Friday, 30 August 2013

Illustrations of human body

Human body illustrations can be tricky, as they require good references to start with, as it is very important that the illustrations are accurate. The illustrations I completed for a new non-fiction, lift the flap book certainly required that.

Human body: Today’s illustrations are from one of twenty-four books I have been commissioned to illustrate. It is a great project to work on for me, because the age range for the books is five to seven year olds, and so it has lift the flaps and fun layouts.
There are many illustrators in each book, but I’m lucky enough to be the main illustrator featured in all twenty-four! So, lots of work to do.
These illustrations have been created using a nib pen and coloured inks, used in light washes to build up the colours. I also use a completely smooth watercolour paper, which works well with the nib pen.
My brief for this book ranged from the skeleton of a six year old boy to an illustration of the digestive system. I have to say not my usual area of expertise, but a fun challenge.
I had to do a whole series of artwork based on a boy standing forward. The idea being you lift many flaps to strip the body back to the skeleton. On each layer you see something different, like the nervous system, the heart and lungs, etc.
I hope it’s pirates next…see my other blog for more posts on pirates: here

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Dinosaur illustrations

I’ve been doing dinosaur illustrations for a book recently for a publisher. Never really illustrated dinosaurs in a big way before and so thoroughly enjoyed working on this project.

Dinosaur illustrations: The book is aimed at five to seven year olds, and is a lift-the-flap book. It features more than one illustrator, but I am the illustrator that will be featuring in all twenty-four books! So four down, twenty to go! So far I have illustrated the Human Body, Horses and Ponies, Knights and Castles, and of course Dinosaurs.
Inspired by Régis Loisel’s Facebook page, who I think is an extremely good draftsmen. This site shows lots of his wonderful sketches and roughs, I thought I would show a combination of sketches for this project and the finished artwork too!
One thing I did enjoy doing was a series of heads. Yes, heads of dinosaurs! Sort of  dinosaur portraits and so this meant I was able to add a little personality too, within reason! Here are some of the sketches for my dinosaur heads and dinosaur birds! 
Stygimoloch Dinosaur bonkers

Edmontosaurus Dinosaur bonkers

Dinosaur bonkers

Monday, 26 August 2013

Knights and squires

Knights and squires are today's subject!

Knights and squires: In my last blog I posted artwork from a recent project I completed on a book about knights and castles, a lift-the-flap book for five to seven year olds. It is one book in a series of twenty four I am working on, which is why I cannot share too much information, including the publisher commissioning me.

Today I thought i would share some more illustrations with you. The artwork is all rendered in nib pen and coloured inks, used in washes, and the paper I like to use is a hand made Italian paper, which is beautiful to work on and allows for a great deal of detail and accuracy as it is completely smooth and pure white.

The following illustrations shows a baggage train, consisting of a squire, a knight, archers, soldiers, and oxen pulling a cart carrying a cannon. These are all going to be reproduced in the book really quite small, which I why they are quite simple illustrations.

The last illustration represents Richard Lionheart and Saladin fighting on horseback. Great composition to work on. I had quite restricted dimensions to work with on this one, and so it had to fit a particular space and still have lots of drama!

Thanks to the Royal Armouries for all their help!
knights and squires
Squire on horseback

knights and squires
Knight on horseback

knights and squires

knights and squires
Oxon pulling cart with cannon

knights and squires

Friday, 23 August 2013

Castles and knights

Castles and knights is an ever popular subject with publishers and a project I have just completed for a client I have worked with before...

Castles and knights: I'm afraid I cannot mention the publisher just yet, because the book is one of a series of twenty-four that I am going to be working on. Once the first four are published I can reveal a little more, but only a little!

The work is all rendered in nib pen and coloured inks, used in soft washes that I build up gradually. I work this way so that I can judge better the build up of colour and have greater control over the end result. The deadline for this book I would classify as 'Mission Impossible', even the client was apologetic. It all boiled down to the fact that the buyer of the series, wanted the first four books yesterday! So I had quite a challenge on my hands, as a book on castles and knights requires quite a bit of research, before you can even start sketching out ideas. I have to say the Royal Armouries were very helpful indeed.

All the artwork had to be cut to white, as the book is lift the flap and the layouts just work better with artwork cut to white. The age range for the series is five to seven years, which is why I think I was chosen to work on them. I am not strictly speaking a reference illustrator, but my style does work with this age range.

I hope to share with you artwork from the first four books over the next few posts, and so here today are two pieces of artwork from this book...

knight practising jousting, Castles and knights
knight practising jousting, Castles and knights

A medieval fletcher, Castles and knights

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Régis Loisel, Peter Pan

Régis Loisel, Peter Pan has just been published in English from the original French. Written and illustrated by French artist Régis Loisel.

Régis Loisel, Peter Pan: Today I went to the Institut Français in South Kensington to hear him speak about one of his adult comic books, which has just been publised in English. I actually got to chat to the artist, who speaks very little English and so I had to use my French, which is still quite basic at present. He is a multi-award winning artist, who happens to write and illustrate beautiful comic books.

