The Princess & The Goblin

This is a self-initiated illustration project I did that is inspired by the lovely story “The Princess & The Goblin” by George Macdonald and it was originally published in 1872. I really love the symbolisms that Macdonald put in the story. These are my favorite scenes in the book and I draw it based on the pictures that I have in my mind when I read it.



First thing first, I have to re-read that one chapter/ paragraph of the scene that I want to draw. I read it over and over again to get the accurate details; like the character details, hair colours, the weather, etc. Of course it will fuse with my imagination in the end, but I would like to incorporate details from the book the best I could. Those factors really determined the colour palettes and mood of this project.
Style wise, I was a little bit inspired by 19th century designs, mostly their layout on book covers, colour palettes and also the details they have on the illustrations. Very lovely.


At first, when I have a rough ideas in my mind, I start to sketch thumbnails on paper. To me, ideas flow easily on paper than on screen. So I will keep on sketching until I have made my mind on how the illustration going to be. Only then, I move to Adobe Photoshop and draw it out based on the thumbnails I did previously.

Overall, I got positive feedbacks from the people. Most of them like the whimsical quality of this project and I am really glad they like it. I enjoy this project very much, I guess because it was self-initiated so there is no pressure. I also learn a lot about translating narration/story into visual. I’ve always interested in doing illustration for story books and I think this is a very good learning process for myself as well.

Kathrin Honesta

Kathrin Honesta is an Indonesian based illustrator & graphic designer. Her illustrations are stories about faith and people. She realises that an artwork is not about just being pretty aesthetically, but it’s about the message it is saying.