The Champion’s Portion

The next task for my Introduction to Children’s Illustration course is to choose a book or story, and play with different ideas to illustrate one element of it. As usual I have had considerable trouble in choosing a story, so have gone for three options, and will go through the same exercise for all three.

The first is a story from Irish mythology, called Fled Bricrenn, or the Feast of Bricriu, which is an early version of the more famous Sir Gawain and the Green Knight tale. In it, the poison-tongued trickster Bricriu organises a feast, and sets the finest warriors of Ulster against each other by offering the Champion’s Portion to whoever is the greatest.

I have found it incredibly difficult to explore ideas for images, which clearly reinforces the fact that illustration is definitely not my strength.

I was initially looking at illustrating the conflict with an image of the three champions around a cauldron lit by the fiery tongue of the troublemaker Bricriu but I have ended up playing with images of some of the characters almost in isolation, and just a couple of scenes from the story.

Am I being too literal? I think this post may be premature, maybe I need to do more thinking with my pencil. Or brainstorm in a whole different medium. I’ve popped these sketchy ideas below, but am really not sure there’s anything in here that I want to go on and develop.

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