Saturday, 5 December 2015

Oh by gosh by golly

Well it's been a while (4 years and 9 months to be precise) since I last posted on here and the last one was when we were travelling which is nearly 5 years ago! ARGHH! Me, productive? No, obviously not. Since that last post we returned from travelling, moved into the in-laws house in Wales for a year (yes I have in-laws now!), got married, moved back to my old stomping ground Norwich, set up a business, set up another business, and I'm soon to start my 5th year freelancing. In the mean time I HAVE been working on my kids books. I know, what a shock eh? The mock up books for two of them are done (White Day + Sidney is Orange) with many changes on the way and today, TODAY I'm about to start work on one of two finished bits of work for Sidney is Orange. I'll post the results when I finish them ('if' I hear you cry) and we can all have a good cheer and splash champagne about with gay abandon. Huzzah!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Whoops. Missed my deadline totally. I intended to get my books done and sent off before I went travelling. Needless to say that has´t happened. I´m writing this in a hostel in Rio, Brazil. We´ve been on the road for two and a half months and we are going to be hopefully, away for a year. Until I get back obviously my books will be on hold. I´ll be freelancing (give me a shout if you need any work doing!), setting up a new business venture and generally trying to make ends meet! A new deadline will spring forth that doesn´t have the stress of doing up my house, selling it, sorting out a personal work website, wrapping up my old work, and sorting out actually going travelling!

Watch this space!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


Ah well. A long time between posts and when one does come along it has nothing to do with the 3 books at all. My tour of the world is hurtling towards me and understandably there are oodles of things to sort out with that before we go. So the books unfortunately have taken a back seat. Which is a great shame because I wanted to have them done before I go. However my showreel, portfolio site are high up the list to be done before I go so I have nothing to worry about when I come back for getting back into working for a living. So where does that leave the kids books? Unfinished is a quick a simple answer to that. How far have you got with them though, are they close to being finished? Well, Sidney is Orange is so very close to being finished as a rough book I can sniff it. Then I would be looking to create 3 or so full colour finished pages. White Day is very very close too, and again, 3 or so full colour illustrations would be needed for that. Coolio is another story. Obviously. Its all a bit up in the air, undecided of style, layout, way of telling the story as well. A lot of work is done towards it though, so I would say I am kind of half way through. And again, 3 or so full colour illustrations for that would be needed. So quite a lot of work, and only 4 weeks left before we're due to leave. But that might and no doubt will change. So why not finish the close to being finished two and leave the other one till you get back? Well, because I just never imagined compromising, and if a thing is worth doing, its worth doing well, and the way you want to do it I say. And in this case it will be. Even if it means leaving it for a year. And, who keeps asking these questions? Erm...

Anyway, since I am creating work for my website/showreel/portfolio, the kids books will be in there, and I will need to get them to a certain level to include. So work will commence in some way on them soon I hope. I'm working on my showreel right now, and thought I would put up a bit of work I've been doing for an animation, kind of created a southern hic/gangster person who just happens to be a skull and crossbones. Not sure what he's going to do yet, but thought a before and after might be nice :O)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


So, a final version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Far from perfect! A lot of the problem was the original drawing and its inaccuracies and then also not realising this would be a finished colouring eventually so cutting a few corners and rushing in at the start. Still, lessons learnt! Could do with some actual final shadows here and there to define everything and give it a bit more drama/interest. Hopefully get started on some of my finished artwork soon!

Saturday, 31 July 2010


Good lord there's no stoppin' the lad! I've been soldiering on in spare moments on my 'Charlie and the Choc factory' front cover. Seems to be shaping up pretty well. Bits need attention and not sure whether the whole balance of shading is a little heavy handed but ho-hum. Its only supposed to be a try out at the whole 'digital painting' malarky. The main building is a bit floaty at the mo since I haven't grounded it with shadows etc. Plus there's only a light wash over on the building frontage.

Also you may have noticed the blog itself has had a spruce up and gone a little bit more colourful. Been meaning to do it for a while but never got round to it.

