Every now and again, we embark on a project which is quite ambitious. A current example of this is Robin of the Greenwood. We capered merrily into the greenwood to tell of this great English outlaw, inspired by the spirit of liberty he represents. Before long, we had a gripping text by David Calcutt, who went back to the ballads of Robin Hood, some of which were first recorded in the fourteen century. Then we invited Grahame Baker-Smith to take on the not insignificant challenge of illustrating a large-format gift book that runs to over 100 pages.

Grahame is a perfectionist. He is also an exceptionally talented and hard-working illustrator whose most recent picture book, Farther, won this year’s coveted Kate Greenaway Award. For the past three years, Grahame has been busy in his studio, researching medieval imagery and creating the cast of characters that make up Robin and his Merry Men on the one hand, the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham and Guy of Gisbourne on the other. The photographs below show some of the sketches that Grahame has created as he has gone along. Note that this is just the beginning  – the sketches are fully developed, scanned into his computer and then further developed with a variety of media. The results are remarkable.

Wind, weather and the will of the wildwood permitting, the final art for this project will be with us by the end of October and Robin will take pride of list on our 2012 programme. We wish Grahame very well in his final few weeks of work.




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