The Wizard Kingdom Illustration for our book, "The Wizards and the Whale", started out as a painting commission for an Umbrian family in 2014. They wanted an Umbrian countryside filled with trees, medieval castles, Asian temples and their dog.
With the brief in mind, Jean began drawing.
Here, she holds the original rough draft in her art studio.
Once Jean was happy with her first sketch, she copied the drawing onto tracing paper (seen below), which was then re-copied onto her own hand-made mulberry paper canvas panel ready to paint.
A few years later, when "The Wizards and the Whale" story was in development, we wondered what kind of illustration could depict the concept of the wizards' journeys from their kingdoms through woodlands and over mountains to reach Willow the Whale's island.
As we were discussing what Jean might illustrate, we remembered her painting, "Castles, Mountains and Morning Suns". With its varied geographical styles and different architectural buildings, it seemed perfect for our book.
Here's the final result of the wizard kingdom journey pages with the text woven into the hills.