Monday, 10 December 2012

The Bear

Our sequential narrative project is almost over and sadly, it will soon be time for essays (due on the 3rd of Jan!) I've found this project to be a pretty big morale boost- everyone seems to enjoy my story and feel its something that you could easily see as a book. My tutors also suggested I try and make a complete dummy book with at least four pieces of finished artwork so I can submit it for the Macmillan's book prize next year- how exciting! I certainly feel I've learnt a lot more about narrative and picture books compared to some of my previous book attempts- this one feels a lot more promising!

Though storyboarding the sequence and drawing the character has been fun, making the actual artwork has been a little more difficult- I've been trying to change the way I draw every so slightly. Drawing in pencils and using colour markers is definitely a lot more time efficient than using fine liners and black pens- I wonder if its the right way to progress.

For today, I'll show off  two rough images I made of my main character, the second image was made in the letter press (Ania, a Canadian girl in my class helped me make it)

Thursday, 22 November 2012


Recently, I think I have learnt about some very important strengths of my own, and its not just the ability to make nice looking detailed images either. My work has a pretty good sense of humor (my rough dummy book managed to make my tutor laugh.)
I can come up with great ideas and appealing characters which for me, is almost a daily occurence and recently I've been told I make some great compositions/layout for an image. The one major frustration though is that I can come up with so many ideas, yet it takes so long for me to finish one image, so at the moment I've been playing around with Polychromo pencils:

They have been fun to use, and drawing something in pencils is a lot quicker.I've also tried mixing them up a little bit with copic markers which seems to turn out well. I kinda hope these drawings still look like 'me'

Friday, 9 November 2012

Exciting Ma childrens book course

I've been pretty wrapped up in my sequential image project this week- things at Cambridge have felt very exciting, especially after proposing my sequential ideas. Though I'm finally drawing random doodles from my imagination again I did want to at least try and learn something from my observational drawings by making future work not as stiff or static. (though strangely enough, I've been told that my traditional drawing method is working for my current project.)

Looking back on it, It feels a bit surreal that I've been taught and had lectures by many prestigious illustrators such as James Mayhew, Salvatore Rubbino, Anthony Browne and Alexis Deacon to name a few- it was also great to attend a book launch by some of the stars of our illustration course!

I'm not sure who took this photo. Possibly Martin as he was complaining I was too tall for the photo. This picture has been shared on Marta Altes and Jenni Desmonds facebook pages and I just wanted to share.

Out of the three books there,  I really wanted to get Marta Altes's new book 'My Grandpa' Which I think even my professor Martin felt could be a possible 'classic' and in a way, I think I can understand why. I wondered if one day, I too could make a book everybody knows and loves.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Drawings of Ryan

Only two more weeks of observation drawing left and then I move onto my second project so me and my classmates have been drawing quite a lot- heres some great drawings of me!!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Observation drawings~

I've been dedicating a lot of my time to the observation project- our tutors seem to expect a lot from us- eight hours of non stop drawing! Its been tough to get back into observation drawing since I seem to have ended up drawing in a 'particular' way but it has been a lot of fun just learning and people watching in town. I have at least two sketchpads of drawings so far- some good, and some pretty bad but it has been fun at least. Here are a couple of drawings from my books which have been called 'good'.  

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Indonesian Leaflets

I thought these two photos were pretty cute and I wanted to upload them on here for a while. My little website has a small following and its thanks to great people like Mira and Metha from Indonesia who wanted   one of my leaflets from the Southampton museum. Thank you both for your kind support!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

adventures in Cambridge

I went to go see the choir sing at the Kings College. Not really interested in going to church but it was a pretty ethereal and unique experience- the inside of the building was beautiful (and pretty inspiring) So I recommend giving it a try.

I was also a bit more hopeful about my project after speaking to Martin. I think he wanted less 'drawings that look like 'illustration' and more drawings that look just like drawings if that makes sense. I did at least get some rather positive feedback from my 'regular' style of illustration from Martin though which is always nice. He even drew in my book- so now I have a Martin Salisbury drawing to keep.

Also kinda glad I made some of these cards, I gave one of these to workers at one of the cafes and got a free tea and a glass of water!

Sunday, 30 September 2012


I've been concentrating on my observation project at the moment and I decided that perhaps I could draw the unusual items I have found in Cambridge town. (looking in the different antique shops for example.) We are supposed to have a solid six or five weeks of drawing from observation (its a pretty open minded project.) which feels easy enough.

It was inspiring to look through Salvatore's sketchbook and see that all of his observational drawings were drawn in his own unique way. I was hoping that I could do the same, while at the same time, still follow the brief. I'm not sure how I feel about the drawings I've made so far- I must admit, though the project is definetly a priority, I still find myself dedicating my time to working on my other personal projects. So its drawing all day in town, then drawing the rest of the time on my own thing....

