Monday, 30 April 2012

Web building for artists

Hah! That's a laugh! Today I have been battling with building my new website, and it isn't easy I can tell you. Setting up portfolio pages, so they all link and it all looks wonderful is hard work. I am however quite proud of my search button. You can actually put in a search term like, say 'pirate' or 'fairy', and all my artwork about pirates and fairies comes up, which is great! 

Here are some screen shots of the show so far, it is not searchable on Google yet - deliberately so, because it isn't finished yet and needs a lot more work.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

How to paint a rose

Sorry I haven't been around since Tuesday, but I have been busy building my new website, which I will share with you soon! Today I thought I would share another of my tutorials with you and this one, produced by is all about how to paint a rose. Here I am working with colour inks, but in washes, similar to how you would work in watercolours.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

How to draw and paint waves

Here are two videojug videos that I did on how to draw and paint waves. Apparently a lot of people Google this and so I was asked to do a demonstration. The first was done this time last year and the second in October 2010. 

I do hope you are able to follow them okay and that they make sense. I am always happy to receive comments from anyone who has a go at doing these tutorials!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Agatha Christie and the swinging sixties

Yes, I’ve gone from the Roaring Twenties and Art Deco thirties to 1969. It’s still Hercule Poirot, and one of Agatha Christie’s last Poirot’s mysteries. As usual I am working on all the suspects and what a motley crew they are! All the suspects are quite young in this Christie book - the oldest being forty and the youngest sixteen. So I have been busy researching the fashion for the year 1969 and it has actually been quite hard. This one has quite a creepy theme, which I am hoping to get across the artwork, as well as the usual sinister line-up. All the artwork for this magazine has been rendered in pen and ink. If anyone is interested in getting a copy they are now available in many high street newsagent and the series is called The Agatha Christie book series.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Kingfisher Publishing - Inside access: Sharks!

Working on my new website today and going through my picture archives I found some artwork I did a few years ago for Kingfisher Publishing that I haven't shown on my blog before. The character I drew was called Angel Fin and was 'the guide' in a non-fiction book all about deadly sharks! I did four books in total and they were all part of a new series called Inside access. They had originally planned to do twenty-four books, but after the fourth the project was cancelled, because the 'new broom' art editor in the States wanted a clean sweep. Needless to say I cursed them quite a lot at the time!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Fairie maison dans les arbres!

And for those anglo-saxons out there 'fairy tree house'. Now I may have shared this artwork with you before, but probably not the preparation too. I often find when giving talks about illustration that people are curious about how I got to the final image.

Firstly a publisher/client approaches me with an idea and in most cases it's very specific and they can either provide a layout in the form of a PDF with the text already in place or certainly a place for it.

I then get started on thumbnails and larger sketches (involving sometimes much blood, sweat and tears if ideas just fail to come) until they culminate into a rough that I feel is good enough and interesting enough to show the client. Like this:

Then the client likes to edit the rough, maybe suggest additions or if there is a character, maybe tweaking it or completely changing it even! Eventually after a few amended roughs there is one they are happy with that get's 'signed off'.

Then of course you get on with the finished artwork, like this:

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Animated art!

Here's just a bit of Saturday silliness! Thought you might enjoy an animated file of a selection of my artwork. At the moment this is loaded on my homepage on my current website!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Pictures of cats

Over the years for one reason or another I have drawn quite a few cats and so today I thought I would share with you some of my artwork and sketches of cats and also my video on how to draw kittens, so you can have a go yourself!

These are sketches of two cats, which were done for a private commission

This was a cat portrait for a greetings card design

Here's a cartoon cat and dog from my Christmas cards of 2010

Finally, have a go yourself. Here's my video on how to draw a kitten!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

How to draw graffiti step by step

Hello all. Today I am sharing a second successful video I did last year for, and as the above title suggests it’s all about graffiti.
Now I’m no graffiti expert at all and so was quite surprised when they asked me about doing this one, but I had a crack at it and below is the result. Please let me know what you honestly think of it. All suggestions will help me with any future projects I may do.
Look out for my next Agatha Christie post coming soon - once the magazine is in the high street!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Video: How to draw a cartoon dog

Today I thought I would share one of my videojug videos on 'how to draw a cartoon dog', as it has had over 4,422 hits on! Amazing! 

On videojug they have labelled it 'how to draw professional looking cartoons', but I could only show one thing on the video due to time restraints and so chose a dog. I may suggest to them that I do maybe a whole series, all on cartoony things!

Hope you enjoy this. I certainly enjoyed making the video!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Book jacket artwork

Hope everyone is having a nice day off on Good Friday. I have had a mixed day of boring housework and helping out at something called Messy Church. I know people who attend this little local church and they know I'm an artist and so low and behold I am helping out at Messy Church. It's aimed at getting children to play and create, and make as much mess as possible - hence the name! And they do get very messy! As I do lots of story time sessions with children I am quite happy to help out at anything like this - when I can fit it in!

So no illustrating today, however I thought I would share with you today some jacket artwork I have done in the past. Can't show you any recent work until it's in print, but here's some of examples of stuff I did many years ago now.

This one is just the artwork without the graphics added

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Agatha Christie book collection

I thought I'd share with you today some of the promotional material for the Agatha Christie book collection. Once an issue I have worked on is published I can share the artwork with you and so watch this space for more illustrations to come. I am still working on issues of the magazine and have been working on some short stories by Christie. Can't say which as I'm not allowed to give too much away - sorry!

I think these are quite fun and very retro. They are using the original artwork used to illustrate the books as they were published and so they are rather charming.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Agatha Christie: ABC Murders

So sorry I haven't blogged for almost a month, but March ended up being very busy with deadlines. The book I have been working on is now complete, and will hopefully be published quite quickly, later this year. Once it's out there I can share the artwork with you, and there is a lot of it to share too!

Some good news today. I can now show you the first bit of artwork done for the Agatha Christie book collection, which is currently selling in high street shops in the UK and I believe Japan too! The first Christie book I was asked to work on was the ABC Murders. In each issue I have worked on, I have been doing artwork of the suspects, red herrings and occasionally the heroes, such as Hercule Poirot, Tommy and Tuppence, and Mrs Ariadne Oliver.

Anyway, here's some artwork from the very first issue: