Recreate an iconic character
Jonny Duddle paints a Harry Potter cover.
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.