Monday, August 15, 2011

Lovely illustrations from Bernadette Watts

Every now and then I love to kill time (aka procrastinate) by browsing around the shelves of my local bookshops. A couple of days ago whilst in Readings St Kilda I came across a paperback version of The Brothers Grimm classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, illustrated in an eye-catching 1960's style combination of wax crayon, texta and oil pastel by English artist Bernadette Watts
This version of Little Red Riding Hood was first published in 1968 in Switzerland by NordSud Verlag AG, the version I purchased was published in 2009 by North South Books Inc, New York.

Bernadette Watts studied at the Maidstone Art School in Kent, where her tutors included the popular children's picture book illustrator Brian Wildsmith
Bernadette has illustrated dozens of folk and fairy tales over the last forty years - her many titles include The Bremen Town Musicians, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, Aesop's Fables, The Ugly Duckling, and The Snow Queen. I love her illustrations in this version of Little Red Riding Hood - the painterly, chunky oil pastel drawings of whimsical flower fields, forests, the delicate Little Red Riding Hood, the wicked wolf, and last but not least, her grandmother, are all so very magical.

Now I'm off to hunt out my box set of 32 Micador oil pastels from my RMIT days! I wonder if they are now available in a set of 72?
Take a look at Bernadette Watts' website here.


  1. What a wonderful find Natalie! Love her illos! Love your work, too!

  2. Gorgeous illustrations - what a great book to find! Hope you have fun with your oil pastels :-)

  3. What lovely illustrations they are so full of life and colourful! Thank you for sharing them.

  4. I am also a big fan of Bernadette's work. Funny enough, she is only named as Bernadette on french book covers... a delightful touch.

  5. Thanks everyone! Bernadette's work is a new find for me - I hope to research a lot further into her illustration work. And Ribambins - great to hear that Bernadette is so well known in your part of the world - Beyonce style!

  6. What a sweet book... I love a lot of the 60s illustrators too.
    Great to see them being reprinted, isn't it? x

  7. bernadette Watts5.2.12

    thank you all for your interest and kind words.
    Aged now nearly 70 i am still illustrating, my new book The Three Little Pigs comes out soon.
    2 years ago I made a picture book about my own earlier life in Snowdonia including portrait of my cottage. Final page shows me carrying parcel of illustrations to the local post office. Circa 1973. Book is called The Smallest Snowflake.
    All the best,
    Bernadette Watts