Using Adobe Illustrator

art, childrens book illustration, Illustration, painting, Uncategorized

Dear Diary, (or infact, WordPress blog).

Yay-hey! Wooooo- hoo!!!! Ok, so I thought I’d give it a go trying to get some of my sketches into digital format. Here’s my first attempt at transferring a handcoloured sketch into Illustrator and working over the top of it digitally. I have still got so bloody far to go and there is SO MUCH to learn. It’s blimmin’ overwhelming!



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Yep. This tiny sketch has taken me about 12 hours over 3 days and you won’t believe the intricacies of some of this stuff. BUT! I have finally grasped a rudimentary (i.e. for simpletons) understanding of LAYERS! They aren’t the capricious and malevolent force I suspected them to be. They are things of genius!

Do watch in the next few weeks, as I blunder through a catalogue of embarrassments as I try to self teach myself what I need to know…




Work in progress

art, childrens book illustration, Illustration, painting, Uncategorized

There’s nothing better to me than watching the process any illustrator or animator takes in creating their pieces. I enjoy seeing the variety of processes or techniques in action. I’m always amazed at how often the finished piece is a world away from the stages I’ve seen along the way.

I’m currently working on a large illustration – close to 14″ x 21″. That’s a fair bit larger than the size I usually work at which is closer to 12″ x 10″.

I don’t always use the same process. I tend to work a lot on instinct as I don’t want to take too much of the original sprit of the idea away. Here,I am starting with the background first and will move on to the little girl next….

I’ve left a section behind the girl clear as I am going to put something extra special in there which will hopefully pull the whole illustration together… If you can guess what it is I will give you the gift I often promise to my dismayed children… my ultimate respect. Here’s a clue… buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!

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Sketches for a character

art, childrens book illustration, Illustration, painting, Uncategorized


Messing about today, tying to develop a female character. I find the process of creating a character is different dependent on what works for me at the time. Sometimes I draw them first, sometimes I write them first.  Either way, the one will compliment the other and I can start to ‘layer’ this little person. More often than not, there’s something of me in these little people. I suspect it’s the part of me that as an 8 year old, took the corpse of a vole in to school to pretend it was my pet. The girl that asked if my friends wanted to come and see my ‘sleeping’ mouse that I kept in a glass jar in my coat pocket. The girl whose Mum had to knit a robin to sew on to the shoulder of my school jumper, just so I had a little friend who ‘got’ my imaginary world.


Faces are aces

art, childrens book illustration, Illustration, painting, Uncategorized


I love drawing faces. Fat, thin, old, young. Faces are aces.

I used to write comedy and the thing I loved most about it was creating a character from nothing. Just the little seedlings of people you’ve met along the way, all fused into new little people you create in your head. It’s the same with illustrating. I get to make new people. People with little imaginary back stories. People with secrets. Lots of little faces with secrets and stories. I love drawing faces. Faces is aces.