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.

Saturday, 3 October 2009


As you can see, I didn't take very long before I had my witch. I hadn't got a specific idea of what she would look like at the start, so I could just do whatever. And I liked her slightly dippy and unthreatening look. Some of the other sketches as you will see make her out to be a typical nasty witch, which didn't seem right to me. Of course she has to sit on the page with the Fairy, and at this stage I don't think I had actually thought there would be a Fairy, but more likely I was wondering how to fit candyfloss and marshmallows into the picture. The small links between most of these double page spreads was the thing that helped me think of something else pink to put in the picture and to actually have something for them to do in the picture too.

Friday, 2 October 2009


Ahhhh lovely little fluffy poodles. But if they're pink I'm sorry I don't want to know. Dreadful, NO NO NO. Not pink poodles. Here are the numerous quite repetitive drawings of poodles eating worms. Also popped in the picture which I was homaging in this too. Is homaging a word?


Some pics I missed out of the first Sidney Reloaded post. Not sure you care about a list but thats the final 'colour things' list [apart from the fact pimples changed into devils. Or did it? I can't remember now. I CAN'T REMEMBER MY OWN STORY NOW DAMN IT! And breath.

Poor old fella. I had fun thinking what the monster looked like. In the end I didn't go for anything too outlandish [well provided you don't think a large purple creature with a slightly zany fringe is outlandish] in the end, my thinking being I didn't want all the attention being on the monster itself. Which I kind of understand now, I think. Still love the cyclops with the tiny tooth in the centre top.


Not many for the shark I was pretty sure about him straight off. I love the bottom one's simplicity, but he needed a bit more to him than that or I would have had to go back to other drawings and simplify them down a bit. In the future I'll just use my very first simple line drawing. I even like the fact I drew his umbrella on as an afterthought so it actually looks like a little transparent umbrella, such a delicate/girly thing for a big hulk of a shark to be holding, making it even more engaging and funny.


Looking back now I really like the French look the devil had originally. There was a reason I didn't draw him like that, I can't remember why. I think it was pointed out by Rhian that he looked like Mike Wazowski in Monsters Inc. which is very true, but then he will be bright red and have little horns. I mean if he's going to be the devil he needs to look like the devil right? None of this in a smart suit with greased back hair charming man stuff. This is a kids book, the devil is the devil. END OF. So probably just as well I didn't make him French.


Originally I had envisaged my little crabs [titter] being stopped from parking up at the cliff top for their jaunt to the seaside by traffic cones. But then I don't know why that just didn't work for me. Hence it changing direction to cones round a swimming pool [rock pool] and none of them being able to get in and hide under stones. Here are all or most of the sketches that had me arrive at that idea. Also possibly thinking about it maybe it was because I didn't want to work out how to draw a crab driving a car.

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Not too many for this little fella. I think I knew pretty quickly
what he was going to look like. Not sure about the crocodile
looking one top right though!


Oooooh you lucky squirrels! Not only do you get an update, but soon you will have oddles of updates all back to back so quick you'll not know what to do with them. Read them I hope although I won't be doing much writing to accompony them. I remember back in the dark past I said to you, GOD IS GREAT, GOD IS... oh sorry got my manuscripts mixed up there. Back in the past, possibly back in PAST TIMES the shop, I told you I would show you a drawing which would have lots of prep involved and then I went and mislaid it. Anyway, I've found it! It's taken me since March of this year to do it [I don't mean I've been ferreting about in cupboards for the last 8 months] but amazingly those drawings and quite a few others turned up. Huzzaaah!

So as a quick appetizer to the ones that will follow here are some of the early paint splodges and scribbles for the stories main character, little Sidney. As ever, click on the pic to see a bigger version!