in our family garden.  I really enjoyed spreading them across the pages of this book.



These two flower varieties were cultivated by my father and named after my grandmothers – ‘Ellen May’ and ‘Eileen May’.dahliamoody windo finished print