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The Making Of



When I was creating the images for The Fall of Light, I had a sketch book. It was small, stitched, with a Kraft paper cover and creamy pages. It wasn’t expensive – it cost $6 at the local dollar shop. I drew lots of cityscapes in preparation for my real images – I wanted to understand how they worked. I only ever took life drawing classes so perspective was not my strong point. I drew with brush and ink, directly on the paper, trying to get the jist of things, to find the vanishing points.


I drew lots of Gaudí buildings, because they seemed to me like the most dream-like of architecture. I thought that if I drew enough of them I might catch something of what Gaudí had.


I drew entrance ways to buildings:



I also drew people, trying to capture their movement.sketch002

And I had trial-runs at some of the scenes that might actually appear in the book:

sketch003I really love the looseness that comes from drawing in a sketch book. As soon as you put something down on good paper, the lines become rigid with expectation. But I tried to trick myself, by buying not-so-good paper that was the same texture as my dollar shop sketch book paper.

If you want to see what some of the final illustrations turned out like, the NZ Book Council are running an excerpt here.

Also, if you’re inclined to listening to podcasts, I talked with Kathryn Ryan on Nine To Noon here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 14/07/2013 3:15 pm

    Really lovely to hear you talk about your book, Sarah. I wish the interviewer had mentioned how funny you are – there are some laugh out loud moments in The Fall of Light – quite wonderful. Looking forward to the next book.

    • Sarah Laing permalink
      14/07/2013 7:41 pm

      Thank you, Rachel! I’m so pleased you found it funny! I want it to be funny, but of course the question always is whether it comes across.

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