The making of ‘Follow The Rainbow’

Rainbows spark curiosity in young children and encourage them to observe the natural elements and changes that occur across the seasons in the great outdoors.

Wind, rain, clouds and sun pose different outcomes to outdoor experiences and children love to play and explore nature in all weather conditions.

On our holiday travels last summer I enjoyed capturing photos of our country road trip as inspiration for the making of Follow the Rainbow.

  Taking photos of cloudscapes in summer skies is a great time to observe shape and contrast in the clouds. Children love to make up stories from cloud gazing and I love that Ruby begins her journey relaxing in the grass with Tavish cloud spotting.

The landscape of south western Victoria was still very green last summer for that time of year. It was a perfect reference for the spring season that I was trying to capture in the countryside of Ruby’s farm life for this story.We passed endless fields of crops, fenced farming paddocks, sheds and even a paddocks of freshly cut round hay bales.

Back in the studio I sorted through some old discarded papers that I had collected from art projects with children’s workshops over the years. Recycling scrap materials into new artworks is a great way to develop new ideas and a fun way to reduce waste and promote eco-friendly art making. Reusing unwanted scraps from these old art projects, I wanted to encourage our youngest artists to consider collage techniques to make new artworks from the papers that were no longer being used. Reducing waste and reusing paper saves our wonderful trees and is a fabulous way to look after our planet’s natural resources.

These old papers have such bright textures and colours and make fabulous shapes and effects when cut and pasted together. They bring unique personality to the characters and colour to the story on every page.I had so much fun contrasting colours and textures to develop the illustrations for each page. Collage is a very experimental technique. It encourages a playful approach to art making. Simple outcomes with a variety of cut shapes and sizes can be achieved with bold and  detailed effects. With every page I was motivated to bring the wonder of rainbows alive!

What will be at the end of your Rainbow? ‘Follow the Rainbow’ is written by Juliet M Sampson and Illustrated by Anne Ryan.  Published by Ford Street Publishing.