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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Drawings, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 293
1. KITE WEATHER

HOW TO FIND GOLD is only one of Anna and Crocodile's adventures.

I wrote a few of them down as letters to my team at Walker Books.
Here is a blustery one.










There's a whole book about Anna and Crocodile, called HOW TO FIND GOLD.

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2. Walker Books PICTURE BOOK OF THE MONTH!

Isn't that awesome! First month of the year and Anna and Crocodile win a surprise honour.

I wrote a making-of feature for the Walker Books blog, you can read it here.

I wondered who these instructions were for. Was this a chapter from a pirate primer? Who was reading it now and why? I started to illustrate it, first imagining myself as a small child, practicing to sleep with my eyes open to make sure no one could steal the gold I hadn’t found yet.

“Get yourself a pet that will surprise you at night,” the story recommended. “A crocodile is ideal. Carry one with you wherever you go to build up your strength. Start with a young crocodile. It will grow.”

This was an idea taken from the Greek myth of Milo who carried a calf on his shoulders every day until it grew into a bull and he grew into a mighty Olympian. More importantly, one summer when I was tiny my mother bought me an inflatable crocodile in the supermarket. It was big enough to ride on and intended for the seaside. I carried it everywhere, dragging it by the tail until its snout wore through on the tarmac and it deflated before the holiday even started.

I drew a girl and her toy crocodile. It wasn’t quite right. They just seemed very quiet and small. - I drew them in on a new page and asked the girl some questions about the crocodile. She said it was called Rupert Maureen, and didn’t move unless she threw it and she wasn’t supposed to throw it. I didn’t expect that.


READ THE REST (both of the article and the comic)


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3. MAKING OF "HOW TO FIND GOLD": letting the characters speak

As promised, here is the first of a few MAKING OF posts about How To Find Gold, my new picture book that's just been published (go buy it, thanks)!

I was developing the characters of Anna and Crocodile by letting them act out some of the ideas I had for the book on paper. I had no idea who they were yet. Anna had my haircut (it grew out gradually while I was working on the book) and the crocodile was a toy which Anna had told me was bought from IKEA ("when we got the wardrobes").

This is from the second sketchbook (there were many).








So, yes, that's how I work... I recommend it, it's really rewarding to see what these little made-up people come out with when you just let them run wild.

Next: Painting Like A Child. Watch this Space.

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4. Ink on Kinder

Hello, it's me and I'm blogging and I'm still doing daily inky things for #inktober. Yesterday I did inky things up a mountain. Or a Peak. On Kinder Scout to be precise. 
Landscape probably wouldn't be my subject matter of choice, but I'd never rule any subject out. These days I love to tackle something I wouldn't normally tackle. 
But I don't really know how to approach landscapes, that's the problem. Or the challenge. 
So, I approached these rocks and this landscapes in the way I know how, by seeing them as a 1950s textile design. Did it work? I dunno. 
To be honest, I don't care. I had fun trying. And that's what #inktober is about for me. That's what drawing is about. 

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5. CAT AND BAG

My Anxiety web comic has a brand-new home.
I am reposting all the old episodes, edited and tidied a bit, and there are many new ones to come.

So: that's where the new stuff will happen. Go Look There.

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6. Drawn Chorus Collective

I'm working on a spread for the Drawn Chorus Collective's latest anthology; it's an alphabet book.




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7. one of the issues of working with marker pens

That is all.
Bugger.

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8. I AM HENRY FINCH - The Making Of (well, my bit)

"I am Henry Finch" seems to be doing well since it was published earlier this year, it's getting good reviews and I keep meeting it in bookshops. - People have asked me about illustrating Alexis' texts, how we work together seeing that he is also an illustrator and I am also a writer. So I thought it would be good to write this MAKING OF.

So, first of all Alexis wrote the text - I had asked him to write something about finches because I like them. Then he showed it to me.

I could see the book straight away. It made me laugh a lot. It was pretty much perfect.
At the first few presentations, people weren’t sure about the philosophical aspect, whether it would get across to small children. I was sure that it would, and kept crudely fingerpainting rough illustrations on my ipad. “Look, look, this will be awesome!” I insisted, drawing more and more beady-eyed lumps with stick legs. The monster was just a wild scribble, and the night paint-bucketed in. I drew a picture of a finch thinking of himself, and Ben Norland, the art director, laughed and said: “Oh, I think I see…” so we started working on it. After that it seemed like every week there was someone else who saw the latest version, went “Oh I see…” and started laughing.


