The illustration of Caroline Parkinson

Illustration, caricatures, sketches, and comics

September 7, 2015
by Caroline

Newsflash!The Parasite’s Parade is finally finished!

page 014blogsample page 04blogsample page 023blogsample

Hey, remember that kids book I ‘ve been posting about for the past year?The one I’m working on with Norm Sherman?  The illustrations are finally finished! Here’s a quick sneak preview.

The brief specified watercolour, but I’m far too fussy  to paint the whole book from scratch. To get the best from both watercolour and ink I  drew the line art in pen on A3 paper,  photocopied the pages at A4 size, traced them faintly on to watercolour paper and painted them in watercolour (smaller sized pages are easier and cheaper to paint). Then I combined the two layers, and added shading, text, and effects, in Photoshop.

There’s probably an easier way to do this, but it was the only method I found that gave me a reasonable level of control . Watercolour is hard to get right(despite its wishy-washy reputation) -it’s an unforgiving medium that takes a high level of skill and big dollop of luck to perfect. That’s why I cheated.




September 2, 2015
by Caroline

Coventry sketchcrawl-Holy Trinity


I took part in Coventry Sketchcrawl recently and drew the Holy Trinity church from a different viewpoint than last time. Yes, this is the church housing the Coventry Doom Painting.

The perspective was really challenging. My Kodak scanner, while wonderful for picking up detail, is designed to scan flat photographs and doesn’t pick up more than a few millimetres in depth. It’s difficult to scan sketchbook drawings cleanly where they join the spine of the book.  Saga Volume One (massive and beautiful A4 hardback) came in handy as a paperweight.

August 26, 2015
by Caroline

Footpath to The Saxon Mill, Warwick


Sketch of an old footpath leading to The Saxon Mill pub in Warwick. The spots where Piers Gaveston was murdered and the legendary Guy of Warwick lived as a hermit are only a short walk away. Oh yes, it was all happening in Warwickshire- several hundred years previously!

The building dates from the 12th century and the footpath must be from around that time- some of the stones have nearly worn away. A lovely warm evening for sketching.

August 19, 2015
by Caroline

Kenilworth Castle


Quick sketch of Kenilworth Castle -from the Great Mere ( see Wikipedia photo).

I’ve only drawn the castle from outside the walls, because I’m too tight to pay for admission tickets.

Described by architectural historian Anthony Emery as “the finest surviving…semi-royal palace of the later middle ages”- there still isn’t too much left. Surviving the greatest siege in English history, it was destroyed in the Civil War several hundred years later. Highly recommend the Queen and Castle pub opposite!


August 12, 2015
by Caroline

I’m here to see your tapestries…

tapestries copys tapestries

I took a group of students to  see the Love Is Enough exhibition at Birmingham art gallery and liked the Pre-Raphaelite Grail tapestries, so drew this black and white sample sketch. I’ve heard that copying the pictures of famous artists is useful and have never done it before. This is the section where Guinevere hands Lancelot his shield as the knights depart on their quest.

William Morris produced some stunningly coloured textiles in his day. It’s a shame that some of them were poisonous, hopefully this only applies to the wallpaper.

I have to say that while Edward Burne Jones (the designer of the tapestries) was great at drawing hands and romantic flowing drapery,  horses were probably not his strong point and I sympathise- they’re not mine either-as you can probably tell.