Thursday, 15 November 2012

An Animal Alphabet at Heffers Children's Bookshop

Here are a few pictures from last Saturday's Festival of Illustration event at Heffers which I did with Marion Lindsay (my studio buddy)!  We didn't get the whole way through the alphabet but we did get up to 'N' in the end!  Big thanks to all the staff at Children's Heffers and to all the participants - it was really fun!  You can see more pictures on Marion's blog.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Fluff and BIlly Jigsaws!

Fluff and Billy is about to be published in Korea and to promote the book the publishers Gimm Young have produced these jigsaw puzzles.  The two designs come in a plastic wallet together - I was very excited to see my samples which arrived this morning!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Today at the Fitzwilliam

I went drawing at the Fitzwilliam Museum this morning.  The exhibition The Search for Immortality comes to an end this Sunday and I really wanted to see it.  The exhibits that really caught my imagination were two jade burial suits.  Small pieces of jade were patchworked together to make them: on one it is all held together with ribbon and linen; on the other wire links all the pieces.  They looked amazing.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Festival of Illustration

As part of the ongoing Festival of Illustration in Cambridge, myself and my studio buddy Marion Lindsay will be running a session at Heffers Children's Bookshop this Saturday from 11am - 1pm.  We're going to try and create an animal alphabet with the children who come along - it's not a tried and tested event but fingers crossed it will go well!

New Handmade Christmas Cards

I can't believe it but it's only two and a half weeks until Cambridge Christmas 2012.  I have been busy making some new handmade cards to sell there.  I've made lots of other cards too and will also be selling some artwork, mugs and books.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

New Banner!

I thought it was time to update my banner so here it is!  It features the Crocodile from my picturebook I Got a Crocodile which will be out next spring and is published by Simon and Schuster.  I hope you like him!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Events this week

I will be talking about and drawing animals tomorrow at Willingham Library in Cambridgeshire from 10.30 -11.30.  There will then be a collaging session! This event is for children from ages 3 -6.

I will also be reading Not Me! and Fluff and Billy at Waterstones in Cambridge on Thursday 1st November at 10.40am as part of Stories for Smiles.  For more information click here.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Cambridge Christmas

I have mentioned this earlier in the year but now that it's actually October it doesn't seem quite so far away!  I will be selling cards, prints and books at an event which I have visited myself for several years.  There is always an amazing selection of beautiful work on show and it's a great source of Christmas presents!  To find out more details click here.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Drawing in France

I've just returned from a week's holiday in the South of France.  I didn't do much drawing as I was too busy swimming in the sea and eating ice creams!  I did however find the time to sketch some of the beautiful buildings in the village we stayed in.  It's called Bidache and is in Le Pays Basques near the Pyrenees.
I also did one sketch on the flight home!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Cambridge Folk Festival Drawings 2012

Here's a selection of drawings from my sketchbook which I took along to the folk festival this year.  I was struggling to get into my sketching until I went along to the festival drawing workshop run by Jim Butler and John Holder.  They suggested starting off with hats (you do see quite a selection) so I started straight away while watching King Charles at The Den and continued the next day too!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!

It's my Dad's birthday today.  I've made him a card....don't worry, there's no danger of him seeing it as he never goes near a computer!  The dog is based on some drawings I did at Wood Green Animal Shelter a few years ago.

Monday, 16 July 2012

The Story of Fluff and Billy Part 5 - Character and Artwork Experiments

Well, apologies that this installment has been a long time in the extent that I've had to go back and refresh my memory about what I've covered so far!

Having drawn lots of penguins (see Part 4) I then started working on how the characters would look and what materials I would use to draw/paint them.  I tried all sorts of things but have a small selection here.  Early on in the process I managed to spill a whole bottle of sepia ink on myself and my chair.  I'm afraid to say that the jeans I was wearing at the time never recovered!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Hay Festival 2012

On Friday 8th June I was at the Hay Festival doing a couple of events for 3-5 year olds in the Hexagon.  This involved drawing some pictures, making animal noises, reading some stories and talking about why I like animals, all followed by a decorating activity.  It was great that so many people braved the elements to come along.  It was also lovely to meet fellow author/illustrator Paul Howard and to see Helen Stephens there - she was one of my tutors on the MA course and a really talented lady.  Big thanks to Isla from Egmont for all her help and moral support!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Cambridge Christmas 2012

I know it's a long, long way off, but it's just been confirmed that I will be exhibiting at this year's Cambridge Christmas on Monday 26th November from 4-8pm.  To see more details about the event and who else will be there please click here.

John Lewis

I was wandering round John Lewis in Cambridge yesterday when I had a nice surprise.... As you may just be able to make out from this hastily taken and rather blurry phone picture, they are stocking my board books!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Wordfest Animal Pictures

Here is a small selection of the animals that were decorated at my Wordfest event. Although I always get nervous before events, I really enjoyed this one and was very impressed by how enthusiastic all the children were. They all did a great job drawing dogs and decorating their animals! Big thanks to Sue, Ruth, Anne and Louise from Cambridgeshire Libraries for running the day and making me feel so welcome, and to Isla and Helen from Egmont.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Wordfest Preparations

I am currently preparing for my Wordfest event on Saturday - it's at East Barnwell Centre at 11am for ages 3-6. This is a picture to show the actual height of a new born giraffe.....around 6ft tall! I've also cut out 68 crocodile teeth and have a piece of string that is 6m long to show how tall an adult giraffe can grow. It's wrapped around its own cardboard giraffe as you can see below. Let's hope it goes well....

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Just arrived!

I have just received my advance copies of my first two board books: Animal Numbers and Animal Colours which are published by Egmont and out this Monday, 2nd April!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Fluff and Billy News

Firstly, Fluff and Billy do everything together has been shortlisted for a Sheffield Book Award - in the baby books category. Hooray! See the full shortlists here.

Secondly, Fluff and Billy will be published by Sterling Children's Books in the USA in September. Find it on their website here.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The story of Fluff and Billy Part 4 - Penguin drawings

Apologies for my blogging silence of late - I am working hard on artwork that I can't show you at the moment. However, I realised that I could continue with The Story of Fluff and Billy - so here's part 4!

Having decided that my story would feature penguins, I felt that I needed to draw real penguins to help me develop their characters. I already had a few drawings from London Zoo that I'd done for a previous project but I now spent time at Whipsnade Zoo drawing and observing the penguins there. At the time they had Humboldt, Rockhopper and Gentoo penguins and it was so interesting to watch their behaviour and movements ( and to also hear what the zoo visitors said to them and about them)!

I also made a trip to the Zoology Museum in Cambridge. This allowed me to do some more detailed studies like the bigger drawing in the middle.

When I'd gathered all this reference I could start working on my characters.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year!

I'd just like to wish you all a Happy New Year! Let's hope 2012 is a good one:)
I decided to start the year by getting into the studio early.....unfortunately in my slightly groggy state this morning I left my healthy, prepared the night before, packed lunch (resolution number 2) at home on the work surface! So resolution number 3 is now to remember my packed lunch!