Working Methods

Recently a publisher asked me about how I create my illustrations, so here is a blog post to show the process.

First I plan out the characters and layout, making careful notes about colour mixing for consistency. When drawing the same character or setting many times you need a record of how you created it the first time.

Next I draw out the illustrations onto watercolour paper using a nib and waterproof ink.

Then I stretch the paper to stop it buckling when I paint on it. This involves totally wetting the paper with a dunk in a cold shallow bath and then taping it to my drawing board with special artists gummed tape. Once the paper is dry I start to paint on it. In this example I have done three illustrations at the same time. Painting with watercolour is all about building layers so it’s handy if you can switch between illustrations while waiting for layers to dry (requires multi tasking skills!)

The finished illustrations are then scanned into Photoshop and tided up. 

The End of Mr Wolf


"And that's the end of you Mr Wolf!" cried Granny.

Who needs a woodcutter when Granny can save the day?! I have made the little sub characters, the mice, do a jubilant victory dance to make it a 'ding-dong-the-wicked-witch-is-dead' type moment. I have designed the full flat plan for the story, a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, and will make up a few more spreads in full colour before sending it out to agents/publishers.

The process. I start by drawing the outline in ink. Next I build up colour layers with watercolour paint. When the painting is finished I scan it into Photoshop to tidy it up. You will notice I changed the position of the mice to fit with the low view point. You can see my notes on colour mixing, and a comparison of the characters from another a drawing. This helps with consistency. 

Folded Books Workshop

This afternoon I ran a book arts workshop at the Phoenix Brighton with Vanessa Marr. We showed people how to make folded books using collage material. Here are some photos of the fun, and the wonderful creations that came out of it.