No news on the grannies I'm afraid, their feet remain slightly disjointed and their hands are missing arms. Apart from that they're doing well and send their love.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


At long last managed to update. Last night I got all creative [about time] and with the aid of my wacom [graphics tablet] set about having a go at 'colouring in' . I bought the wacom with the idea of trying out some styles for my finished artwork for the 3 books. It was great, really had some fun splodging about [digitally]. Below are the few stages I've got to so far of colouring in the Charlie and the Choc factory cover I drew a while back. I've gone for a painty, splodgy style for this one and will no doubt try out some other styles on the Charlie cover. I'll post those up here as well as the final artwork, or further stages of this version. Also I've been adding arms and legs to my E4 granny characters. Coolio and the Moose remains in limbo unfortunately. I will pick it back up again soon but for now, its on hold!

Also using blogger draft at the moment which promised to be easier to use. Its flippin worse! Awful picture uploading, really bad blog construction tools [ie. where to put stuff, and then how to add more text but somewhere else], ugh. Only good thing about it is real previews with out posting.

Saturday, 12 June 2010


Well now. I haven't just been twiddling my thumbs you know. Well I have, but only while looking out into the world and thinking of what to have for dinner. I've followed the course of my last two books originally thinking what order things would go in, and splitting text accordingly. Then making a dummy book in illustrator so I can see every page, and add roughs as I go along. I can also input the text on each page and it gives you an understanding of how it flows and whether I can chop text out or alter illustrations. It's worked a treat so far so why change now? SO below is an overview of Coolio so far, with all my rough scribblins plonked in. It's already thrown up oodles of problems and I have no idea of the answer to them at the moment. It has made me realise I want to mostly hand draw the text to blend it more into the drawings. Also I had originally thought this would be created on the computer after I had worked out layout in pencil/pen but I am really liking some of my drawings with my rotring art pen so maybe I'll stick to that. It does look a bit Quentin Blake though so maybe I won't!

click and it will get bigger [matron]

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Not a new post about spanking, in case you read that too quickly.

Huzzah! I've pulled my finger out, given myself a kick up the jacuzzi and blown the cobwebs off my blog. About time too. Hopefully this will be the first of many more [many more blog entries saying how I've updated at last and blown cobwebs off no doubt]. Anyway it better be or I'll give myself a good talking to and I wouldn't want to do that because, A. I don't like telling people off and B. I don't like being told off.

Well in all the time its been since I updated last I haven't just been laying about you know. No. I have been drawing, but they never seemed worth while to actually post. However they are very useful drawings. My character [moose] has changed quite a bit since the last post. I also have struggled a lot with how a moose looks like a moose without antlers and also viewed from the very front. So that was one of the reasons I changed the design. I still have those same problems, but i like the style I've gone for. It feels right now for the story. Which is silly, a little bit fringed with madness, but nice and sunny and fun. Here are a selection of my exploring/working drawings. And if this is your first time here, have a rummage about and look at some older posts! Or maybe even the very first post!

As always, click on a pic to make it bigger

Monday, 15 February 2010


Well here we are. This is more like it isn't it? I won't write much. Basically here is Coolio and the Moose to date. Small thumbnails so you can see it is progressing. Just not very quick right now. And also as a special treat there is Morph [or Mess] so far with one of my cats Sugar in the background wondering what I'm doing and expecting some kind of explanation.

Click either pic to make them bigger


Well its been a fair while since I tapped away some drivel about something that I'm showing you. There are many reasons for this, which is bad I know.

The first thing it says in the article 'how to get a good following for your blog' is write blog entries. A simple one I grant you, but no one likes to check a blog out every day and find there is nothing new to read, see, explore. Shame on me. There are other things about writing interesting things, putting up interesting points of view, and showing the world something amazing and vibrant and special. I seem to have failed slightly on most of these things but failed properly and against my will on the regular updates. I can't even show you a creative side line project I've done/started/completed either, because the last Christmas present from last year which was creative that I have to make is a 'make your own Morph' which as you can imagine is a splendid thing, but once half way through making my own Morph [or my own Mess] I realised I've tried to make Morphs several times through my life. When I was young and watched him religiously every week. I didn't do very well then either. And once when I was an animation student. This also didn't go very well, but then I made my own character out of the Mess. Anyway, my Morph is still a bit of a Mess so I didn't think showing it would be a good idea. Much more smoothing down and shifting of weight. Peter Lord does a short piece to camera telling us how to make Morph after he tells us he's been making Morph for about 80 years or something. ie. he's got it down pretty good now. Then the footage speeds up and we're supposed to be able to keep up! THEN it dissolves through into making the hands and you realise the Morph he has in his hands is one he made much earlier. About thirty minutes earlier but only 23 seconds have passed. Swines. I digress.

