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PAM ROYDS 1924 - 2016

Pam Royds on Grasmere , 1971 with Sally Christie, children’s author and daughter of Philippa Pearce. I was just twenty two when I fir...

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My blog is about writing and illustrating children's books which I have been doing since 1974. www.gillianmcclure.com has all my books. I also have another blog: www.paulcoltman.blogspot.com where I publish my father's poems.

Thursday, 13 November 2014


Recently, a bookseller remarked on how different my picture books looked from each other. I suppose Plaister Press has given me the freedom to do one-off books rather than be brand or series led. By having all my in-print books now standing together on the Plaister Press bookshelf and not scattered among different publishers’ lists as they were in the past, there’s less of a need to make them all look alike just in order to be recognizable.  
   So I have been enjoying a different technique for each new book – glazing in Selkiea lot of waiting around with this process as each glaze has to dry naturally:

wet watercolour washes with colour dropped in and pigment tide-lines in The Little White Sprite and Zoe’s Boat -  always a bit chancy: 

waxing in We’re Going to Build a Dam - a sticky business:

and ink splattering in Flood – messy - I have to be outside to do this.

Now, with my latest picture book, I’m scratching. This needs a tough paper as I’m scratching with a dry pen nib while the paint is still wet. Arches 90lbs rough can take this.     
   Just as an author strives to find a new voice to fit the narrative of each new story, I like to do a similar thing with images. I search for a ‘look’ that matches the underlying feeling of a picture book story and that invariably means finding a new technique to best express it. 
    It’s not easy making each book look so very different from the last and as I embark on a new book there’s always a temptation to repeat the tricks of technique mastered in the previous one. I sometimes wonder whether, were a particular title to take off, the business side of me would put pressure on the creative side to follow it with a brand of very similar looking books. But that has not happened yet. 

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