We all know Beatrix Potter for her children's stories about bunnies and squirrels and all sorts of other furry critters, but she was also a very talented artist who illustrated all of her books.
Spending most of her time outdoors, sketching animals, she managed to create a very organic feel within her illustrations using watercolours and ink. The soft wash of the watercolours creates a dreamy outdoors sunlight effect. The colours, dull and lacking in vibrancy, portray a gloomy, wintry, British day perfectly. She used harsh brush-strokes to paint in the grass blades and leaves of the trees.
You really become absorbed into her illustrations, almost as if you can smell the grass and feel the wind on your face.
Though there is a sort of unrealism about the illustrations too, as you don't usually find cute beady-eyed ducks waddling around the countryside dressed in a shawl and bonnet. Yet you get a sense of time and place as what Jemima Puddle-Duck is wearing is a typical Victorian outfit, a perfect depiction of the era.
- By Lucille Bond.