Today I’m delighted to be sharing Kirsti Beautyman’s beautiful debut picture book, ‘The Mist Monster.’
Penny and her dad have just moved house but Penny’s not sure that she likes it. Dad convinces her to go and explore, but she’ll only go once they’ve found mum’s old explorer hat. Unfortunately the dog takes a fancy to it too so Penny takes chase.
It’s then that Penny first meets the Mist Monster who joins the hunt and takes Penny on a wonderful adventure…
This is a beautifully produced picture book at change and making new friends. Although the absence of mum isn’t expanded upon, it reads to me as though there may have been a bereavement. Something to consider when sharing with children who may have had similar experiences.
The illustrations have a wonderful dreamlike quality, entirely in keeping with the Mist Monster itself. I’m lucky enough to be able to share with you a special piece by Kirsti about how she creates her images.
Final Hand Rendered Layers
I use a lot more digital drawing and brush tools in my illustration now than I did when I started on the path creating this book, but also I still tend to use my original method of laying down a rough on the light box and building textures in different mediums (such as inks, paint, pencil, charcoal etc) as can be seen in the picture. I always work in monochrome when doing this so I can easily alter colours at a later stage digitally.
Sometimes I’ll be working with only digital and the illustrations I produce will be lacking something on a visceral level and I’ll feel like I’ve lost connection with it. When this happens I have to remind myself to go back to my original way of working: draw a rough, redraw the rough, pick a limited colour palette of Pantones from a physical set, and then start working with physical materials on sheets of paper on a light box. For me, whilst I don’t always work in this way anymore (especially if pushed for time), its something I come back to time and time again.‘
I think Kirsti’s attention to detail and love of her craft are both evident in abundance in the pages of The Mist Monster. I’m so pleased Kirsti was willing to share her process with us.
*Many thanks to Scholastic for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. Make sure you visit some of the other stops too for more insider information*