I think that moment is heart of the whole story. A finch, hardly more than an anonymous scribble, sees himself and realises that he is somebody. His thought is identical to himself in that very moment. Truth, but no meaning, no future, no past… he could stop there. It’s a perfect moment. But he goes on, and that, I think is the greatest thing he does: he keeps thinking when he doesn’t need to, that’s what leads to all the rest.


I wanted the finches to be all the same but every one unique, that’s why I used fingerprints. Henry is always printed with the same finger, actually, and no one else has that particular print. While working on the book I started to recognise my friends’ fingerprints. I fingerprinted everyone who came to the house or the studio for a few weeks to get a good collection - I needed big thumbs for finches in the foreground and daintier ones for the background, also different shapes for different moods. Finches change shape a lot. I used to keep finches myself, so I know. I love finches more keenly than any other kind of animal, I think, they are amazing little creatures, brave, resilient and funny.



The linework is drawn with my favourite fountain pen. I always carry that one.



The beast is painted in watercolour because that’s how I instantly imagined it. I have a fear of marine invertebrates which I know most people don’t share. I figured that referencing them, I will be able to feel scared enough myself to draw a convincing monster without making it so frightening that small children will hide from the book. - Its internal organs are a mixture of drawings of sea creatures and cross sections of the human inner ear. It’s just a particularly odd-looking organ, the inner ear, and it amused me that the beast has one in its guts.
The actual design of the beast is a collaboration with Alexis - we spent an afternoon playing a drawing game with watercolour blobs, and I assembled the parts that seemed right.





I put a lot of little interactions in between the finches so that the book would be fun to look at even if you don’t follow the text, and tried to make the more conceptual philosophical pictures accessible enough that each one could be discussed separately, in simple terms, without the text. The page where Henry understands the circle of life pertaining to his part of the world is supposed to be like a little story in itself, but one that you can grasp in one moment, like a thought. Comics are great for that, showing any amount of time presented as one moment, and not even linear but as we experience it - everything interrelating. The rest of the book is paced in a linear manner, mostly by page turns, but on that spread you can spend a moment or an hour, see all at once or follow the threads, say “It is!” or speak about everything you see.

click to make bigger!

I am very glad about the way this book came together. If I hadn’t been so excited that I fingerpainted those hurried digital scribbles on the spot and made someone laugh with them, I wouldn’t have known to keep the art this simple. If Alexis hadn’t been doing workshops turning blobs of watercolour into creatures, I wouldn’t have thought of making the design of the beast into a drawing game. - Working with Alexis makes these accidents easy because he really knows how to improvise.

I hope that people will like Henry Finch as much as I do. I had him tattooed on my arm, to remember what I learned. Keep thinking, keep listening, speak, because You Are, and It Is.




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9. Observational Sketches

Here are some of the sketches I've recently been doing.
I do a lot of observational drawing using a fountain pen and a portable watercolour set.
I tend to draw people as cats.


Icons of Elegance performing at Jamboree

Audience
Supporting act

Audience






Hot Dogs in Shoreditch

Posh birthday party at the World's End Pub

Piccadilly Line from Heathrow


Wapping, a cold Spring day
Board game testing

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10. flowers in her hair....

©the enchanted easel 2015
and a few new drawings...underway.

{it's been a crazy couple of weeks....new drawings, commissions and my lovely little lily (see pic below) all trying to get done at the same time. busy, busy, busy....and loving every single second.}


lily...in progress
©the enchanted easel 2015



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11.

There's an Opera Flashmob happening in London, and you can be part of it...



The amazing Katherine Kontz devised a new piece for the Tête à Tête opera festival. I drew the poster for it and I'll be participating in some way or other... will you? Sign up if you want to be come a part of the art.


An invitation to bring your rolling suitcase along and embark on a musical journey of boisterous wheels and beatific voices in sunny King’s Cross. Prepare for a dose of flip-flopping holiday fun!
Read more here... It'll be great.

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12. Anti Austerity Protest: SKETCHES

I went to the Anti Austerity Protest today and took my sketchbook.
The march started at Bank. Here are some people assembling and wondering if they are in the right place.

Here they worked out that they are in the right place. 

Still at Bank. The streets are closed. The athmosphere is friendly. Drumming, chanting, leafletting.  Every few minutes a sudden cheer goes through the crowd, not sure why.

Lots of families here. The crowd is starting to move.

There's not much police, surprisingly. Much less than I expected. A lot more protesters than I expected... really a lot.

Some surreptitious tagging going on at Bank. There's the first helicopter.
The chap in the background is inviting people to join the Socialist Party, I think.