Actually I don't. I just wanted to break in here and scrawl something out. Make a noise, have a little dust. Build up to some posts. I guess I could shove what I have to date on Coolio and the Moose but its not very much. It retracing what I've done already but actually making shapes that make sense, and not general scribbles that are shorthands for detail and form and storytelling. If this is your first time to my blog then I am SO SORRY that this is the first thing you read. No doubt it will get deleted when I have something worthwhile on here. Actually damn it all to hell. Where my camera, where are my drawings, where is Morph. Lets make a damned post shall we! YEH! and this one will have a title!

Thursday, 14 January 2010


Yezzza! Finally I have done something constructive this New Year, well towards this blog anyway. Not that what I'm posting here has anything much to do with 'my' books. More to do with a a front cover I've created for someone else's book. As you will remember I got a design your own cover Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book for christmas last year and have only just finished the drawing! I hope to colour this up in photoshop as well as maybe have a go at watercolour and also good old fashioned pencil crayon too :O)

Hopefully I'll pull my finger out and get some Coolio and the Moose done soon. Illness permitting of course.

click the pic to make it bigger

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Well here I am again with yet another late blog, AND it has nothing to do with any of my 3 books. Following on from the Choc Factory book cover that I'm midway through, the mug is the small project before that from Rhian. Scribble on it, bake it, scribble on it some more bake it, etc. Until it's done. And now it's done. The original pack shot is below, and below that is a 360 of me finished mug. Promise to have book related drawings springing up soon.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Ahhhh, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. An all time favourite and probably one of the books that made me want to create, to write, to let my imagination run riot and tell people about it and hope they enjoy it. Blimey that sentence wasn't supposed to go on that long. Sorry. But what a great book! Roald Dahl has to be my all time favourite children's writer, and one of my favourite writers of all time. I think that means the same thing, but just to emphasise his books are so good they shouldn't be seen as just for children.

Anyway, I'm waffling. Last Christmas Rhian bought me several 'project' based presents. As if I hadn't got enough to do! One was a paint it yourself mug which I should put up here, as I seem to favour showing you what has stopped me doing my kids books. One was a make your own Morph [OH- MY-GOD] and as yet unfinished. And the other was a draw your own cover Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

I'm in the middle of that one at the mo, and thought it wise to post it up. It's not at all finished yet and I've decided to use it as a guide to doing my full colour finished illustrations for my own books. I might scan it in and colour it on the pooter and also attempt to go old school and colour it in myself with crayons. Well posh watercolour pencils actually. We shall see, so watch this space... anyway here is the front and the back...

click on them to make them bigger


see a pAs promised here are drawings of the boys with a bit more detail, from a few different angles. Not going to win any awards with these I have to say BUT they are useful to me. I like the big hooter on the one above, but I like the slightly more simple look on the face of the other guy. From here I'm going to draw them very roughly using the guide drawings I've done so far of the illustrations needed. Then hopefully I can make a decision. Otherwise I'll have two versions of the book, one with and without big hooter. Little bit specialist that one.

click on the pics to make them bigger!


Blimey. It's difficult getting these blummin pictures in the right order in this flippin' blogger thing. I know it's free, but that's not the point. As you know, a Reindeer has been designed, but Moose was absent. Shame really, since I loved the look of him, but you can't go having a Moose in disguise as a reindeer now can you?

Above we have the original designs for Edgar and also some added new versions. Below you will see a pic with loads of designs brought together to show you all the sketches I've done to try and get him right. I didn't want to change the style or the shape too much from what I had before. He still needs to look innocent, and youngish, not as young as Coolio herself, but a youthful Moose. Its surprising how large the antlers are of young Moose, so I've taken a bit of artistic license with the size compared to how big his Dad and Mum's antlers will be. I've also got to make sure the shape of these will bare a resemblance to mug trees, umbrellas etc. Or then the story really won't work. I think I'm on thin ice with the umbrella as it is!

