Giving Harry Potter a brand new look
Making magic Fantasy artist Jim Kay has been tasked with illustrating one of the biggest series in literature
This month sees the release of the first illustrated Harry Potter book, with Bloomsbury aiming to publish the sequels annually over the next six years. The Philosopher’s Stone will be available from 6 October, and will feature illustrations by renowned artist Jim Kay.
Working day and night, stopping only to “sleep and walk the dog”, Jim is set to produce 110 colour pictures for JK Rowling’s blockbuster fantasy series. To create his artwork Jim primarily uses watercolours and pencils, but also incorporates oils and acrylics. “I’m not a purist about materials,” he says. “I like using damaged brushes rather than brand new ones – they create interesting marks.”
One of the biggest challenges for Jim has been dealing with the expectations from fans. To help him serve both the story and the readers, he’s referenced descriptions found in other Harry Potter books, including titles outside of the main series, like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Having signed up to illustrate all seven books, Jim is considering a break after The Prisoner Of Azkaban, to complete his own projects (see his art at www.jimkay.co.uk). “But I could do this all day, every day,” he says. “It’s the job of a lifetime.”
You can order Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition from Bloomsbury: http://ifxm.ag/hpbloomsbury.
Jim reveals that he based this illustration of Harry’s close friend Hermione on his niece. By painting Draco Malfoy symmetrically, Jim added a little creepiness to the character. Giant gamekeeper Hagrid was one of Jim’s favourite characters to draw.