An Unexpected Visitor
Posted by: Kali Ciesemier
Book: Sabriel (purchase on Amazon)
On these nights, Sabriel would lock herself into her study (a privilege of the Sixth Form–previously she’d had to sneak into the library), put the kettle on the fire, drink tea and read a book until the characteristic wind rose up, extinguished the fire, put out the electric light and rattled the shutters–all necessary preparations, it seemed, for her father’s phosphorescent sending to appear in the spare armchair.
My first illustration deals with Sabriel while she is still in Ancelstierre– an indeterminately located country that seems to be set in an early 1920’s time period with a vaguely british atmosphere.
I wanted to show Sabriel in her Ancelstierran school surroundings before grim and mysterious happenings force her to venture over the Wall into the Old Kingdom (a vaguely medieval place, where the seasons run slightly differently and magic is afoot). This is the moment when things start to go wrong: her father does not show up, and a terrified knocking on the door startles her and alerts her to a strange occurance.
There’s so much story to this book, I was really hoping to have a spot or two done in addition to this illustration! Alas, time was not on my side! I’m thinking I’d like to do spots in the future though, in the same flat & limited color style as my bookplate. I ended up exploring a slightly more textured and rendered style for the main illustration, so we’ll see where it goes!
I have been/will be posting parts of my preliminary process with these images…feel free to take a look! http://kalidraws.blogspot.com
(and Sabriel, of course, is (c) Garth Nix. I don’t want to step on any toes!)