Back in 1997, when J.K. Rowling launched the first of seven books about a boy wizard, the world was in for an amazing 10 year run of intoxicating fantasy. The original series went on to sell well over 400 million copies and garnered a ravenous fan base. This October we get to fall in love with the series all over again when “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” gets re-released in an all new illustrated series.
On October 6th, 2015, Scholastic will release “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in an all new illustrated version. They will then release the remaining books in the series one per year over the next seven years. (If you listen carefully, that sound you hear is the millions of Potter fans shouting in joy.) The art is being done by award winning artist, Jim Kay and it’s quite enchanting. Here are the images that have been released so far as well as a few words about each one by the artist from his OFFICIAL WEBSITE.
Take a look and let us know what you think.
Malfoy at Madam Malkin’s. An interesting little trick is that if you illustrate a person’s eyes perfectly symmetrical, there’s something creepy about their appearance (most people’s faces are a little wonky in reality). It can be difficult getting the stare right. This was quite a quick illustration to do, I can’t spend more than a few days on an image – there are over 100 to do in each book! I put Malfoy in Slytherin robes, to imply how presumptuous he would be of his School House placement. – Jim Kay
Here is Hermione making one of her little blue flames in a jar. The door is from a wonderful church, All Saints in Thornham, I visited last year. A beautiful building, and full of bats! I’ve been to a lot of churches, stately homes and mansions researching this book. When I lived in Harrow I noticed at the old boys’ school the names of pupils going back over many years scratched into the brick walls. I am fascinated by graffiti; some wonderful old carving can be seen at Aberdeen University, but the best by far is in the Tower of London – Jim Kay
Hagrid in the Wooden Shack. My favourite character to illustrate, I have already decided on the badges he wears on his coat (when I was a child the school caretaker used to wear things the children had given him, which gave me the idea). I love illustrating giants. They remind adults like me of being a small child again, a time when everything was hard to reach, and adults were just a forest of legs. By the way, the little keychain is from a drawing I did many years ago of a ‘space monkey’, I’m quite fond of him, I’ll see if I can dig out the sketch.- Jim Kay
Finally, this is a concept drawing of Ron which was used in the press release. I think these portraits are going to be important in book one, as we need to introduce to the reader our interpretation of the lead characters. More images will follow a bit nearer the publication date. Thank you for your interest. For all those young readers who like to draw, keep scribbling! Remember, it’s your ideas that are important, the technique will come along with practise. So don’t be down-hearted if things don’t always come out the way you’d intended. I’ve never produced an illustration that I think is ‘finished’ or that I’m particularly happy with, but I keep trying. Sometimes it’s the mistakes that make us interesting and different, in my opinion.- Jim Kay