Your childhood imagination would have painted the characters and landscapes of Hogwarts with a palette unique to you, but many of us got our first glimpse of 'The Boy Who Lived' from the cover art of J.K. Rowling's young adult masterpiece.
Now a new artist named Jim Kay is trying his hand at condensing the expansive Potterverse into his gorgeous color illustrations for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition, and his work is truly magical.
Check out four of the British illustrator's previously unseen artworks from Entertainment Weekly below to see what I mean.
Borrowing from the Blitz
This beautiful portrait of a young Harry Potter all set up for his voyage to Hogwarts was inspired by portraits of children in London during the blitz, Kay explained that:
"I was looking at all these photographs of evacuee children from the 1940s — in England, you’d call them ‘blitz kids’ — who have been taken away from their home during the blitz. They had sort of thick, scruffy hair, and round glasses, and looked sort of underfed and malnourished, from really tough East End parts of London as well. I wanted that real character coming through, some adversity. But also slightly fragile, because he’s thin, and he’s smaller than usual."
Kay cast the subjects for his portraits from real people and the model for Potter was a young boy named Clay who he met on the London underground with his mother.
Kay's rendition of the wise and noble Dumbledor has a lot of sentimental significance to him, he explained:
"He’s based on an amazing illustrator I know, who I absolutely idolize. He’s been an inspiration for years for me, so it’s a huge deal that he’s lent his face to Dumbledore."
The Eerie Quiet of Quidditch
This beautiful sketch of starlings perched on the quidditch hoops is an ode to Kay's hometown, where Harry Potter also happened to be penned. He explained:
"I thought it would be nice to have starlings on the quidditch hoops. Where I lived in Edinburgh, you call them ‘murmurations of starlings’ when the birds form these beautiful swirling patterns."
If you are wondering who the other children are inspired by, Kay explained that Hermione is based on his niece who he describes as:
"...smart, but also slightly bossy. I’m always messing about and she’s always correcting me, putting me in my place."
Ron was also the result of a chance encounter in a library where the artist was doing a talk for children, Kay told interviewers that:
"I met his mum, and when I saw her son come in, I just knew straightaway. He’s perfect. He doesn’t have red hair, but it’s not so much that I’m after: It’s just the way they walk about, the way they chat, you know. He’s got a very good sense of humor."
You can buy Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition from today (6 October).
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)