Monday, 26 November 2012

Come Draw with Me!- Catherine Rayner

Last week I had the great opportunity to meet one of my favourite illustrators- Catherine Rayner, at Edinburgh's 'Come draw with me!' event. Held at the National Museum of Scotland (perhaps the best museum Ive ever been in)in the animal world section. A few other artists were also at the event, so its a shame that all the workshops were held at the same time.

The Catherine Rayner workshop meant that I got to draw some of the taxidermy and then turn them into characters. Catherine was lovely, and very easy to talk to- and it was brilliant to be able to see a sneak-peek of her upcoming book about a giraffe! Catherine was kind enough to bring along a few of her sketchbooks to see her work in progress (I loved how most of the work was on separate pieces of paper, then slotted in the book- which is exactly what I do!)and examples of her other work.

I wish that the event had been longer- being able to sit in the museum after closing-hours when its near empty is brilliant. I could have drawn the animals all day! The event was finished off with wine and a chance to wander round and see everyone elses drawings. The atmosphere of the event was so casual and friendly, I'd certainly travel to go to another event.

Check out catherine's website if you havent seen it before: [Link]

Heres some of my sketches from the event:

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The social gathering. Had a lot of problems with this piece, as I dont like rendering backgrounds. I decided to re-draw my characters so that they fitted better into the scene. I feel that this piece still needs a lot of editing before the final hand-in date.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Final Pocky Advert

Been meaning to upload this for a while- but here is my final Pocky advert! I had a lot of trouble getting the monster to look right-but pleased with how it has turned out.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Family Crest

Entry for a competition to design a family crest which incorporated a leopard, crane, moon, wheat and a few other elements. Unfortunately my design has now been eliminated as its 'not what they were looking for'. Meanwhile, I think Ive finally decided what I'd like to do for my final major project...and now going to spend sometime working on the latest picture-book project.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Literary View editorial

A front cover for The Literary View, using a similar technique to last time, replacing typewriter keys with the title provided. I've tried using a different colour scheme to what I would usually use, which in this case has worked well. This is the last of the editorials, but over December hope to get a few more extra ones done.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Pocky...almost done

Almost finished rendering the pocky ad. which Ive been working on for most of the time.Think I've finally sorted the font, so now all I need to do is the Monsters face. AGAIN. Will be glad to see the end of this project so I can start on the newest one.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Madness of Crowds Editorial

Editorial illustration intended for The New Statesman. Found this one of the most challenging briefs based on the text, but feel happy with the outcome. I know that editorials are designed to be printed small, but I cant help use a large file size- so my illustration is also suitable for other layouts. This is a much sharper/cleaner way of working than usual, but I would like to continue using this style for the next few editorial illustrations I produce. Once again Ive been using dots for texture which I feel works well.

In Context:

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Pocky WIP

Inspired by a mix of different childrens tv programmes like Dexters Lab. and Frankensteins Cat, Ive begun colouring the advert. Ive found the colouring so far easier than expected, but having issues with the background. The whole ad will be done in a cartoon style apart from the box of pocky which will be digitally painted. Avoiding using 'halloween' colours.

Thursday, 25 October 2012


Pocky advert final client visual and WIP on the line-art. It's taken me a long time and many compositions to come to this conclusion, which is now ready to develop further. I intend for the whole advert to be created digitally- once again switching software for each step.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

An additional postcard style piece, which I prefer to the editorial work. This time using a mix of Artweaver/Sai Painter and Adobe Illustrator. I'd like to extend this to a range of postcards...though Im not sure what theme to follow yet.