Moving into Fleet Street.
There's an overwhelming amount of groups. Goths against austerity, Chefs against austerity (here in the foreground). The blimp is tethered to a fire engine crewed by the Fire Fighter's Union. Lots of local groups turned up to protest about hospitals, council housing and assorted public services (there's Haringey).

Here's a cluster of artists, mostly.
And some music.


Someone was asking "why don't they chant back?" Because they are the National Union of Sign Language Interpreters. They are chanting, look.

The Strand is packed. There's a tired child with a CUTS KILL paper hat, she perked up afetr a few minutes of being carried.
Sisters Uncut had an impressive presence, their crowd spanned the width of the road.

Some masked people. Most wore their masks on the back of their heads, like this girl with the princess backpack and the YOUTH FIGHT AUSTERITY placard, and her mum.
That dragon statue is quite alarming from the back.

I've never seen so many people marching together, and I didn't see anyone being aggressive to anyone else. I just watched the news, they did get some footage of "fireworks" (smoke bombs, the colourful sort, I stepped over a pretty bright purple one in passing) and people dressed in black with masks trying to block a road. They didn't try very hard. No point anyway, the city was full of people peacefully protesting.


(This is all scanned with my handheld scanner, excuse any wobbles.)

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13. ELCAF: Catifying The Public!

I did portraits of people coming to ELCAF today.
Here are some cool cats who turned up:










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14. School visits

I had a few wonderful school visits recently...

In St Christopher's School I helped with a project where the kids made their own picture books. I did a day of tutorials, some sketching and in the end made a whole dummy book on stage.
They had a biology lesson in the gym, handling exotic animals, which was great fun to draw.





 In the Haberdasher's Aske's School for Girls I visited for a day with Alexis. We read them our books and drew monsters together.


Very important to have a party stomach. 
modular beasts.


It was awesome.
Thanks everyone!



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15. GET A PORTRAIT!

You can now commission me for portraits, as long as you're happy to be an animal in it.



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16. Twins

I'm having a lot of fun doing portrait commissions.
Here is a matching set of twin girls.

Get a treat for someone while I still have the time to draw these! Once I'm getting into the next big picture book project I'll be too busy...

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17. Space Cat Portraits

Today I drew people as Space Cats, as part of the Galactic Fete at Creation Space London.
I especially enjoyed drawing families - I asked them to do a space pose. 







I managed to forget my drawing pen, so I had to hack a writing pen by adding a pipette I happened to have in my brush roll as a reservoir for drawing ink. I also cut a nib from a beer can and used some correction fluid and a toothbrush for stars.


Well, that was fun.

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18. Elephant Sketches and New Projects

I've been hugely busy, and at the moment my life has been turned upside-down while I explore new horizons that lie before me, but I'm also slowly getting back into my work routine ... with exciting projects coming up that I'm already in love with.

I'll elaborate on those projects (that will be incorporated into my coursework for next year as well) a bit later on, but here's a hint:

 

Illustrating-for-Children

 

I'll just add that it's something I've wanted to do for years but never quite had the confidence to tackle before ... It's going to be a lot of fun!

With that in mind, I enrolled in a couple of online classes as refreshers and also to learn something about the practical side of illustrating children's books. I've just started on the first one, Picture Book Illustration: Animal Characters by Eric Johnson, on Craftsy, and have been sketching elephants for the first class. Still need to do more drawings and still need to learn a lot more about them, but here's a bit of a start:

 

Elephants-by-Floating-Lemons

 

I'm also being reminded of how grounding and therapeutic just having a pen, pencil, or brush in my hand is. I've missed it these last few weeks. As it is, I shall be moving house very soon so things will get slightly chaotic once more, but I'm sticking to my art therapy - I need it.

Cheers.

