The Tiny adventure page from Write and Draw your own Comics
July and Aug 2014
This month was a mixture of work and holidays, I was away for two weeks building sand castles and swimming with my wife and kids. The rest of the month was taken up with a number of diverse commissions. A high point of the month was finding one of my books in a French supermarket (Super U) and showing my kids, both of whom were quite unimpressed.
I was commissioned by Binghamton University magazine Binghamton Research to illustrate a double page spread and four spot illustrations for an article on new theories of child development. It was a very open brief and with photographic backgrounds behind my drawings on the spot illustrations, so it was a lot of fun playing with the mix.
Faber and faber contacted me and asked me to produce new cover art for a book called
The Terrible Term of Tyke Tyler by Gene Kemp, first published in 1977. They wanted me to use a fine but messy line with washes and loose colour. It was a joy to work on and I'm very excited to see the final printed version in the shops.
Usborne books asked me to create a number of drawings over a number of weeks to pin point a style / way of working for a new book they were looking to create. I made quite a lot of drawings and at last the drawings were excepted and the new book was commissioned which looks to be quite a big and fun commission.
Oxford university press
I've been commissioned to produce illustrations for a new English language text book. The illustrations are diverse and compositionally at times quite a challenge but I love love the challenge.
This month has been hectic with quite a number of jobs to juggle, but I like it that way and the one job can inspire another job.
illustrations of chocolate for Oxford University press
First was a job for Oxford University Press creating 2 illustrations for a new book that they are bringing out on the history of Chocolate. I had to illustrate a cook in a kitchen in the 17th Century making a chocolate cake with all the kitchen things laid out on a table in front of her.
The second image was of a 16th century sailor who have captured a spanish galleon. The sailors have found bags and bags of coffee beens, which as they have never seen coffee before, they are tipping it over board in disgust. It took a few goes to get just the right level of disgust on the sailors faces. I even took a number of photos of myself pulling faces to see if I could capture just the right face.
Those photos have definitely been deleted now and I'm not going to post them on my blog.
The Story of Science for Usborne books
5 years ago I illustrated a book for Usborne books called the story of Science, it was a great book to work on and I learned quite a lot of the things I really should have learned at school. Now the book is being re published and updated so Alex Frith at Usborne asked me to create 11 new illustrations for the new updated book. I looked back through my old files and found all the original artwork and took a look to see how I had made them. It's amazing how much your style can change subtly over time, even when you think your still working in the same way.
It was also good to find the original files as I was able to select the colours I'd used on the original illustrations and by that keep the uniformity across the pages.
It was a nice book for me to revisit.
For the last two weeks I've been working on 2 proposed new books for Usborne books. They have the text and came to me to sketch up and create some colour artwork for these exciting new books. So I've been sketching all kinds of things and trying out a number of different colour treatments to them. It's always a pleasure to work with Usborne.
Finally I've been working on some new plate designs for Marit Ammerud . I've been trying out some ink line designs of bicycles all stacked up onto of each other as they are where ever there's a bike rack. I've been playing with thick and thin lines and created the wheels by painting the base of my ink pot and pressing it down onto the paper. I'm excited to see how these look on the plates as the plates Marit makes are such beautiful objects.