Idea for Katie’s Magic Teapot
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edition from Amazon
I have always loved poring over images of the cosmos, where few images compel like the planets Jupiter, Saturn and nebulae. This offered me lots of opportunities to explore painting techniques, using bright colours and interesting compositions. One of my favourite paintings is of a time-lapse image of Katie and the pandas floating through space, in all, featuring eight teapots (see image further down).
Preview of Katie's Adventure
|Katie's Magic Teapot and the Cosmic Pandas|
Katie loved her mummy’s teapot. Her mummy told Katie that it was older than Gran and Gran was very old – and yet the painted flowers had hardly faded at all. Katie thought this odd, but then, there was something very odd about Mummy’s teapot.
One day, Katie’s mummy took the teapot from the shelf for a clean. Katie sat and watched.
‘Mummy,’ Katie quizzed, ‘how many cups of tea have been poured from our teapot?’
Mummy chuckled. ‘Probably enough to fill that big pond at the back of your gran’s house!’
Katie chuckled too. This made her think of a huge teapot. Imagine that!
Katie pictured her family and friends gathering outside. The town crier would ring his bell and announce Katie’s momentous tea-party!
When Katie opened her eyes, she found to her astonishment that the teapot had indeed grown and she was sitting inside.
The teapot began to float. It floated from the table, across the living room and up the chimney.
Katie could never have imagined how high the teapot could go, meeting her friends the cosmic pandas along the way. She encounters the moon, Mars, stars, galaxies and more. Each encounter is accompanied by colour illustrations, making this book a visual feast for young learners. I wanted Katie’s journey to be as informative as an enjoyable read.
Art Technique for Children’s Illustrations
I wrote and illustrated the story over a period of about four months, working intensively upon the paintings. I worked oil on panel of sizes 15x12in for single images, or 24x15in for double paged images. I took lots of photographs of the child subject matter, as children have a habit of moving around.
|Illustrations to Katie's Magic Teapot & the Cosmic Pandas|
I also smudged the paint via a rag over selected areas to emulate nebula clouds. Only the tiniest amount of paint should be used, and smudged thinly. Once dry, a little more can be added to selected areas to give the clouds more form. Smudging via a rag (or even fingers) was used to get the smooth effects for the rainbow.
|A Colourful Educational Book for Kids|
Katie’s Teapot Series
The picture book was hard but enjoyable work, so I decided to write a sequel: Katie and the Cosmic Pandas’ Deep Sea Voyage, which describes Katie’s voyage of discovery beneath the oceans. Both these books are 32 pages, roughly 1000 words long and are 8x10in in size. Both books are available on Kindle and as a printed version from Amazon..
A Great Learning Book for Kids
|Katie's Magic Teapot: Rachel Shirley|
I have recently published Katie's Magic Teapot Omnibus Edition, which works out a little cheaper than purchasing the 2 stories.separately. Alternatively, Ben's Little Big Adventure might be an alternative book for young boys.
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Other books by Rachel Shirley