In March 2018, I decided to do a series of illustrations based on plays written by William Shakespeare. The illustrations were one per play and I played around with the composition and framing for each drawing.
For this project, I worked with gouache and colour pencils to give it a storybook kind of feeling to it. Which contrasted with the often dark tones of the scenes.
The project was called ‘Shakespeare week‘ because I tried to upload an illustration to my Instagram page every day of the week of 12 to 16 of March 2018.
This wasn’t the first time old Bill had inspired a project, a year earlier I had illustrated some book covers including one for Macbeth
“What’s done cannot be undone.”William Shakespeare, Macbeth
For some of the illustrations I used a lot more light water colours and negative space. I always give myself a hard time because I do not practise painting backgrounds enough but I think in this case, the illustration in the series with the least amount of background are the stronger ones.
I do believe however that I can improve in backgrounds and the use of space. For example, I would colour the stares red like the throne and make the queens dress a bolder colour or make it white to a darker background.
Critiquing yourself is not always easy to do. I tent to look back on my work in a very negative way, to only see the mistakes and to hide it away from the public. But what you see is not always what someone else sees in your work and hiding won’t give you more confidence it does the opposite. Part of the reason I choose to revisit this project was to be re-inspired and to learn from myself.
View all my Shakespeare illustration on my instagram page.