'Just So Stories'

by Rudyard Kipling
This stamp issue from 2007 depicts Rudyard Kiplings delightful ‘Just So Stories’, which were written for his eldest daughter, Josephine. They were originally accompanied by black & white pen illustrations by the author himself.

The brief was to pick six of the stories I would like to illustrate. Basing my illustrations, where possible, on Kipling’s original illustrations. I was asked to work using watercolours. This I did, but over the top of the watercolour, I added a black key line. Using a brush & Indian ink, to further reference Kipling’s original illustrations.

In some cases, I re-worked Kipling’s black & white illustrations very closely. Checking with Guernsey Post, re the copyright, as normally I would not reproduce an image in this way.

With ‘How the Elephant got his trunk’ I have kept the main part of the illustration, just tweaking things to fit better into the stamp format. You can see the original illustration here on the British Library’s site.

With other’s, for example, ‘How the Camel got his hump’ Kipling had produced two illustrations. I combined the two, re-working and composing them to fit into the stamps size.

I love Kipling’s illustration for ‘The Cat that Walked by himself’. However, if it was reduced down to stamp size, the cat would be tiny. So I enlarged the cat and tried to keep the flavour of Kipling’s picture. With the cat walking through the trees.

However, some of the original illustrations did not lend themselves so well to being used as a stamp. So for ‘How the Leopard got his spots’, I created a more ‘representational’ illustration. That I hope sits comfortably with the others.

Check out more of Kipling’s Original Illustrations and buy them as prints at the British Library’s site here.

Alderney's Stamp Sheets for the 'Just So Stories'

Sheets of ten for each story & stamp. (How the Rhinoceros got his skin & The Elephant’s Child)

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