Monday 28 January 2008

Ocotopus' pus

Just another quick study of the Octopus villain. I'm pretty happy with the fish lips and teeth and after years of trying (see my website for some earlier attempts) I've hit on a method for stylised tentacles which delivers what I'm after.

Sunday 27 January 2008

G & H revised colour

Couldn't sleep until I'd tweeked things... the Hippo's sunny/rainy day works better than just having a grey day I think, plus it opens up the palette from being too blue. (Thanks for sowing the seed Kev!).

rhyming animal alphabet: G & H

This is an idea I'm playing with to push my alphabet animals (earlier in this blog and on my website) into something which might prove more entertaining and possibly more commercially viable...? I haven't written anymore of the alphabet as yet, waiting to see if people think I'm on the right track with this. In case you're wondering the only reason I started with G & H, not A & B, is that Giraffe was the last animal I did so I wanted to work up an H.
I've been reading some of my Edward Gorey Amphigoreys of late and I suppose you could call this my homage to his outstanding macabre ABC book "Gashlycrumb Tinies." If you have never read it I heartily recommend that you google it!

Monday 21 January 2008


Think I'm getting something I like here, but then again it's late and I need my sleep....

Sunday 20 January 2008


less the stuff of nightmares...

The villain of the piece.

Finally I have a finished first draft of the new lighthouse story which I am relatively happy with. I have to redraft and also get my US agents comments but I can now start getting into the visuals.

For anyone who is keeping track (and I wouldn't blame you if you were losing interest) the lighthouse now has more of a background role in the story. It has it's uses as a location but the focal point to the story has shifted (and very rightly so) more to the protagonist Victor (bye Magnus...) and the Villain of the piece... the horrible, greedy old octopus. I did some rough sketches over xmas and the piece posted here is my first working up of those very rough ideas. I'm a little worried that this octopus might well be too scary for younger readers (possibly too toothy) so I think I need to play up the greedy qualities that bit more with the next sketch.

Wednesday 9 January 2008

Happy new year all!

Well January is here again. Everyone grit your teeth and we'll get through this month one way or another!

One ray of sunshine though... I was delighted to receive an email from Anthony Armstrong asking if he might use one of my illustrations to accompany his poetry podcast of William Blake's "The Tyger". If poetry is your bag you really should go along to "shirtless poetry" and have a gander.I must admit I struggle, but I do love that particular's so much easier to appreciate them when they rhyme don't you find (say's the poetry philistine in me :) Many thanks Anthony!

If you are wondering, yes, I'm still working on the book. I think I'll get a T-shirt printed with that on :) Remarkably I'm still really enjoying the whole process. My 'magnum opus' V2 is undergoing a fair few changes to the plot and I'll be as interested as anybody to see the results. I'm sure it was the right move to ditch the first version but I'm glad I went through it all as it has given me a foundation on which to build a stronger story. This second attempt is turning out to be a more fun book, both for me to work with and (hopefully) for others to read. I've given myself a deadline of mid March (my agent is off to the Bologna book fair at the end of March) for the whole book written and storyboarded with 2 or 3 finished colour spreads. I think it's the eventual sense of accomplishment that's keeping me going! As always more as it comes.

As I've said before, to those excellent few who are kind enough to visit this blog from time to time...MANY MANY THANKS. I feel guilty that I cannot yet give you regular posts to repay your interest and encouragement, and that I don't repay the favour and comment on your blogs as regularly as I should. Believe me when I say that I do visit your blogs when I can and always enjoy what I see. I don't do new years resolutions but I hope to be a better blogger this year! Here's to a happy and productive 2008 for us all! (clink of glasses) TTFN