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19. you should draw me

I feel like I haven't sat down and actually created a 'proper' drawing, or worked on a project, in ages. Life, and making a living, has got in the way of that.
Not that I've stopped drawing, I've never drawn as much. And, I'm loving drawing in a different, faster way. I do long, though, to just sit for an entire afternoon or weekend, week even, and just work on a big mega drawing. The kind of thing I can get lost in.
 But, I need to capitalise on this time of year. That's the reality, right now. I've finally just begun, after a couple of years of real hardship, to see the wood for the trees and to really start thinking like, and seeing myself as, a professional artist/illustrator. Whatever that is.
 And, now, I've forced myself into a situation where I have to make money from this. Which is a good thing. A scary thing, but a good thing.
Before I was just selling online to top up my wage, now my wage tops up my selling online. The balance has shifted. And, I'm no longer just selling online, recently I've been selling offline too.
All of these drawings were made over two days, and two art fairs, last weekend. I've come to realise that I need to sell myself in lots more ways (not like that), to keep a roof over my head.
It's not easy to see your work in those terms; as a saleable product. Well, at least, I don't find it easy. But that is the reality of it.
It's been a long time coming too. I've been talking about it for way too long; taking steps to turn professional. And, it hasn't been the greatest of timing, on my part, in this recent financial climate. But, there's something about the struggle that makes it even more 'rewarding' (that's not the right word, or not the word I'm looking for, but it's late at night and I'm tired).
So, I've been getting my work out there, and, actually, even if it still feels uncomfortable selling me, I couldn't love sharing and talking about my work more. 
I'm constantly amazed anyone wants to know.
My plan for 2015 is to get better at all that stuff. The presenting of my work, that is. I've had a practice run this year, but I want to make my 'show' bigger and better. I want it to be a visual treat, to compliment my sketchbooks.
I want to make lots more lovely creative products that show off my drawings. And, I want to get out there, further afield, and meet and share them with more people.
And, I want more adventures. So that when I finally get back home,
to sit and draw, I'll bring all that I've learnt and seen back to my work. And make it richer than ever.
Looking forward to the New Year already.
I had no idea where this post was going when I started it. Absolutely none. I'm glad it ended on such a positive note. I think I've inspired myself!

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20. Painting for fun today






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21. A Merry Christmas Alpaca from Floating Lemons

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a fantastic New Year!

 

Merry-Christmas-alpaca-by-Floating-Lemons

 

This alpaca is one of two that friends of mine are looking after at the moment. I've taken some creative liberties with proportions and perspective, but I'm sure they will forgive me for it. They are sweet, playful, and perfect for wishing everyone a warm, woolly Christmas and a friendly, positive, wonderful end of 2014. Have fun and be safe! Cheers.

 

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22. just a little green

These are my Day Three sketches of the Post Three Sketches in Five Days challenge.

Today I chatted with Koosje Koene, one of the founder members of Sketchbook Skool, on Skype, and we caught up on all sorts of things that had been happening, for both of us, since I went to Amsterdam last year to film my classes for Sketchbook Skool with her. It was good to talk. You know when just chatting with another person who has the same interests and passions as yourself can give you a boost? It can be uplifting and, well, the conversation left me feeling all inspired. So, it felt fitting to post these three sketches, that I made whilst I was there, in Amsterdam with Koosje, today.

If you are unaware of Sketchbook Skool (is there anyone who hasn't heard about it yet?), well, it's this online school where all the tutors are sketchbook artists from around the world. An eclectic mix of tutors who are pretty much obsessed with creating sketchbooks. In fact, there's no pretty much about it, they're totally obsessed with creating sketchbooks. And, that includes me! Yes, I'm one of the tutors on the 'Seeing' course which starts on Friday. Still time to sign up. You can do that, and find out more, HERE.

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23. Lions






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24. can't talk now I'm sketching a band

Here's another sketching opportunity that came my way recently, I got to go into a studio to sketch band. A local band, including a couple of members I know. I realised that I've never actually been into a studio before. I could have spent hours, days, in there drawing all the equipment.
 I have some larger drawings that I made in my Moleskine sketchbook, but these drawings I made in a cheap little pretend Moleskine that was about a quarter of the price. I'm not somebody who moans about the Moleskine sketchbooks being expensive. I actually don't think they are. Or, at least, for me it's well worth the price for the amount of time, effort and love I put into filling them. But, there is something to be said for these cheaper sketchbooks. You're less precious about them and about wasting the paper which gives you the freedom to make different kind of drawings. More sketchy.

Anyway, here are some sketchy sketches. And, here, if you are interested are the band, Sharma. If nothing else just check out this first track. I think they're good. Really good. You can watch them HERE.

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25. Shark and Lobster - a diary sketch book of character development work

One of my first books was Shark and Lobster's Amazing Undersea Adventure - a tale of Shark, who is afraid of Tigers, and his best friend Lobster.
It was very hard to write - I had already written one draft years before when I was still in school, and now I had to learn how to rewrite and edit and make a picture book story of it.
One thing I did then, which I've kept up since, is make a diary for my characters to see what they got up to and who they actually were.
I did find out a lot about Shark and Lobster this way, almost none of it made it into the book, but that's not the point of character development work.

I thought it would be nice to stick it on my blog so that you can see how I work (or how I worked when I was starting out in 2001 - I've gone lest wistful over the years, but my approach is still very similar).
Here you go!





















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