Below you can also see two designs I was very happy with, hopefully next blog they will be worked up a little bit more.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Excited, giddy, happy and gleeful was I as I embarked on Coolio and the Moose and it was as I retackled the Moose Edgar that everything fell apart. The problem being he is a Moose, and the creature I had drawn as you can see on the top of my blog is very much a reeindeer. Or a deer of some description. He is a young Moose, so I have a bit of leeway with his look, but he should not and will not look the way he does now. Which is an absolute ARSE. Because I really love him like that. He has the right feel, the right age, the right helpless/cute look I had wanted right from the start. But alas is the wrong kind of animal. It could be 'Coolio and the Deer' but that just does not sound right. But which is more important, the name of the book and the detail of one of the characters or the look of it? I am looking at redesigning Edgar but I'm not happy at all with his big chin and larger antlers. Below are some reference pictures, so you can see what baby Moose look like, apart from the fact they don't get antlers till they get a bit older, the truth is stretched.

They have got a dark patch on their nose, which my guy has got, although he has an actual nose section, which Moose don't seem to have. Antlers go below the ears on Moose where as I have them the other way round for mine. They are an odd shape, and not really what you would call perfect cute, more cute because of its defects, which is difficult to capture in a character design. Mind you bullwinkle has his ears below his antlers. But he is far from cute, and kinda old looking. I need Edgar to be taller than Coolio, as if he is a few years older than her. Why? I don't know. Just something I've always had in my head, and early drawings made me realise thats what I wanted to make the characters work in this book. So back to the drawing board as they say, but unfortunately literally. YOWL HOWL AND POOPY SQUIRRELS.
I'll keep you posted.

Friday, 9 October 2009


I think I might have to write a kids book all about pants. I love drawing them. Is that weird? Only Y-fronts though. I'm sorry but boxers, no no no. The other ones, like speedos, NO. Nice big pair of Y-Fronts and I'm there. Ok I'm sounding weirder. Back to drawing, not that I left, but you know what I mean.

The giant has taken a while, a while to extract from my head since I couldn't really see him there, he was a bit fuzzy. Then quite a while to actually get round to shading in. But I've done it, hurrah! Not again without mistakes and slight niggles. Not far off. But notice how the pants are hanging in front of the back window of the house, and how the very next thing hanging on the line is caught on the tree which is at the front of the house. I have tried to shrink down the washing line at one end to make it look like it's going diagonally but its not quite there. Still, works for now. I also somehow forgot to shade in a hedge on the right there.

Oh well!

click on the pic to see it bigger!

Monday, 5 October 2009


Just so you don't think I'm just scanning in old stuff and passing it off as 'progress' here is the giant's underpants picture as it stands so far. Bit of shading on the fella himself, but not a lot else. I'm not completely happy with that shading either though, but its not the end of the world, after all its supposed to be a working drawing and not the final artwork. Sure it'll be fine in the end!

Click on the image to make it bigger!


Well now. Witch gathering lemons to make a nice potion to cure her poor dragon of a cold, check. Space to the right where pink things will reside and some how make sense that they are there, check. Marshmallows and candyfloss, uncheck. I did contemplate the witch being the witch out of hansel and gretel, so everything in the trees near her were sweets, or you could see her house in the background all pink and sweet. Didn't make sense to me. But then I had a thought, in the dragon picture the dragon has sneezed because it has a snotty cold, and obviously a bit of flame has come out as well, and set light to the witches broom who you can see flying off with a little smoke trail. So, that broom will still be alight, and what better thing to do with marshmallows than toast them on fire, and who better to do it than a pink fairy. Yeh, looking back that makes a whole lot more sense than seeing a house made of pink sweets. Hmmm... As Cher once said, IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME...

Look above and you will see some of the pictures gathered to try and help me draw the fairy because however hard I tried I could not get her right. You will see below that I made A LOT of attempts to get her right. Finally after weeks of pottering I realised that what I needed was a fairy who looked like she belonged in the same picture as the witch, so a similar style to the witch. So with the witch as a base I drew the fairy, and by jingo it worked. Several pencils and a whole spinny of trees later though.

The finished pic [although I think I need to clean it up in photoshop]:

As always, click on the pics to see them bigger.