Fiction Ed’s Blog: “Clothing of historical eras is a joy to illustrate.”

illustrate historical eras

Artist Sailesh Thakrar explains how he goes about illustrating period stories and serials for “The People’s Friend”.

Welcome, Sailesh! Can you tell us which is, or are, your favourite eras to illustrate, and why?

I don’t really have a particular favourite era to illustrate.

I really enjoy mediaeval, Victorian, 1960s and 1970s themes, as they all pose their own design challenges.

Plus the clothing of the eras are a joy to illustrate.

illustrate historical eras

From our serial “The River Runs Deep”. Illustration by Sailesh Thakrar.

Where do you find inspiration for historical illustrations?

I have always been influenced by historical illustrations done by British and American illustrators of the past.

I also enjoy watching period TV and film dramas, as they can inspire great ideas.

illustrate historical eras

“A Waterfall Wish”. Illustration by Sailesh Thakrar.

What have been your favourite PF historical artwork commissions, and why?

There have been some great commissions in my inbox from “The People’s Friend” magazine.

In terms of recent short story commissions — “The Wayfarer’s Tree” (below) comes to mind. Plus, two stories which are scheduled but have yet to be published — “The Curlew’s Cry” and “King Of The Drovers”.

Two to look out for!

They all have their compositional and colour scheme challenges.

illustrate historical eras

“The Wayfarer’s Tree”. Illustration by Sailesh Thakrar

These kinds of briefs afford me the opportunity to create a traditional painterly-looking artwork, where I can employ the digital brushes that I have created over time.

What is the main difference for you between contemporary and historical artwork commissions?

The main differences between historical and contemporary artwork are costumes and the physical appearance of the characters.

illustrate historical eras

“Granfer’s Christmas”. Illustration by Sailesh Thakrar.

Historical artwork gives me the freedom to do my own research into the different eras, while at the same time helping me to gain a little knowledge in the process.

Learn more about how we illustrate historical eras by clicking here.

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!