The Babes in the Wood is a remarkable book from illustrator Lucy Howarth, adapted from a story by Randolph Caldecott. Yes, the guy they named the award after. Howarth is a recent graduate with a degree in Fine Art, and she became obsessed with the story while working on an illustration for the Caldecott Competition.
Howarth told us that she “felt it important to approach the book instinctively and without too much pre-planning, so as to remain true to the story and convey the events and emotions in a way that felt right, pure and personal to me.”
She scanned her original collages along with different papers and found materials, and made her final illustrations in Adobe® Photoshop®. She put the book together in Adobe® InDesign®, using Blurb’s PDF to Book workflow.
She lists a wide range of influences including Saul Bass, Alfred Hitchcock, Barbara Kruger, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. On every page she finds new visual ideas to advance the story, often using two-page spreads, mixing both black and white backgrounds to great effect. It’s alternately light and dark, pop and expressionist, with a strong kinetic feel. As she told us, “the story is beautiful and it became a personal obligation of mine to see my version of the story through to the end.”