Recre­ate an iconic char­ac­ter

Jonny Dud­dle paints a Harry Pot­ter cover.

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents - Jonny Dud­dle

Back in the au­tumn of 2013, I was asked by Blooms­bury to cre­ate a test cover for Harry Pot­ter and the Philoso­pher’s Stone. A hand­ful of artists were briefed to il­lus­trate the mo­ment when Harry, Ron and Hermione first see Hog­warts across the lake. The cover would be for a new set of chil­dren’s edi­tions, with the suc­cess­ful artist go­ing on to il­lus­trate the re­main­ing six Harry Pot­ter cov­ers. When I was of­fered the job, I was thrilled and ter­ri­fied in equal mea­sure. It was an in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity, tem­pered just a lit­tle by the fact that I’d never read a Harry Pot­ter book, and had only seen the first film on its orig­i­nal cin­e­matic re­lease. I re­alised that I had an aw­ful lot of read­ing to do. More than a mil­lion words, in fact.

An­other worry was that the art­work I’d been pro­duc­ing for sev­eral years was very stylised and aimed at a much younger age group. Blooms­bury wanted the new cov­ers to at­tract a new gen­er­a­tion of chil­dren, and the brief called for bright colours, ac­tion and an ar­ray of crea­tures, and would be more re­al­is­tic than I’d been on any work for a long time.

My aim was to pro­duce a set of cov­ers that worked well to­gether, with con­trast­ing colours, com­po­si­tions and themes, with just a lit­tle styli­sa­tion.

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