This week we show Jane Porter in action. Jane is an award-winning picture book author and illustrator. She has her own YouTube channel in which she talks about books and creative things generally.

This video shows me in experimental mode, trying a new approach to creating artwork. I’ve used a lot of different media for illustration work over the years, from household emulsion and Indian Ink in Pink Lion, to gouache and coloured pencil in King Otter and Tiny Penguins and the New Baby, and paper collage in the three books I have illustrated with author Paul Stewart (the latest one, A Little Bit of Hush, is publishing on April 7th with Otter Barry Books).

I love trying new things – and since I had recently bought some matte acrylics (Flashe Paints), making this video for ‘Know How’ felt like a good opportunity to give them a try. Normally I dislike both the shininess and speedy drying of acrylics, but when I made some swatches, experimenting with different dilutions and overlaying with coloured pencil, I liked the results.

I used Fabriano paper, which is a very thirsty surface to work with, but I happened to have a large sheet in my drawer. I’d like to do more experimenting with different paper types with these paints. I just had three colours and white in the paints – Ultramarine, Japanese Yellow Light, and Ruby Red, and I mixed the colours I needed from these. I wanted the scene to have a very cosy feel. 

Building up layers of paint, working into them with coloured pencil, I had a lot of moments of doubt during the process. But I pressed on anyway – making the video was helpful for that. The finished piece feels too stiff in places (I’d like it all to be as loose as that vase of daffodils) and I regretted adding collage. But it’s something I’d definitely like to have another go at. It was certainly a useful learning process for me, and I hope it will be for you too!

Click here if you want to watch more videos on Jane Porter's YouTube Channel.


Jane Porter is an award-winning picture book author and illustrator. She also teaches illustration and comics at Putney School of Art, including the brand new 10-week Picture Book Boot Camp course. In her spare time she likes playing the fiddle and volunteering in river conservation.

Twitter: @TheJanePorter

Instagram: @janeporterillustrator

Header by Jane Porter


Tita Berredo is the Illustration Features Editor of Words & Pictures. Find her work at Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Contact her at

No comments:

We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.