Master Copy - Catherine Rayner



  • I’ve seen some great master copies posted on here recently and it’s inspired me to try one myself! Lots of reasons to do one:

    1. I haven’t done one before.
    2. @Lee-White recommends them as good practice.
    3. @Will-Terry said in a video I watched recently, that “if you’re not doing things like master copies then you don’t really want it badly enough” - so that rather threw down the gauntlet!
    4. I’d like to infuse a bit of whatever technique I learn from this into my 3rd Thursday piece.

    So, this is my choice - a piece by Catherine Rayner, one of my absolute favourite children’s book illustrators, www.catherinerayner.co.uk I’ve researched her technique before because I wanted to emulate it but never done a master copy..she uses acrylic inks, screen printed backgrounds and spatters and crayons and so on to add texture. I love her combination of inkiness and graphic.

    catherine-rayner7.jpg

    So, I drew the outline (no tracing!) and transferred onto paper. Then laid down undertones…

    rayner1.jpg

    ..This is halfway through the midtones…

    rayner2.jpg

    Then the darkest bits and inky lines. She apparently uses a cocktail stick to pull the ink about, didn’t have one but improvised with tweezers and a dip pen. Here's the finished version:

    rayner3.jpg

    rayner5.jpg

    And here's how the scans compare (fixed the eye blob digitally..)

    rayner7.jpg

    It’s not perfect but I do think it’s helped me understand much better how she works..it feels a lot different actually trying to emulate a piece, compared to analysing it visually. So hopefully this will help in future pieces 🙂



  • Sweet! I love her work. I think she does several different techniques and media like acrylics, inks, and silkscreen. You've done a very nice job capturing the essence of her work. 🙂



  • Wow!! This is great! And her technique looks really fun (although very hard...) I think you really nailed it, I actually have trouble knowing which is the original.

    I never heard of this artist before, I just looked at her website, wonderful stuff! She's now saved in my "favorite" on my internet browser so I can use her as inspiration!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂



  • @Dulcie Her work is awesome and you did a fantastic job! Love it! I love the hint of blue green in the ears.



  • LOVE it! so great that you guys are putting in this work!!! You will be SO much better for it! : )



  • Her sketchbook is really fun to look through and read... she has some early character exploration in there from her books. Thanks for sharing!



  • Wonderful!



  • Wow, that's really good! Good job, it looks like a fun process too 🙂



  • @Dulcie This is really wonderful Dulcie! Looks like you really had a lot of fun working on this as well, which really shows!



  • @Suzy-Heitz Thank you! Glad you think so 🙂
    @NoWayMe Thank you! That's very kind to say.. Glad to introduce you to a new illustrator! Yeah it's one of those 'fun but frustrating' art techniques 🙂
    @Charlie-Eve-Ryan Thank you!
    @lmrush @Camomilla Thanks 🙂 It is fun feeling free and messy with the inks..
    @Rich-Green Thank you 🙂 Glad you like it! I think I'm going to try to try this sort of process more often...

    And while I'm here, here's a couple of my favourite spreads from her books...

    rayner8.jpg

    rayner9.jpg



  • Awesome job! You're definitely very close to the original!



  • Great work!! Your version looks really good. I love the vibrant colors.