Above is a picture of a print that my husband picked up at Comica London. Sadly, my pedantic side will not allow me to hang it above my desk until I’ve added that missing apostrophe, but the message is a good one nonetheless. As it happens, in the week running up to Comica I wasContinue reading “Return to the low-tech zine”
[Click to see bigger] An evening featuring five children’s book illustrators and writers in conversation lured me onto a train to our neighbouring town on a dark and cold evening last week. I was already aware of Miriam Moss and Leigh Hodgkinson: the former has written some excellent children’s picturebooks, including Scritch Scratch, aContinue reading “An evening in Lewes”
Have you ever tried to draw while your pages are gently splattered by the spray of a water pistol? Me neither, until last week. Here in the UK, we’ve had an unusually consistent, hot summer, and for residents of Brighton, one obvious place to find some relief is at our new playground, the Level, where,Continue reading “People-watching and people-sketching on the Level”
Above: one of several quotes from illustrators I’ve collected together in a single browsable interface. You can learn a lot about drawing by looking at the work of your favourite illustrators. Certainly you can make conscious deductions about their use of colour, composition, or media. But there are some things that no amount of staringContinue reading “When illustrators speak instead of draw”
I’ve got rather a busy couple of weeks coming up, thanks to the flurry of booking I indulged in a few weeks ago when the Brighton Festival programme came out. Tonight, I went to see a panel of children’s book illustrators: John Vernon Lord (revered illustrator, to quote the blurb on the back of hisContinue reading “The secret thing about picture books is that they aren’t for children at all”
All things colour are killing me at the moment. This looks much more muted in real life, but on my monitor right now, it’s looking almost garish. Oh well, I’m just trying to concentrate on those birds, and whether they distract too much from the landscape – which I’m still perfectly happy with… IN REALContinue reading “Crows flying over the island. In vibrant technicolour.”
It’s such a funny thing. Or perhaps I should call it a highly irritating, baffling thing. You can plug away for weeks on a picture, and not be sure that it’s working at all. Then one day, you can start a new one, and feel absolutely confident that it’s heading in the right direction fromContinue reading “Work in progress – more aerial views”
It was great to hear an illustrator on Desert Island Discs yesterday – Mairi Hedderwick, who created the absolutely peerless Katie Morag series. I was shocked to hear that some libraries actually banned the books for depiction of breastfeeding (?!) but it’s also really heartening that an illustrator can make her own quiet difference by standingContinue reading “Katie Morag, and how illustrators can make a difference”
I haven’t shared any collages with you recently. There’s a reason for that, and it isn’t that I haven’t been making any. No, I’m kind of stuck on one theme that keeps going down dead ends. With my previous collages, the stamp paddyfields, forest and valley, I had an excited feeling almost right away –Continue reading “Over egging the pudding, flogging a dead horse, etc”
This is another of my aerial view collages – click the image to see it bigger. Birds fly over a forest at twilight, taking messages to a loved one. Between the trees are little houses and lakes; on some of the lakes are boats. This one is almost entirely composed of stamps; the sea andContinue reading “Stamp forest”
In the last few days, I’ve put the finishing touches to a complex collage of paddy fields. It’s made of tickets and postage stamps (many contributed by kind friends) and maps (including one I used to navigate around Japan, before the advent of smartphones in my life). These elements symbolise travelling over great distances. IContinue reading “Green Shield stamps paddyfields”
Here’s a little collage bird I made while I was at my illustration class last night. Next week is the last session. We’re going to the pub, so I guess my learning has come to an end. At least, the kind of learning you do in a class. One of the tutor’s maxims was thatContinue reading “Airmail bird”
Here is a small bird I made from some Brighton bus tickets. We’re all switching to pre-loaded cards and mobile phone tickets these days, so it’s not as easy as it used to be to get hold of paper bus tickets. It’s funny to think that maybe in a couple of years’ time, this pictureContinue reading “Trying things out”
Birdy on the left is a bit too unkempt, but I like the Green Shield stamps fella. Remember Green Shield stamps? (You really do need to click to see this one bigger). This one’s feathers are made of (scans of) old bus tickets.
My next task is to try and make my magpie more appealing. I’m going to try giving him a few more human characteristics… let’s see how that goes, eh. Wish me luck.
A magpie. The first of many, no doubt. Good thing too, ‘cos it’s “one for sorrow, two for joy”. I intend to work right up to the lesser-known “47 for a successful children’s picturebook”.
I’ve had a couple of eye-openers this week – one artistic and the other cultural. Let me try to explain… Eye-opener one: mess So, it’s time to think about the protaganist in my picturebook – the one who’ll be telling the story. Here’s what I know about her so far: she’s very, very sad becauseContinue reading “Drawing characters – and two kinds of eye-openers”
I am having *SO MUCH FUN* drawing birds’ eye view landscapes and playing about with ideas. Above (click to see larger) is as far as I’ve got with the latest one, actually physically on paper. The plan is to collage some stamps onto it – the insomniac eBay shopping I mentioned in my last postContinue reading “Landscape with stamps”
After the first week of the course, I went away and started thinking and drawing and thinking some more. I’ve had this one idea for a children’s picture book for ages (along with many others), and now seems like a really good time to explore it. It’s a funny thing: the course itself? It’s justContinue reading “Birds”
Having slagged off motivational Pinterest aphorisms in my last post, hey, what better than to feature one in this post? But at least it’s from a children’s book illustrator – some might say the children’s book illustrator, Dr Seuss. And it’s very nicely done, isn’t it? It’s by Emily Ruth on Etsy and I knowContinue reading “Me-er than me”