Friday, 30 September 2011

Bolshevik types...

Well I said I would say more today about the next piece of artwork and here we go...

My next brief is to illustrate the suspects from the novel all about spies. This was apparently first published in 1922 and so it's one of the early ones! It is set in London in 1919 and so this time the costumes, hairstyles and decor are much earlier, which will be fun! One of the first novels to feature Tommy and Tuppence I believe and famously portrayed on London Weekend Television, starring by Francesca Annis, as Tuppence and James Warwick as Tommy. It's all to do with British Intelligence and the Russians, and so will be full of sinister characters that I will need to portray - great stuff!

Hope everyone has a great weekend...

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Good news!

Well I have had so much disappointment lately that it is nice to have had some good news today. 

By disappointment I'm referring to the fiasco with a publisher and the likely white elephant in the form of a meeting I had last week. The minute my client knew I had an agent, everything changed. Suddenly everything I was doing was "merely speculative and based on those I may or may not be chosen". Those words were not uttered at any stage of the meeting at all. Quite the opposite actually; much enthusiasm about everything they wanted me to do. To say my enthusiasm for the whole character sketching thing has died would be an understatement. 

Anyway after that rant the good news! The editor of the magazine was so pleased with my work yesterday, he is giving me the next issue to do too. Bit of a tight turn around, but I'm getting used to that. This one is full of Bolshevik types - more on that tomorrow! Also if I work hard, there may be something in the pipeline with another publisher.

Anyway, here's any angry dude that represents my feelings about unreliable clients!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Well I have just finished my deadline today for the next Agatha Christie issue. I am not sure when they are going to start advertising them on telly, but it must be soon? 

As you know I am not allowed to share any of the artwork with you, but I can post small hints - lol! This is my attempt at some mild spoilers. These really are very small areas of the actual artwork and so I'm not giving much away here:

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Yuck Factor

Yes, I actually illustrated a book for Hodder called 'The yuck factor'.

Last week I mentioned going through my plan chest and sorting it out and how I had come across some old projects and this is one of them, and that I try and share some old artwork with you. Now this IS old because I no longer really draw like this, but I thought you might find it fun. So here's a bit of silliness for you...

Monday, 26 September 2011

Pratiquer le français et l'art d'aujourd'hui

Erm, in other words I have been practising my French and doing artwork today for 'Sleeping Murder'. 

For my French I am now learning about asking and giving directions to places and buildings and am thoroughly enjoying it, because for some strange reason I enjoy looking at maps - weird I know! On the art front one half of the spread is complete, just the other half to do today and tomorrow. Wednesday's my deadline and so I've got plenty of time on this one. 

Then I have got to get started on working out the wonderfully described characters for this fantasy book. I can't wait, the characters are so wonderfully created by the writer and full of humour. I should be able to let my imagination go wild on this one and invent all sorts of gadgets and interesting fantastical clothing for all the characters to wear. They will be something along the lines of my goblins and fairy work for older children, you've seen them before, but as a reminder I have popped in two samples below, so you can see what I mean. The client also wants me to use my pencil style, which is very labour intensive and takes a long time, but for me it is the most satisfying of all my work!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Sleeping murder...z...z...z....

OMG! I'm tired! Have just come off the phone from the editor I am working with for Sleeping Murder. I have had yet another busy day. But all the suspects are sketched and all look like killers (except for the cute dog of course). Next I need to go into colour and so that's my weekend gone! Deadline is next Wednesday and so I haven't got to break my neck on this one too much! We've got Majors, weak-chinned men, dodgy second-hand car dealer types, scary 'Jeeves and Wooster' women and a very cunning Doctor - all good really.

No pictures today, I am too worn out to sort any out for you - sorry folks. I will post some pictures tomorrow, I promise! Obviously NOT from this project, or I'll be taking a long walk off a short pier!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Goblins, fairies, dragons and other creatures!

Well I had a hectic and rather fraught journey today to Epsom in Surrey. You plan a trip down to the finest detail and then good old British Rail cock it up for you completely! So, naturally I was late for my meeting. Oh and then when I got to Epsom the damned cab took twenty minutes to get to me! Anyway once I arrived at the children's farm, where big plans are afoot I could start enjoying my visit! I'm involved in providing all sorts of artwork for the big plans, including illustrating a book full of fantastical creatures, some of which I can't mention. However I can tell you there are fairies, dragons and a whole host of animals.

The company chose me because of the artwork I'm posting today for you to look at , some you may have seen before!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Je suis désolé, après la fin!

Yes, it was my French class tonight and so I did not have time to blog earlier. Also this week has gone nuts! 

Tomorrow I'm off to a children's farm in Epsom for a meeting about a book I will be illustrating full of Goblins and fantastical creatures. I'm still busy with Agatha Christie artwork, and now I am going to be working on some sort of, well I think they're called 'concept' drawings for an advertising agency, and that's a first for me and a bit of a departure from children's books! But then I have done a pub sign/logo recently! 

I will tell you more about the book project tomorrow when I know a little more...

Here's a teaser for the Agatha Christie - can only show you a sketch of one of the characters pet dog!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Massive art tidy!

I never knew how much work I had done in just two years! 

Today I was working on the Agatha Christie artwork and was looking for one sketch I did some time ago of a Spaniel, but I didn't realise how much work I had to wade through. It was in such a mess that original sketches were getting screwed up - not good if I ever need to refer to them again. I then spent an hour sifting through the lot and putting them into neat piles and labelling everything! Nightmare!

