A busy summer, part 1.

Well it’s been a while since I last posted anything. I’ve been a bit busy!!

The summer turned out to be a lot busier than I had anticipated!

It began, of course, with my Book Illustration module re-sit. I hoped to do the course justice but, sadly, it was not to be. But I did manage to pass which is the main thing.

However, I thought that I would share some of the work that I produced. The first project was a set of three paintings which were illustrations taken from one of Malcolm Pryce’s Aberystwyth Noir novels.

The brief was to read one of the six Aberystwyth novels and then create three separate paintings illustrating three different scenes from the book.

I chose the novel Don’t Cry For Me Aberystwyth and I decided to create paintings of some of the characters in the book.

With this first one I decided to create a painting of an old sepia photo. In the story it is an old torn sepia photograph of Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and Etta Place, Sundance’s companion taken just before they set off to Patagonia. I researched the Wild Bunch outlaws and managed to find original photographs of the real men and Etta. I had to amalgamate two different photos into one, but I think it works.


The second painting was of a character in the book called The Man in the Fedora Hat and the character is described in detail; from his fedora hat being pulled down low over his face to his black and white brogues and silk handkerchief in his pocket, and him standing in the shadows under a streetlamp. You learn later on in the book the man’s real identity, but I won’t give the game away! I recommend you give these books a go! Especially if you like old 1950s film noir detective stories!


The final painting is of a character called Miss Evangeline. In the book Miss Evangeline is showing the detective, Louie Knight some old photographs of herself and one is described as being of her when she was Borth Carnival Queen, dressed in a swimsuit and wearing a tiara and sash, sporting a beehive hairdo and eye make-up like Dusty Springfield.


The other project I completed was a design for a book dust jacket. We were given a list of authors that we could choose whichever of their books we wished to. I chose Hans Christian Andersen’s Thumbelina. It was one of my favourites stories as a little girl and I was fortunate to have a photo that I could use to depict the character of Thumbelina. I really enjoyed drawing the artwork for this one because I finally got to use my expensive Polychromos coloured pencils!!


While I am pleased with the work I produced, I have come to the conclusion that book illustration is probably not for me. I’ll stick to realism and painting what I can see!!

Published by Tracy J Hughes

English artist living and working in Wales. A BA and MA Fine Art graduate from Aberystwyth University. Working in acrylic paint and coloured pencil creating still lifes and beach scenes.

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