Inkspell is the sequel to Inkheart (one of the other books I chose to illustrate). I decided to keep the style and colour scheme the same but change the layout as within Inkheart most of the book takes place in the outside world – the characters are read out of the book (ink heart) whereas with Inkspell most of the book takes place in Inkheart (the book they chase throughout) meaning the characters are read into the book.

So to illustrate this I decided that instead of having it appear as if the ‘magic’ is coming out from the book, I wanted it to look like as if it was moving into the book, as the characters actually do.

inkspell done

the plot line for inkspell…

A year has passed, and Meggie now lives with Elinor, Darius and her parents, Mo and Resa. Life is peaceful, but not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of Inkheart and the characters that came to life. For the fire-eater Dustfinger, the need to return to his homeworld has become urgent. When he finds a crooked storyteller named Orpheus who has the same ability to bring stories to life as Mo, he asks him to read him back. Orpheus obliges, but doesn’t send Dustfinger’s apprentice, Farid, back into the book as they arranged; he then steals the book from the boy and hands it over to Basta, who wants revenge for the death of his master Capricorn. Dustfinger, now in the Inkworld, regrets the fact that Farid didn’t come back with him but doesn’t suspect that Orpheus intended it that way. Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long, both are caught inside the book, too.
Soon after the two months are in the book, Mortola, Basta, Orpheus, and a “man built like a wardrobe” barge into Elinor’s house, and take Mo, Resa, Elinor, and Darius prisoner. As per Mortola’s orders, Orpheus reads Basta, Mortola, and Mo into Inkheart, but Resa comes with them by accident by getting hold of Mo. Mortola has brought along a rifle from our world, and shoots Mortimer. Resa discovers that her voice has come back to her only as she cries for her husband, praying for him to survive the wound. Resa and Mo are hiding in a secret cave with the strolling players (known also as Motley Folk) while he recovers, but they soon discover (or erroneously assume) that the injured Mo is the mysterious gentleman-robber, the “Bluejay”, a fictitious hero created by Fenoglio’s words made into song for the Motley Folk to sing. Fenoglio has been living within his own story since the events of Inkheart, working as a court scribe in Lombrica’s capital city of Ombra, and once reunited with Meggie he asks her to read Cosimo the Fair back into the story, since he died a death the author never planned for him. Meggie doesn’t feel right to interfere with the story so much but is soon convinced by Fenoglio as it will be ‘a double’ of Cosimo – not Cosimo himself. Reluctantly Meggie agrees to read the words when Adderheads soldier’s barge into the fair and injure and kill many people by riding horses over them, but soon regrets it when she realises that it has gone wrong. Cosimo has none of his doubles memories and doesn’t seem to love his wife and child anymore. Instead he ‘spends his nights’ with Dustfinger and Roxanne’s daughter Brianna. Violante begs Fenoglio to convince Roxanne to deal with Brianna and tell her not to upset Violante’s marriage. Fenoglio attempts this but fails, a mixture of Roxanne’s reluctance to tell her daughter what to do and Roxanne’s distracting beauty. Fenoglio thinks that Roxanne is ‘too beautiful’ for Dustfinger.
Cosimo’s return upsets the Adderhead, ruler of the neighboring region of Argenta, whom planned to take over Lombrica once the Laughing Prince died. With the rightful heir to the throne of Ombra mysteriously brought back to life, but with no memories of ‘his own’ life, a war is imminent.
Mo and Resa are captured by the Adderhead’s men along with many other strolling players in the cave, sold out by one of their own. Meggie, who had also been able to read a few of Fenoglio’s words to aid her father in recuperating, joins Dustfinger and Farid in searching for her parents and the strolling players. Along with the Black Prince, the leader of the Motley Folk, they launch a successful rescue mission, but Mo is unable to escape because of his wound and Resa stays behind with him. Meggie goes willingly into the Adderhead’s Castle of Night and, fulfilling a prophecy she and Fenoglio dreamed up and “read” into reality, offers him a bargain: Mo, a great bookbinder rather than the robber they believe him to be, will bind the Adderhead a book of immortality if he lets Meggie, Resa, Mo, and the rest of the strolling players he has captured go free. What they neglect to tell the Prince of Argenta is that if three words are written in the book (“Heart”, “Spell”, and “Death”, referencing the titles of the books), the person who signed his name in the book to gain immortality will die instantly. However, his lieutenant Firefox, disbelieving of the entire concept from the beginning, is chosen to test it. Firefox is made immortal, surviving a fatal stabbing without suffering any consequences, but then Taddeo, the Adderhead’s librarian, kills him by writing the three words in the book. Satisfied that the book works, the words are all erased and replaced by the Adderhead’s name, consequently making the Adderhead invincible. Mo picks up Firefox’s sword as they leave and claims it as his own, feeling a strange coldness within him; he believes his anger and sadness at the events thus far are changing him into a different person.
The Adderhead decided, as celebration for his wife giving birth to a healthy son to release all of the prisoners from his cells, but the Black Prince suspects that he instead plans to sell the prisoners into slavery. Together the robbers plan to free the prisoners, during the raid in which Basta leads, Mo learns to fight and kill and, Unfortunately Basta kills Farid, with a knife thrown at his back (The death Fenoglio had originally planned for Dustfinger) Basta is then killed himself by Mo.
Later while mourning Farids death, Dustfinger asks Meggie if she too would like to have Farid back. When Meggie agrees, he sends her to Roxanne to tell her “he will always find his way back to her”. Roxanne realizes what Dustfinger plans to do and runs to him, she is too late however and watches as the White Women, (the Inkworld’s Angels of Death) take Dustfinger. Farid is then brought back to life in Dustfinger’s place and the story ends with Meggie reading Orpheus to the Inkworld so as to resurrect Dustfinger. Orpheus convinces Farid to become his servant in saying that it will help him bring Dustfinger back to life sooner.

