My Fantastic Mr. Fox print is done! This was one of those projects where I felt like I had to discard a lot of ideas and start down a lot of dead-end paths before ending up with the right idea in the end. It can sometimes be hard work but I’m really pleased with the final result so it was worth it.
Some thoughts on the decisions I took during the process: I knew I wanted the print to feature the famous tree which has graced the illustrations of both Donald Chaffin and Quentin Blake. Mr Fox under his tree is just one of those enduring images which rather beautifully crosses over from the book into the Wes Anderson film adaptation — it was also a real tree near where Dahl wrote his books, so I knew it had to feature prominantly in my illustration.
My initial composition sketches were just a bit too stiff and ‘designy’ – I really wanted to capture some of the looseness and painterly style of Quentin Blake’s fantastic watercolour work. I also came across a rather wonderful bit of writing by Dahl himself on what makes a good children’s book and I wanted this ethos to apply to my own illustration. Essentially, it had to bright, colourful and engaging.
I initially had the title text on there as part of the design itself but removed this as I wanted the image to be less like a poster and more like a page from a picture book. This approach also informed my decision to make these prints smaller than my usual A2 poster size – I’ve noticed people are drawn to smaller prints more frequently these days as they are easier to frame. At A3 size, I also feel like these are more ‘child friendly’ in order to be framed in a kids’ room.
This is an A3-sized, 4 colour screenprint; signed, numbered, and titled, and available in two variants: 40 in warm tones (as above) and 20 in a cooler colourway.