Tales of the Unexpected

Here is a series of illustrations I have worked on recently. They are all based on the book “Tales of the Unexpected” by Roald Dahl, which contains a large selection of short stories, all tied together with a hint of mystery. All of the stories in the book were very interesting, but I chose four of my favourites to turn pictorial. As you can see below, the idea of the pieces are simply to illustrate elements of the story in a playful way. They don’t show exact scenes from the stories but include major props.

The way I created the images was by starting off with deciding which elements of the story would work best together, so there were things I ended up having to leave out even though they were important parts of the stories. Then I drew them all separately before scanning them in to be edited and composed.

After playing around with the compositions a little I settled on where I felt it worked; in each piece there isn’t too much going on, but in no area is it boring. Then I coloured them in digitally but I thought it took away a lot of deep mystery to it- it just seemed to look a bit childish so I desaturated the colours and ended up with some very nice tonal ranges.

There are still features I want to play around with on these images. For example, an early idea I had, and one that’s been backed up by everyone that has had an opinion on it, is to add a spot colour to each, just to add a little flavour and bring them together thematically. I’d also like to choose another story from the series and produce a front and back cover to make the series feel whole.

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