(taken from Wikipedia)

I wanted to stay away from the previous cover design hence why I stuck to my previous design for Inkheart and it made sense because they are a series so I wanted them to be connected.

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Inkheart final cover


Inkheart is all about a father who is able to read characters out of a book through the power of his voice but not without consequences – as one new person enters this world, someone must leave and enter the story in the book. I had considered having images from the book coming out of the pages (such as flames and coins – one of the main characters read out of the book is a flame thrower and the one image that has always stuck in my mind from when i first read the book is the scene when they read from the book of Aladdin – they are after the treasure and the coins start falling from the ceiling like rain)  but really this has already been done with the current cover,

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So I decided that I would pick my favourite quote and have that coming out from between the pages – so really it’s not giving away too much of the story, the audience should be intrigued as to what the cover is hinting at, each letter is a layer of it’s own to make it look like they are floating up off the page.

“So Mo began filling the silence with words. He lured them out of the pages as if they had only been waiting for his voice, words long and short, words sharp and soft, cooing, purring words. They danced through the room, painting stained glass pictures, tickling the skin. Words that explained the world to her, its dark side and its light side, words that built a wall to keep out bad dreams. And not a single bad dream came over that wall for the rest of the night.” unfortunately the quote was too long so I cut it down further, I love this quote because it just shows how lost you can become in a book, it paints a picture of how the words describe a scene, you can easily imagine them bouncing off the walls creating the image they are describing around you as you read.

I also attempted to make the book look ‘magical’ by having some sort of background – to make the book light up as if something magical is occurring as the words leave the page – I was planning on using reds and oranges to represent fire but the image was missing something, it didn’t seem to work so instead I inverted the colours so they are complementary to each other.

Josephine Wall

Josephine Wall is a fantasy painter and sculptor, her inspiration comes from the surrealist artists, Dali and Magritte and the illustrative art of Arthur Rackam.

“Artists have been given a fabulous fit, but with it comes great responsibility. We have been given the chance to change the world by portraying images of how life could be and how it should be.”    an extract from The Fantasy World of Josephine Wall, which in my opinion is a fantastic book.



There is a strong sense of visual storytelling throughout her work, she has the ability to draw the audience in through colourful paintings filled with hidden images embedded in the intricately detailed scene. The stories/ quotes below are taken from her book.

The painting below is my favourite painting of Wall’s entitled the ‘Spirit of Flight’

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“The Spirit of Flight, the force responsible for the powers of movement of the wind and the air, has gathered around her all the flying things she loves. Birds, insects, flying fish, swirling leaves, seeds of the dandelions and sycamore trees, butterflies and fairies all dance around her in a grand array of wild, free motion.”    -Josephine Wall.

