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Norwegian Wood

Posted by: Lizzy Stewart
Book: Norwegian Wood

I’ve admitted defeat on the Ella Minnow Pea thing. Four posts in one year suggests that maybe it turned out to be a less than visually inspiring choice (although it remains a sweet and lovely book that i heartily recommend). So I’m starting the New Year with a new book choice and one that I will endeavor to do justice!

I’ve chosen Haruki Murukami’s modern classic ‘Norwegian Wood’ primarily for it’s cold, still beauty and strange detatched-ness which I think might lend itself well to the kind of things I like to draw. The story follows Toru Watanabe as he finds his first love with the quiet, sad Naoko and they struggle to maintain happiness with the ghosts of the past lurking constantly behind them. It’s simutaneously sweet and sad and, for a book, its got a pretty super soundtrack!

I’m really looking forward to tackling this one so fingers crossed this time around I’ll keep up momentum!


(p.s you can see Naoko without the text on my tumblr)


January 18, 2011 at 11:37 am 3 comments

Nate Warren Arrives

This is me returning to Picture Book Report with my tail very much between my legs and a very sheepish look on my face. I have not done one of these in months. Months! I am incredibly sorry to Meg and all the other (infinitely more) talented folk involved that I’ve lagged behind so much. The past four months on I’ve had the biggest and most complicated job to work on (book related, maybe i’ll post about it here when its done) and that coupled with other smaller illustration jobs have left me with no time at all (also I am terrible at time management and i like not to spend all my time at my desk…so sometimes my excuse has just been that i wanted to go outside).

ANYWAY I’m back with the wholehearted intention of getting back on track. ‘Cept I’ve failed already as this is only 1/3 finished (due to afore mentioned big commission finishing this very week).  So this is the beginning of a drawing of Nate Warren, an american visiting the island of Nollop being met by the statue of Nevin Nollop and it’s missing tiles. By this point three letter tiles have fallen and thus three letters have been eradicated from the islanders’ language. Nate is a young academic from mainland America (the fictional island of Nollop is counted as a part of the USA but is many many years behind in every possible way and has little contact with it whatsoever) who has studied Nollop and requests to stay with Ella’s cousin so that he can get first hand experience of the lexicographical dilemma. Perhaps romance will blossom. Perhaps. Maybe?

So the picture isn’t really done but I thought that posting something was better than another month of radio silence. I’ll try and get it finished by next month so then I can post two pictures in further attempt to get back in your good books!

October 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm 3 comments

No More Z’s!

Posted by: Lizzy Stewart
Book: Ella Minnow Pea
(purchase on Amazon)

So like Andrea Kalfas before me I have to hold my hands up and say this month got the better of me! For one reason or another I only got around to sitting down with ‘Ella’ yesterday. Disaster! Anyway I thought that after last months slightly more digital offering I’d get the paint out and tackle this old school!

At this point in the text the letter Z has fallen from the cenotaph and the town leaders have taken this as a sign from on high that Z is no longer a part of the alphabet. All usages of Z are banned and anyone heard to utter the forbidden letter is..well…for it! This image is a totally simple interpretation of that I guess. This is also sort of how I imagine the eponymous Ella to look.

Hopefully next month I’ll have more time to spend with this and can come up with something really meaty to redeem myself!

March 16, 2010 at 5:51 am 2 comments

The tile falls…..

Posted by: Lizzy Stewart
Book: Ella Minnow Pea
(purchase on Amazon)

Ella Minnow Pea is the story of a small  island called Nollop. So named because it was once home to Nevin Nollop; a local hero responsible for the famous pangram ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’; the shortest sentence to contain all letters of the alphabet. The much lauded and revered Nollop is immortalised on a stone cenotaph upon which his famous sentence  is written out in tiles reminding islanders of their rich linguistic heritage. Until…

“On Monday, July 17, a most intriguing thing took place: one of the tiles from the top of the cenotaph at town center came look and fell to the ground. A young girl here, one Alice Butterworth, discovered the fallen tile at the base of the statue, carefully gathered up the bits and shards, and quickly conveyed them to the offices of the High Island Council. Tiny Alice delivered these fragments into the hands of the most senior Gordan Willingham who promptly called an emergency meeting of that lofty body to glean purpose and design from the sudden and unexpected detachation.”

Eventually it is decided by the powers that be that the fallen ‘Z’ is a sign that that very letter should be struck from the English language. And so ‘Z’ gets banned. Totally. No one may speak it or write it whatsoever. Craziness. Anyway thats pretty much what happens in the first letter (it’s all written in letters from the eponymous Ella’ and thats pretty much what I drew. I have a feeling my posts on this are going to be all over the place. I want to try out a fair few ways of dealing with the text because…well…I guess you’ll see why as it goes a long. Things…uh…deteriorate to say the least. Anyway this is a mix of pencil and digital and was a nice excuse to draw a wise looking bearded man!

February 16, 2010 at 11:01 am 2 comments


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