The book took Loisel fourteen years to create, which is why it is so important to him. His take on Peter Pan is as far removed from the sugar-coated Disney version that it could possibly be. The first book in the series is set in the seedy, dark and grimy world of Victorian London. Peter's mother is an alcoholic prostitute, who hates Peter and shows him no love at all. So he is really nothing more than a street urchin, an orphan. An orphan with, to use Régis Loisel's description, a psychological crack. Jack the Ripper also features in this book, along with his infamous murders. Throughout it is implied that Peter could be Jack the Ripper. Is he? Or isn't he? Loisel says it is up to the reader to decide for themselves, but only he knows the real answer. The story in this first book leads up to the point where Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie starts his tale. So a very dark Peter Pan indeed.

The book has been published by Soaring Penguin Press, and is available now, at You must buy a copy!

The book like so many French comic books is aimed at adults and not children, and it is a respected and thriving industry in France. So much so that when the Institut held a comic strip competition for a local French-speaking school, it was the French ambassador that got involved! It was once thriving here, but alas died many years ago. However there are publishers around trying to revive the industry, and one in particular that is publishing volumes of French comic books, painstakingly translated beautifully into English. They are called Cinebook and talking to a Aldous, a representative of the publisher today, I found out that it takes around two years to produce a new bande dessinée album, the original work to write and draw it in French. Wow - how about that for perfection? The Managing Director, Olivier is French, and was at todays event, but was busily deep in conversation, so the last thing I wanted to do was to butt in! If you would like to find out more about Cinebook, then check them out by clicking Cinebook right here.

Rather than my work today here are two covers taken from Cinebook's latest catalogues! Worth taking a look at them. There are some truly spectacular French comic artists out there!
Watch out for my next post all about my upcoming lecture at Sidcup Library. Quentin Blake is lecturing too - can't believe I have been billed alongside the great man - humbled I am!
Regis Loisel - My Peter Pan
© Cinebook

Regis Loisel - My Peter Pan

Monday, 19 August 2013

Quentin Blake

I had five minutes today to have a quick look at any lecture publicity on the Internet for Quentin Blake’s lecture that might also mention and have advertised mine. Most include me in their publicity and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised and delighted!

Lecture publicity: My lecture has now happened and I shared blogs about on my Facebook page and website. I was advertised as speaking for two hours and so created varied and animated presentation, but intended to break it up a bit. I showed original pieces of artwork too, some of my published books and some paper maquettes. These are created by paper engineers specifically for pop-up books and gift books.
I divided up my lecture into three areas:
  1. From concept to book
  2. Other illustration projects I have worked on, which includes an adventure park, editorial and a pub sign
  3. My process of working.
I thought I’d share some of the links with you of places Quentin and my lecture are being advertised:
Here's an illustration that featured in my talk:

All illustrations are owned by Lyn Stone ©

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The two grannies

Laurie Lee was a writer who wrote the story The two grannies, which I have just illustrated for a publisher. This illustration shows the three children visiting Granny Trill’s home.

The two grannies: This story is included as an excerpt in a much larger English Language publication, as a teaching aid. The illustration has been created using sepia ink with a nib, and then very wet-in-wet water colours to create the softly blended colour effect.  I was trying to find a way to emulate the soft effect I am able to achieve in my pencil greyscale work, but using watercolour. It’s nearly there but I think I can push it further!

All images are owned by the Illustrator Lyn Stone ©

Monday, 12 August 2013

Dragon iPAD skin

Dragon iPAD skin is here! This is an illustration  I completed this morning for myAustralian agent. It’s so hot today that it dried very quickly and so I was able to scan it!
Dragon iPAD skin: It’s my illustration concept for a competition being run to illustrate an iPAD 4 skin. I just got this idea of a comical dragon rather quickly and so decided to run with it. 
I did a series of thumbnails first (final version below), to quickly get the composition right. I wanted an illustration that would work both portrait and landscape – hence the startled looking bird in mid-flight. I also wanted to add a bit of humour and fun.
I used inks and watercolours. Because it wasn’t for a client I felt free to experiment and so decided to splash the watercolour paint around. I also used layers of wet-in-wet, which created interesting areas where the colours bled and merged. I wanted to create an interesting and colourful background. Well at least I hope I have anyway!
If you would like to see more dragons and fantasy illustration, please click on my ‘subject’ link at the top and then select ‘fantasy’. I have quite a few illustrations from my Hobbledown project on this section too.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Literacy fiction

Literacy fiction is something that is good to do as an illustrator, as it is a precursor to picture book illustration. Nosey saves the day is a children’s fiction book I recently illustrated for Eleanor Curtain Publishing, as part of their Flying Start to Literacy range.

Literacy fiction: I experimented with working a little differently on this project. I chose a heavy not watercolour paper, which has quite a good texture and instead of coloured inks I chose to use watercolours. In places I flooded the watercolour with water to force the pigment out to the edges, which you can see really well in the jacket artwork below. I am not entirely sure I would use such a heavy not watercolour paper in future, as it was quite hard to ink, but it was fun.
The main character, Nosey is actually a pet dog. In the story the youngest boy goes missing in the park, and mum and his big sister set-out to find him. Nosey uses his doggy good nose to sniff him out, and they find him frightened but safe stuck up a tree.
Jacket illustration