Featuring more than 120 works, the exhibition brings together Quentin Blake's drafts and storyboards with finished art work to demonstrate how ideas evolved, giving a unique insight into the origins of some of his most iconic and popular creations. These range from his illustrations in Roald Dahl's The Twits and Danny the Champion of the World, to his own Clown, The Boy in The Dress by David Walliams and illustrations to books by Russell Hoban and Michael Rosen.
The exhibition, which is free to enter, includes first roughs and storyboards, many never shown before, with finished artwork to demonstrate how ideas evolved, often in close collaboration with the authors. It shows how Quentin brings to bear a wide range of different techniques and media including inks, watercolours and pastels applied with a variety of touch, in response to the particular mood of a book and the nature of its characters, to create his distinctive and unforgettable illustrations.
A special section (pictured, above) takes visitors through the process of 'What does an illustrator think about?' detailing the pre-planning that goes into every drawing.
To celebrate 100 years since Roald Dahl's birth in Cardiff, additional work from Roald Dahl's 'Matilda' has been added to the show while it is in the author's birthplace. A special display of Dahl's manuscripts, and portraits of the author, are also on show in the Museum, including a special drawing titled 'Roald Dahl: The Old and the Young Self' drawn by Quentin for the cover of a new book 'Roald Dahl's Wales of the Unexpected' (publishing in August) by Damian Walford Davies of the University of Wales.
The exhibition was co-curated by Quentin Blake and Claudia Zeff for the opening of House of Illustration in July 2014, the UK’s centre for the art of illustration. Since then it has been shown at The Lightbox, Woking, and is due to travel to The Laing, Newcastle in late 2016, and Compton Verney, Warwickshire, in 2017.
Visit the National Museum Cardiff website for full details and opening hours