When it comes to Hannah Lock’s illustrations, color seems to be the driving force. In one illustration, a field of lupins jumps forward with reds and pinks; another shows a woman holding two roses, her red hair matching the flowers nicely.
“I used to use a lot of ink and watercolor,” remarked Lock in an interview with Catapult, “then I felt like I’d reached a dead-end with how far I could take the media.” It was while studying at the Cambridge School of Art that she began experimenting with different media within different projects.
“When I was working on Angela Carter’s short story ‘The Erl King,’ I came across this way of working by accident,” she admits, “as I tried to get some of the feeling from the story into the mark-making with the colored pencils.” Her pencils of choice? Faber-Castell polychromos which she uses generously. “I think my style has developed since then, but I still try to carry that emotive mark-making with me on different projects,” says Lock.
Each piece begins with research and some sketches. Once the final sketch has been chosen (by either Lock or her commercial client), she moves onto the final piece. “Sometimes I start with a loose, faint sketch, and then go on to draw the final on top,” she notes. “Sometimes I just start with a blank piece of paper and work from there.” But whatever she does, she’s sure to add a punch of color.
Take a look for yourself: