Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Drawing nature

Let's learn about drawing nature. I am trying to get into the habit of sharing my 'how to draw' videos with you! This week's tutorial is aimed at helping you to improve your drawings skills and produce a really good drawing of nature. A bit of an obscure one, but apparently something people want to know and Google about. Obviously I have done it from the perspective of an illustrator. An artist would probably go outside with an easel or sketchpad and draw what they could see - some fantastic landscape. I would also liked to have done that, but was restricted to demonstrating in a studio. In this case my living room actually!


Drawing nature: If you would like to follow this video and learning about drawing nature, you'll need a sharpened pencil, or better still a technical pencil, which never needs to be sharpened, a good eraser, and a sheet of cartridge paper to draw on. The advantage of watching and following this video is that you can hit 'pause' whenever you like or even go back over something again if you need to!

I would love to get feedback from and you so by all means use the message box on this page to send me your thoughts on this video. If you would like to see more videos I have worked on, just got to www.videojug.com here! Or visit my blogspot blog page, where you can find many more tutorials and tips, click here!



Monday, 26 November 2012


Latest illustration news is here! Rather than talk about recently published projects I thought I would give you an update on the projects I am currently working on – without giving too much away!


Latest illustration news: Firstly I have been busy working on a reading scheme book. They are a bit like picture books, because they tell a story with lots of pictures, but the reading levels in them get harder. They are a really good for runner of the picture book format and so are good to illustrate. They are usually published at different reading levels and are very popular with publishers. Having submitted the roughs for one, I nervously waited for a response from the client. Luckily for me the client liked the roughs so much they’ve given me a second one to work on, before I’ve even finished the first! So at the moment I am just waiting for the manuscript to arrive in PDF form. Here was me thinking I’d have December off – hah!
I have also been as busy as ever working on the Agatha Christie Book Collection, drawing more dodgy vicars, wicked barmaids and stroppy majors. The magazine series seems to be doing very well indeed! Here is some artwork from a recent brief:


Finally, I have at last finished writing the first drafts of three pictures books. All three books work as a set and so hence three rather than one! If my agent thinks they’re OK the next stage will be to produce some sample spreads. He has already said he likes the idea, and so fingers crossed here.  Once that is done to everyone’s satisfaction, they will then be shown to a publisher. Fingers crossed the publisher will think they’re wonderful (please, please), and go ahead and commission me for all three! Obviously I cannot give too much away at this stage, as it is all ‘need to know’. Only my parents have seen the manuscripts so far…

Friday, 23 November 2012

Drawing snowflakes

Drawing snowflakes: I am trying to get into the habit of sharing my ‘how to draw’ videos with you! This week’s tutorial is aimed at helping you to improve your drawings skills and produce a really good drawing of a snowflake. As it is nearly Christmas I thought it an appropriate one to share with you all! In this video I am just concentrating on the structure of a snowflake.

If you would like to follow this video and learning about drawing snowflakes, you’ll need a sharpened pencil, or better still a technical pencil, which never needs to be sharpened, a good eraser, and a sheet of cartridge paper to draw on. The advantage of watching and following this video is that you can hit ‘pause’ whenever you like or even go back over something again if you need to!
I would love to get feedback from and you so by all means use the message box on this page to send me your thoughts on this video. If you would like to see more videos I have worked on, just got to www.videojug.com here! Or visit my blogspot blog page, where you can find many more tutorials and tips, click here!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Cinderella pantomime posters


The Cinderella pantomime posters are out and all over Scarborough advertising the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s pantomime this year! I said I would share the poster designs with you as soon as I could, and the designer very obligingly sent me the PDFs yesterday!


Cinderella pantomime posters: As I mentioned on Monday the artwork was actually done on several layers, which consisted of two sets of Japanese inspired waves, Cinderella on a surf board, her cat, giant seahorses and a fairy Crabmother! This way they could fit the artwork into any size or shape they wanted, including Monday’s YouTube video I shared with you.
They are so pleased with the artwork that they are definitely going to commission me in the future to do more poster artwork for them and so goodness knows what I’ll be working on next!
If you would like to see the artwork, please view some of my portfolios listed above in my site menu. If you want to know more about the Pantomime, then please visit the Stephen Joseph Theatre website here.
Here’s the poster! I think the logo is great and works well with the artwork. I would love to do Jack and the Beanstalk and so hopefully they’ll be doing a maritime version of that next year!


Monday, 19 November 2012

Cinderella illustrations animated!

I know I've already posted about this on my website, but I seem to have a different audience on blogger, so I thought I'd share it with you too!Cinderella animated using my illustrations! I did this artwork in the summer for the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough for the Winter Pantomime, and as well as appearing on posters, leaflets and in the foyer area, they have made a mini video out of it, which is very impressive!


Cinderella animated: This of course is a Pantomime with a huge twist and unlike the more traditional story has a maritime theme to suit the theatre’s seaside location of Scarborough.
This is what they are saying about this year’s Panto on the theatre’s website:
Who knew that Cinderella came from Scarborough? This year the world’s most popular fairytale is given a seaside twist.
Cinderella’s happy life capsizes when a storm washes her Mum out to sea and her Dad remarries a strange widow from Bridlington. Thrust into a life of drudgery in her Stepmother’s hotel, her only relief lies in gazing out to sea and watching the surfers soar over the waves.
The handsomest surfer has his own problem. Heir to the Slot Machine Kingdom, he’s too shy to talk to girls! When the Slot Machine King throws a Grand Beach Ball for the eligible lasses of Scarborough, Cinders knows she’ll never be able to go…until her Fairy Crab Mother intervenes. But her Stepmother and malicious Stepsister have other ideas and it will take all Cinders’ strength and bravery to finally be free. Will she make it to the Beach Ball? Set sail in our sparkling, surfing story to find out!
The illustration was actually drawn in sections to give the client maximum flexibility when it came to layouts. Some of their posters are landscape and others portrait, and so there were about five layers. It also meant they could animate it all far more easily.
Just watch this video…

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Agatha Christie

I have been very busy - hence my lack of blogging! I have worked on lots of spreads for the Agatha Christie Book Collection, I have written three picture books, am in the process of illustrating an English learner fiction book. Probably some other stuff too, but I can't remember! O_o!


Anyway today I thought I'd share with you some of the work I have completed for Agatha Christie's suspects, red herrings and some of the heroes! Heroes later this week, and so watch this blog!

Books I've worked on recently are They do it with mirrors, The moving finger, Passengers to Frankfurt and the current one, which involves a mysterious man and is set in 1926. For all those aficionados out there, I'm sure you can guess the title of that one?

Anyway here is some artwork from a selection of these briefs. A mixture of sketches and final artwork...

This is a sketch of the left hand side of the spread for They do it with mirrors. I usually do the background separately, once the editor knows what he wants. 





This is the colour version. The novel is set in 1950s and so I have tried to give the artwork a slight 1950s feel, within the constraints of the brief and layout.




Here's a character sketch from Passengers to Frankfurt. Had quite a lot of fun with some of the characters from this book! Absolutely full of eccentrics!


Here's a closure look at his face. I put quite a lot of detail into the roughs for this particular project, as so much detail is given in the briefs and I want to make sure I've got it right for the editor and the Agatha Christie team!



Later this week, I'll share the colour artwork from this spread with you - be prepared for some truly odd characters!