Editorial Illustration for a Guardian Article. And again in context:

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

This friday I'm off to London for the day to go and see 'The Art of Frankenweenie' Exhibition. I'm really looking forward to it, having seen some photos online. Although Im looking forward to the movie, I'm not getting my hopes too high; as I've not been impressed with Burton's latest films. The reviews seem positive so far which is a good sign. I'll be taking my sketchbook and camera with me; so I'll post some bits on here after. Anyone know of any other events/galleries in London worth checking out?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

'Why Small Victories Matter' Editorial Illustration
A slightly harder editorial this week; with the idea smaller achievements are more fulfilling than a large one. After several attempts (and a lot of hours)I've decided this is the best design. My original designs were too bright and garish, so this has been toned down in order to be more appropriate. Although I am happy with the background, I'm not sure about the positioning of the darts. Any feedback is appreciated.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Editorial Illustration for an article for The Guardian 'How to Decorate'. I decided to continue with the image of a hand holding colour swatches, with each colour swatch having an icon of something we decorate. After many different versions, the logos which had the most impact were; a house (for decorating inside), a coat hanger (representing clothes, and decorating ourselves) and a teapot (for decorating the most mundane of things). I think the simple colour scheme was more effective, and made the image look more complete than when it had different colours. The overall effect feels right; but think the icons still need more work, as something feels out of place.

(Work in Progress)


The decision to turn the illustration upside down (from the original design)greatly improved the design; perhaps because the image now reads top to bottom- with the boldest element (the hand) at the top.
The hand turned down almost suggests a disapproving of decoration- which in some ways, is what the article is about.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Another day finishing off the Swedish Mouse.
Above is a sneak peak at one of the final pieces. I will upload the finished images once the competition has ended, along with thoughts on this project.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Ive spent the last two days focusing on improving my watercolour skills, before starting the final pieces for 'Gustav the Swedish Mouse' illustration competition. I usually avoid backgrounds because I like to focus upon the character, and feel it distracts from them. My backgrounds usually lack a quality and control, and look poor in comparison (which makes me avoid them even more). Above shows an ideal setting for the Swedish Mouse story, created with watercolours and edited digitally. I hope to continue practicing these skills, so that I will feel more confident in creating backgrounds.
My inspiration for this comes from Jill Barklem , illustrator of the Brambley Hedge Series of Childrens books.


Here is a headshot of Gustav with a more realistic take on how I usually draw mice.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


One of many characters inspired by Marc Boutavant, who creates all his work digitally. This helped me use different brushes on Artweaver rather than the same pencil tool.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Another new character, this time inspired by Maurice Sendak after finding 'Where the Wild things are' on my bookshelf. Again this is using scanned pencil, but tomorrow want to create similar images using ink and watercolour- hoping to make the lines look sharper.Ive had a problem getting the face and eyes right on this character, so his expression may change as I go along.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Badgers Icecream Cart, again in graphite stick and edited using Artweaver. Part of a larger image of Badger looking proudly at his cart, but I still haven't decided what text to put with the it...
More badgers. Today Im working on a mock childrens book page of Badger and his ice-cream store. Using collage for shadows works especially well.

Sunday, 9 September 2012


Badger character inspired by illustrator Sara Ogilvie, for the uni summer project. Graphite stick digitally edited (rather than using crayons like I first intended).

Working on a new character as part of the summer project brief.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

An Anteater character I designed based on the style of Natalie Chivers. The anteater belongs to a little girl called Sarah, but Sarah's mum isnt too keen on having it as a pet.

Acrylic on board with collage 297 × 420 mm

Monday, 23 July 2012


Character Design for part of the Macmillian Childrens Picture Book Competition

Sunday, 22 July 2012

A quick sketch of a Red Panda inspired after watching Brother Bear

Saturday, 21 July 2012


This illustration was based on a secret a Showman may have. Second year Uni work. I think this looked much better printed on a larger scale.
Drawn in pen, scanned and edited on Artweaver (because Photoshop is still a mystery to me)

Friday, 20 July 2012

Hi, This is my blog for my illustration, with a mix of uni work and personal pieces. I am currently studying at Lincoln University and about to go into my third year. At the moment I'm still exploring different ways of working and hope to improve on my work of previous years. I'll be uploading character sketches and a lot more work as soon as I get my scanner back!