Friday, 28 September 2012

More Hohum Images

Thought I could dedicate some time into making a few more Hohum images- just made these three images for now and will need to dedicate myself to a couple of other projects. You can also read Tom Masters Hohum story by following this link:

Monday, 24 September 2012

Haunted Books

I am still settling into Cambridge. This Thursday, I will be giving a class presentation about myself and my illustrations- I don't feel too nervous about it since everyone seems to be nice and friendly in class which makes things feel a little easier. I have also written a couple of notes about what I want to talk about. I still feel that Cambridge is very promising for my career...

I wanted to keep trying to update my blog, mostly for my family back home(and the small following I have gained from my website.) I am also hoping that my site will be updated again very soon thanks to a few new contacts I have made.

But last week I did find a bookshop I could visit in Cambridge:

I wanted to buy the Ant and Bee books- its a series I remember a long time ago. Unfortunately, I only decided to buy since they are quite expensive (the cheapest being £10)
Just charming little illustrations in my opinion. I guess they have mostly been forgotten these days and have been out of print for a long time. Even the reprinted editions from the 70's are expensive to buy.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Cambridge studies

Cambridge feels pretty promising so far, I have the book fair in March to look forward to and I kinda feel more positive about my Illustration career. I've managed to keep myself drawing every day (I've been walking about town and trying to get used to my new surroundings.) 

Not really anything to post yet, but i took this little photo in the cafe:

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Art House one last time...

I haven't really updated my blog again for a while. Not that I haven't been drawing, but I just haven't really felt in the mood to upload anything- its been a strange couple of weeks where I've been waiting for my MA to start and I am quite unsure of what to expect. I did go to Southampton today however and thought I could post a couple of photos I took. 

Normally, whenever I have visted Southampton, I go to the Art House cafe, but my friend Daniel Belben was selling some of his prints alongside several other fine artists from the Unit 11 studios he works at. 

Its strange that despite drawing there a lot for the past two years, I have successfully managed to not ruin a drawing by spilling coffee or tea over it. Sadly, Today was perhaps one of the last times I will be visiting my friends in Southampton (and Winchester) for quite a while- I've normally gone up into town almost every month ever since I finished university. Southampton may had some highs and lows in various different events in my life (though mostly highs if I'm honest.) so I will miss it a little- though I'm excited and also wondering what the next 18 months or so will bring up in Cambridge. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Making doodles before Cambridge

Its been a while since I updated my blog so I thought I'd post a couple of doodles I've made. I was really hoping I could fill up my sketchpad full of drawings before Cambridge starts next month- I'm both excited and unsure of what to expect:

Monday, 23 July 2012

Apple Knight

I have a few unfinished drawings in my old sketchpad, one of my drawings was of a new version of my website logo so I thought I'd finally sit down and dedicate some time to finishing it:

I just wanted to make more colour images, thought it might be nice to finally finish this design. Can't work out if I like the original black and white image or this one more.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Owl Tree Print

I haven't really updated my blog in a while so I thought it might be nice to share this photo from a satisfied customer! Its a A3 print of my Owl Tree drawing, only three prints have been made so far! It also looks like a few of my other former classmates have their work hanging on up on the wall too:

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Path

I've had this idea to make one really long drawing- setting it on a path which you follow it all the way to the end. I suspect it sounds a little bit like the yellow brick road from the wizard of Oz?
I've no idea if that can translate into a storybook or not but I was interested in seeing how many images I could make. (I've made more than the three I posted at least.)

It is still based on the Marie Vendawn character- though I was given a couple of other suggestions of what characters could follow the path.

Just something to do at least before I start my MA this September, though there's a couple of work related illustrations I could probably be working on.

Saturday, 9 June 2012


A photo from a satisfied customer! Its not a copy either- but a drawing I made on a napkin when I was sitting in the cafe sometime last year. This strange looking rocket piggy is now living in Canada.

I should probably mention that I am willing to sell prints or accept commissions. I've already drawn images for small business's, made designs for wedding invitations and worked with the graphic design team at the Southampton Council. So if you are interested, please feel free to contact me via my website!

And these two frames are finally hanging up on my wall! (thanks Dad!)

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Monday, 21 May 2012

The North

Thought I'd put up some drawings and photos from my time up North, I spent a few days with my friend Daniel who I haven't really seen since graduation last year so it was nice to see him again.

Me and Daniel did speak a little bit about doing a project together. Something involving a viking. In my own version of the story I wanted a little viking boy to go on a hunt for a werewolf. I haven't quite figured it out yet in my head.

I also took a few photos of some the places I went to. I really liked going to Whitby.

And I managed to finish some of my own projects, my rejected octopus from the Southampton museum.

And just some drawings I made whenever I managed to sit down and think.

I think Daniel seemed to know quite a bit about the local history- one that stood out in particular was the hanging of a monkey who was believed to be a french spy. So I made a quick Monkey spy on the train home from Newcastle.