Anyway, as a result I found this life study I must have done about a year ago, which is rendered in chalks and so I thought I'd share it with you. I am also going to share with you some sketches I found today that have never appeared in published books or greetings cards, which you may enjoy?

Anyway, here's my naked man - very modestly drawn:

Friday, 16 September 2011

1940s styling

Today I have been concentrating on my next set of characters for the Agatha Christie book, Sleeping Murder. Most of the characters are on the mature side, but all are full of character and so I have been having fun trying to convey that in my roughs and of course researching costume, shoes, hairstyles and cars! 

I'm itching to show you some of the artwork, but can't I'm afraid as they haven't even started advertising the magazine yet! 

Here's some of the wonderful references I have found though that I am using for the characters:

Thursday, 15 September 2011

My Agatha Christie model...

Want a laugh? I thought I would share with you a photograph of a male model I am using for some of my Agatha Christie characters - it's my Dad! Poor man. He's very game though I must say. Today I had him posing with a moustache made out of luminous pink wool and a garden fork - LOL! Obviously the character will look nothing like my father, but it helps to have some starting point and someone posing can give you a feel for the image.

He'll kill me probably but in between drinking his tea I got this shot out of him! I do love the moustache!

A car similar to this will feature in the spread too

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

More Agatha Christie!

Whoopee! I am starting on the next issue for the Agatha Christie magazine and this time it's going to involve Tommy and Tuppence! Not the first issue I am working on, but one of the others and so more villains and red herrings to look out for! Yet again I cannot share any of the artwork with you until it's sitting on a shelf in WH Smiths, but hopefully soon...

But just to satisfy you with some artwork of a villainous nature, how about some mafia cats?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Artwork from videojug

Well I have received my first bit of artwork as a result of my videojug videos! Someone has been watching my videos and learning, and I have the artwork by them to show you.

It turns out that videojug is being used in schools in art lessons! My nephew started at his new school in England last week (he's been living in Thailand). During his art class the art teacher showed them videojug and immediately my nephew pointed out that his Auntie Lyn was on it! 

Anyway he has had a lesson in how to draw cartoon faces, which is one of my many videojug videos and here's the result - pretty good I think!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Hotch potch

Thank you for all the orders for cards that have come in so far - I am very grateful and pleased that my mice have gone down so well this year!

I will hopefully be working on a new project soon for a rather unusual client - certainly not the publishing industry anyway, but it is for a children's book. Hopefully I'll have more details soon. To give you a taster, the first meeting is taking place in a children's farm in Epsom! I think that is probably the oddest place I have met people for a meeting, but I think it's going to be great fun actually. As usual I can't give too much away, as that would be unfair to the client.

And finally watch out for those TV ads soon for a new Agatha Christie magazine, which I have contributed to. My first appearance is in issue five! Hopefully I will be getting another brief shortly from the editor, and so more red herrings coming. Once issue five is in the shops I can then share the artwork with you, as it will be in the public domain, as it were!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Cards are finally here

I do hope I am not boring everyone to tears with this, but here's my final Christmas card designs, which I thought you might like to see! If you're wondering why I have done them so early, it is because I have reached a lull in my freelance work and so it seemed sensible to get this done now!

As my cards were so successful last year (people actually bought them), I have decided to do the same this year. So if your interested to know more just send me a message and I'll get back to you. I can put personal messages inside the cards for you too. I am even doing a set in French!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

More card designs!

Well I have been busy today, finishing and scanning three more images to show you. I think you can probably see the theme now!

There is one more piece to do and then that is all six designs finished! Any guesses for what you think the sixth artwork is going to be?

Hope you like these...

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Christmas card designs finished!

Well I threatened blog twice today and so here's the second post. I have actually managed to get round to scanning in two of my Christmas card artworks for this year's cards. I am currently working on the other four designs. I think all shall be available to order by the end of September, beginning of October and of course because they are all handmade it will then take a while to get them made up!

Here are two designs for you - hope you like 'em!

Oh dear, oh dear...

Sorry I didn't post anything yesterday, but I wasn't that well - bit of a tummy bug I think, but I feel more human today! As a consequence you're getting two posts today. This is a fairly short one and I just wanted to share some more artwork from the X-Factor Little Grey Rabbit project that I did not win (erm, due to the fact the publisher already had an artist selected before I was even brought on board!).

See ya later...

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Animal art...

Hello everyone. Sorry I didn't blog yesterday, but I got back very late and then felt too tired to type up a post for you.

Well the theme lately with me seems to be animals and so I thought I would show you one more VideoJug video today, all about drawing of all things - chickens, and also share some more artwork with you.

I'm afraid you won't see the colour work of my Christmas mice until Monday at the earliest as I'm currently still painting them!

How to draw a chicken:

How to draw a swan:

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Mice and rabbits everywhere!

Well I am still fuming today over the bad news I had yesterday, which may I add has got worse now I know I didn't stand a chance, because they already had an artist lined up! I think I was just reeled in as insurance. I wasn't paid a penny for all the many samples I produced and full colour artwork! Sometimes I really feel like I'm being used, whether intended or not that's how it feels and it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. 

Never mind. Trying to calm myself down today I drew up and stretched the paper for all my Christmas cards artwork today ready to ink and paint them tomorrow. I have done six designs in total - all of them cute mice! 

Despite my disappointment, I did promise I would share with you some more roughs from this project and so here they are...