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Nina Rycroft

Nina Rycroft

Blue Mountains, Australia

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Ballroom Bonanza cover illustration video

Hi all!
I’ve posted a video of me illustrating the front cover of BALLROOM BONANZA.
35 hours of illustration in under 3 minutes!
Please take a look, I would love to know what you think.


  • Rachel Leigh
    Rachel Leighabout 6 years ago

    Love it, so cool to see it come to life right before your eyes.. and the music is cute :) Great talent Nina!!

  • Nina Rycroft
    Nina Rycroftabout 6 years ago

    Thanks Rachel !)

  • mobii
    mobiiabout 6 years ago

    That’s wild Nina! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Sharon Robertson
    Sharon Robertsonabout 6 years ago

    It was amazing, my girls where thrilled with how it all happened… Great work.

  • Rosemaree
    Rosemareeabout 6 years ago

    Fantastic. Thanks again Nina for sharing your amazing talent.

  • Thanks Rosemaree!

    – Nina Rycroft

  • Marion Chapman
    Marion Chapmanabout 6 years ago

    that was awesome! got a huge feel for how much effort was involved in the process. so good for people to understand. wonderful!!

  • Thanks Marion, My style is usually simpler, but for this book my publisher wanted layering and detail. I’ve been painting the final illustrations since February this year – hoping to finish by end of January. I think I’ll really miss working on these illustrations once they’re done.

    – Nina Rycroft

  • Tommy Barton
    Tommy Bartonabout 6 years ago

    that’s pretty beautiful! did u use the process where you make the smaller version on graph paper and make it bigger?

  • Hi Tommy. Yes I make lots of smaller versions (about A4 in size) using simple inexpensive bond paper, it took 4 different designs of this front cover before I was happy. Once I’ve got my design, I increase the size of the image to 150% of the size that it will be printed. I then do a 150% colour sketch so that everyone (including myself) knows what I am going to end up with. Using a soft pencil, I then trace the sketch onto a heavy watercolour paper ready to start painting.

    – Nina Rycroft

  • Tommy Barton
    Tommy Bartonabout 6 years ago

    im curently finishing a book im writing now. i cant wait try and get it published

  • mobii
    mobiiabout 6 years ago

    Lets see if this works…. “BALLROOM BONANZA”:

  • goanna
    goannaabout 6 years ago

    Thanks, Nina, that looks like Graeme Base type amounts of detail. What talent and careful planning must go into this.
    I would be worried that I’d use the wrong colour or spill coffee on the illustration right near the end of it… Watercolour not being as forgiving as acrylic. :-))

  • Hi Goanna! Thanks for taking the time to watch the video. Yes, there is far more detail than I would usually do. This did worry me at first as my style of illustration is all about not to overworking the final product. When you spend so much time on an illustration, it can become rigid and overworked. Keeping charm and lightness to characters and illustrations in this book became my personal challenge. I’m hoping this sets me apart from Grame Bases work. I was concentrating on movement and rhythm and character interaction as I don’t have the eye for detail that Grames’s books possess. My publisher was pushing for the detail – so I had to step out of my usual style to meet her needs, Initially I was daunted by the massive amount of work involved with this approach but now (a year later) I can see why she (my publisher) wanted the detail for this book.

    – Nina Rycroft