Picture Profile 2010: Illuminated Poem: “What is this Life?” by William Henry Davies

Artist Code 2010. Illuminated Poem: “What is this Life?” by William Henry Davies. For River Friend Series Book No. 4, Figure 1. Completed 31st May 2020. Original Daniel Smith Iridescent water colour and ink size A4 white card 260gsm

Originally a line art drawing illumination in pen and ink (see below) especially designed to border this famous poem: “Leisure” by William Henry Davies quoted in Book 4 of the River Friend Series of books I am co-authoring, editing, illustrating, typesetting and publishing.

In June 2020, I completed typesetting the fourth book in the River Friend Series (INTERPRET: What do Plants tell us?”) and was ready to publish it. The first page in the book (as above) showed the famous poem by William Henry Davies (1871-1940) “Leisure” surrounded by an illuminary border which I designed and outlined with pen and ink, and this version was in the final typeset.

However, before actually uploading the typeset PDF files to Ingram Spark (my chosen publishing platform) I purchased some new paints. Daniel Smith Iridescent water colours and, for practice, decided to try them out by colouring up the original ink drawing illumination. The colours were: Electric Blue, Ruby, Copper, Topaz, White, Aussie Red Gold, Aztec Gold, as well as Imperial Purple (which is not iridescent but a gorgeous vivid purple – quite royal!).

The paints were beautiful to use and I also mixed them with ordinary water colour to see what other effects I could achieve. The results are a lovely luminescent painting. The screen view here does not do them justice. I can’t wait to try them out on botanical work!

I posted this note on Facebook: “Which would you prefer to see as the starter page in the fourth book: “INTERPRET: What Do Plants Tell Us?”, and the unanimous replies were for the colour version—so of course I had to re-do the first page and remake the PDF ready for publishing. But it was the right thing to do.

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