If you walked into my bedroom right now you would find stacks of books tall and short on nearly every flat surface. There would be a bookcase with shelves slightly bowing under the weight of the double stacked hardcovers. My books surround me in a way that is not Pinterest-worthy but very much comforting. Some might suggest I need help for my book buying addiction. Others might just not get why I need so many copies of Pride and Prejudice. Bottom line guys is, I really have a thing for books. I AM the bookish girl.
The library is the first place I discovered my love of reading. It is also the place I found my first inspiration to become an illustrator in the piles of children’s books I would check out over and over and over. I still get a huge thrill from walking into a library (followed by a slight panic because how will I ever read them all!) and love that over 20 years later I never lost that feeling. The bookish girl in this illustration, like me, cannot choose just one book from the shelf. She finds herself with a growing stack that is a sheer feat of strength and balance to keep from toppling over.
“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges
First, I started by sketching out my drawing in pencil and then I transferred the sketch to a piece of cold press watercolor paper. I completed the illustration using a no 2 round brush and Winsor and Newton gouache. I chose a very bright and lively palette. Although not necessary to the piece, I played around with using masking fluid to work on the different layers. Originally, I planned to use the masking fluid to create white stripes in the bookish girl’s shirt but changed my mind last minute. It was still a lot of fun to try out for the first time.
In the future, I am going to play around more with books as the subject. Reading is something I am very passionate about and have been enjoying connecting with other people on the topic. I am testing out some mixed media and different styles for these illustrations. Maybe I will make a whole bookish girl series!