Thursday, 31 October 2013


I have been working on a picture book submission – three picture books in fact! Can't say too much just yet, as it is all a bit hush, hush still. However I think I can share some of the illustrations created for the submission.

All three books are aimed at pre-school children and I got the idea from my many story time sessions at local nurseries. When you have a room of around twenty five, three to four year old toddlers to control, you have to find fun and playful ways to do it or chaos ensues! A game I play with them that works really well I suddenly realised may work as a picture book. A sort of eureka moment.

I decided to use the same style I recently used for my iPAD skin design for the agency's competition – a mixture of nib pen and ink, and watercolours. I had so much fun creating the dragon illustration I just thought that it would be great to develop the style a bit.

Anyway, here are the results – wish me luck!

Here's my inspiration for the style of the artwork...

Here's one of the illustrations

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

How to paint eyes

How to paint eyes is one of the many video tutorials I completed for video a few years ago, but I have never shared it on my blog and so thought I would!

This video was one of twenty produced at the same time and a second set I did for video jug. As the second set involved more painting, they had to come to me and turn my home into a TV studio for a day, which was fun. Although my neighbours must have thought all a bit odd with the curtains drawn too and lots of lights being brought in...

I basically had to sit and ignore the cameraman completely and talk through, step by step how to paint and draw various subjects. Not easy and so I did do a little bit of preparation in advance, but in the videos I do start with a plain piece of paper!

If you want to have a go at following this video, you will need either stretched watercolour paper or strong cartridge paper, watercolour paint, a fine brush, some water of course (I use an old jam jar), and finally patience. 

This is a video that shows you how to paint an eye. It's amazing at the amount of different colours that it takes to paint an eye in order to make it beautifully realistic, yet it really is simple to do. Good luck!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Flower illustrations

I have drawn lots of fairies, gardens and flowers over the years and so thought it might be nice to do a post about flower illustrations and maybe share some sketches and finished artwork with you, just on flowers! A lot of this is really old stuff, but it is nice to look again at work every now and then. If nothing else you can see whether you have progressed as an artist, which is hopefully reassuring!

Flower illustrations: Where possible I like to do a bit of research work and use real species of flowers in my artwork. The illustrations I completed for Ivy Press contained many varieties of British Wild flowers, and there are some spectacular ones out there. For Templar Publishing, I added wild flowers, clematis and dandelions, which are not weeds! in actual fact bees love them, so let them grow. Mind you not in your lawn!

I have drawn them using pencil, inks, coloured inks and more recently watercolour, which I think works best. Watercolour can convey the delicacy of petals and leaves with layering and soft translucent colours.

Here are some old sketches for both Templar Publishing and Ivy Press, taken from photographs of wild flowers:

flower illustrations

flower illustrations
 flower illustrations

flower illustrations

Friday, 11 October 2013

Painting a rose

Among the many different subjects that I covered for videojug, one which they said was popular with surfers was information on how to paint a rose. 

This video was filmed in the second round of videos I worked on with videojug. For the first set of twenty I went up to their tiny studio in Central London. However for the second set of videos they wanted me to do quite a bit of painting, and that would have meant lugging lots of art equipment on the train and tube. So, they offered to come to me, and turned my living room into a TV studio - quite literally. They brought in lights and other equipment. Goodness knows what my neighbours thought of the whole thing - especially as the curtains and blinds had to be drawn...

Anyway, today I would like to share with the video on how to paint a rose. I do hope it is helpful and now that I've sorted out my comments notifications I will receive any messages or questions you send and will do my best to answer them.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Gift books non-fiction

Gift books non-fiction may sound an odd combination. Usually most people associate pop-up books and lift-the-flap books with the gift book market, but there are now many pop-up and lift-the-flap reference books for children.

Gift books non-fiction: Earlier this year I illustrated four non-fiction, lift-the-flap books covering, the human body, horses and ponies, Castles and Knights, and lastly DINOSAURS! There are meant to be twenty more, but all has gone quite with the publisher for now, and so it's case of being patient and hoping that they will go ahead with the whole series. I hope they do because I want to the Egyptians, the Vikings, and Pirates of course! They are aimed at five to seven year olds, and so have elements of fun about them - hence the lift-the-flap elements.

Anyway, here is some illustrations from the Castles and Knights book. If you want to see more check out my other blog posts and my non-fiction portfolio, by clicking on non-fiction above.

Sorry about how murky these look, but it is blogspot not me! They seem to be uploading images and then making them look grey and sludgy!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Oh no! Apologies

It would appear that I have been receiving loads of messages from people reading my posts and for some reason they haven't been getting to me. I am so very sorry. I have not answered any because I did not know they were there. I will now attempt to reply to you all.

Apparently my comments notification by email was set-up incorrectly, and so I should now be getting everyone's comments, and I will answer all of them! So keep them coming, please...

My sincere apologies!

Lyn Stone

Monday, 7 October 2013

Arts award discover

I have been inspired today after attending an 'arts award discover' training course, which will enable me to become an arts award advisor. Sounds very important and I suppose it is really, but not from my point of view. It is all about encouraging children to engage in the arts and have a better understanding of art all around them. That is what is important.

Arts award discover: The Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England.

The Arts Award mission is to support children and young people to enjoy arts, develop creative and leadership skills, and achieve a national qualification. Arts Award reflects many different interests and ambitions, respects individual development and helps young people to define their creative futures.

Attending the course were a fantastic mix of creative people with different perspectives on creativity. We had poets, an illustrator (me), librarians, performing artists, and other very interesting people.

The course is aimed at making those attending arts awards advisors, but only for the entry level called ‘discover’. The idea is that it is a course for children and young people, ranging from 5 years up to 25! There are three parts, which are called ‘discover’, ‘find out’ and ‘share’. Beyond the entry level there are courses that will provide a qualification for the child or young person. They are called ‘explore’, ‘bronze’, ‘silver’, and ‘gold’.

The whole point is that you as an advisor can be as creative as you possibly can be to achieve all this - what fun for me!

We had an excellent tutor who not only works as a freelancer but is also an actress, and so she made the whole course highly entertaining with her hot pink nails!

Having attended the course today, I would definitely recommend creative people to become involved in this inspiring award for young people.

If you’d like more information, then I would suggest going to Good luck - get creative!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Hobbledown's Rumpletump

Hobbledown's 'Rumpletump' is a character from the book 'Hobbledown' that I illustrated last year for Kids Space Adventures Ltd.

Hobbledown's Rumpletump is one of many wonderful characters in this novel. The book was created to not only work as a novel in it's own right, but also as a promotional device for the newly opened adventure park also called 'Hobbledown'. 'Rumpletump' is a monster that everyone is fearful of for many reasons. However he comes in very handy when the 'Hobblers' need to rid their world of the ghastly 'skibblers' that have invaded and kidnapped Fern the fairy. They lure the monster with his favourite food, custard pie right into the path of the 'skibblers'.

All the book illustrations were created using graphite pencil. I have been meaning to turn some into full colour for a while. At the moment I have a little time to do that and so recreated the illustration of 'Rumpletump' in his lair, scaring all the birds and everyone else!

For this artwork I didn't use any ink at all but chose to do the line work using a sepia colouring pencil. I then used the same watercolour technique I used for my recent dragon illustration.  I am quite pleased with the subtle colouring and the overall effect...