In the Forbidden Forest with Ole Könnecke

Ole Könnecke is one of Germany’s leading children’s book illustrators and authors. He has published numerous books with Gecko Press including The Big Book of Words and Pictures, The Big Book of Animals of the World, You Can Do It, Bert and Sports Are Fantastic Fun.

For the release his book Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest, Ole took over the Gecko Press Instagram account to show behind the scenes of creating the story and characters.

Ole Konnecke in his studio

Hi, I’m Ole Könnecke. I live in Hamburg, Germany. Normally, I don’t sit on the dining table.

Here are some of the drawings I did for Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest.

drawings from Dulcinea
And these are the tools I used: coloured pencil for the sketches, marker for the outlines, a cheap brush for the colours, black ink and burnt siena. 

illustration toolsBut before the drawing comes the story

Once I have an idea for a new story, I take a large sheet of paper and write and scribble. For some reason, I usually start in the middle of the paper, not on the left side.

Draft story Dulcinea
When I have decided how many pages the book is going to have, I do rough sketches of the double pages (I notice I seem to have used a pencil here. Add that to the tools.)

Dulcinea rough spread
After a while, it looks like this.

Dulcinea rough spread 2

Final steps

The sketch is put on a light box, a sheet of watercolour paper (Waterford Saunders hot pressed, 190 g, in case somebody is interested) is put on top of the sketch and with the marker I make the line drawing. 

Dulcinea colours 1
Then I add the colours.

     Colouring Dulcinea
Colouring Dulcinea       Colouring Dulcinea    Colouring Dulcinea    Colouring Dulcinea

And, voilá, the book is finished…

Artwork in box
…and can be sent to the publisher.

Parcel of artwork

Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest is available now from wherever you buy or consume your books and on our website. Other books available by Ole Könnecke include The Big Book of Words and Pictures, The Big Book of Animals of the World, You Can Do It, Bert and Sports Are Fantastic Fun.

Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest cover
Sports Are Fantastic Fun, Children's Book about sports, Gecko Press, Ages 3 and up The big book of words and pictures, Ole Konnecke, boardbook for preschoolers


Follow Gecko Press on Instagram @geckopress for more illustration takeovers.

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