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Nature boy – “The little boy of the wood listens to the baby blue tit as his other animal friends gather round. He has found some honeysuckle, and intends to drink the nectar if the White Admiral Butterfly does not drink it first! A collection of woodland treasures adorn his neck, including his favourite precious stone and a ‘lucky’ one with a hole in it. The forest spirits amongst the trees, and round about, guide him and protect him in his leafy paradise.”       -Josephine Wall

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Queen of the night – “Sweeping majestically across the moonlit sky, the Queen of the Night keeps watch over the sleeping world. As she travels in the company of her many inquisitive nocturnal friends, she carries within her cloak many unborn stars and planets, sparkling wonders ready to be flung into the nighttime collage in some distant sky. Her vast domain encompasses our own heavens and beyond to unknown galaxies. All is kept safe and sound under her gentle and eternal possession.”   – Josephine Wall

For each painting she has created a wonderful background story that explains the painting perfectly!


This is my second book choice, written by Cornelia Funke.

The plot:

A 12 year-old girl,Meggie lives with her father, Mortimer (called Mo), a bookbinder. Mo never reads stories aloud to Meggie because he has a special gift: when he reads a book aloud, the characters come out of the book and into the real world. One night, when Meggie was a small child, Mortimer was reading aloud from a book named Inkheart when an evil villain named Capricorn, his aide Basta, and a fire-breather named Dustfinger escape from the book and into their living room. At the same time, Mo’s wife Teresa gets trapped within the book.

Nine years later, Capricorn is on a hunt to find and destroy all copies of Inkheart and use Mo’s abilities to gain more power for himself in the real world. Meggie discovers her father’s secret and, along with the help of Dustfinger and Meggie’s eccentric aunt Elinor, fights to free her mother and destroy Capricorn.

The book was written and illustrated by the author, some of the current covers can be seen below,

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Again I was planning on using line to create the shapes (keeping a link between this and the Narnia cover) and I knew I wanted the image of a book on the cover, as this plays a big role in the actual story – everyone is on the hunt for the book for their won personal gain. So started off by trying to simplify the image of an open book.

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Final Narnia cover

narnia cover complete


I decided to focus on the religious references within the book. The front cover representing Edmund’s desire for more – for power – represented by gluttony, one of the seven deadly sins, through asking for more Turkish delight, this is where his sin starts and essentially the story begins to develop. Inside the Turkish delight I have drawn an image of the broken table – the death of Aslan is a direct response to Edmunds association with the white witch – he was a traitor and now belonged to her but Aslan offers himself up to the white witch in Edmund’s place.. “The true meaning of sacrifice”, this is a parallel to Christ dying on the cross in place of our sins.

The back of the cover is Aslan’s response to sacrificing himself in Edmund’s place, he knew the working of the deep magic and that by doing this he could be brought back, “when a willing victim, who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor stead, the table would crack and death itself would start working backward.” Aslan’s resurrection is another parallel to the story of Jesus.

John Tenniel

John Tenniel’s drawings for Alice in Wonderland are some of my favourite illustrations, these are the drawings that essentially brought Tenniel his fame, the books have been illustrated by many different artists but Tenniel’s, for me, will never be surpassed, I think he has successfully captured Carroll’s visions.

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His style makes his work easily recognisable and stood out to me, the shading, the intricate lines of cross hatching overall the amount of detail that can be seen in every drawing.


Dave McKean

Dave Mckean has a range of talents – he’s an English Illustrator, Photographer, comic-book artist, graphic designer, filmmaker and musician also working in the mediums of collage, found objects, digital art and sculpture.

McKean has illustrated a number of books for writer Neil Gaiman, all incorporating a surrealist style

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I like the image above, the writing “Words by.. and .. pictures by” fit with the sense that this book is from the perspective of a child, it has been written and drawn by one, the surrealism of the central image – a fish bowl for a head – depicts what image a child’s imagination would create from reading the title.

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This surrealist style that extends throughout his portfolio makes his work easily recognisable

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With the illustrations above we can see that a theme is being carried throughout the book, suggesting an unfriendly nature.