illustration

The Cambridge Art Book

This runaway doggie is from a rather special book I have been involved with called The Cambridge Art Book. Cambridge artist Emma Bennett had a fantastic idea which was to create a book showing Cambridge through the eyes of the artists who live here. As a Cambridge dweller and illustrator I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the 50 artists who will feature in the book. Have a look at the book’s website which has links to the collaborating artists to get an idea of all the exciting stuff going on in this city!

cam-art-book-cover

children's workshops · illustration

Maisie Hitchins at Yaxley library

On Wednesday I had a wonderful time at Yaxley Library working with children from Fourfields Primary School and Yaxley Infant School. The children learnt about how to begin illustrating a book and how to come up with characters. After a little drawing practice using Maisie Hitchins and Bella Donna‘s cat Pegatha for inspiration, the children created their own crazy collage creatures. Thanks a million to Sue and to Richard from Cambridgeshire libraries who are both worth their weight in gold. Below are some examples of the children’s rather fabulous work!

children's workshops · craft

Art Club – 3D

On Tuesday Nicola Killen and I held our fourth and final Art Club and the theme this time was doll’s house rooms from shoe boxes. We had a wonderful array of bits and bobs for the children get creative with and at the end of the session we put all their rooms together to make a mansion of a doll’s house! Huge thanks to all those who helped us gather the supplies for this session – both Nicola’s and my parents, Perry and Ian as well as Jones the Bootmakers for supplying all the boxes. Special thanks go to my Dad who lovingly sawed up and sanded all the blocks of wood that were used to make the tiny furniture. We would also like to thank the wonderful Anne, Pippa, David and Richard from Cambridgeshire libraries for making Art Club happen!

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children's workshops · illustration

St Ives Bookjam

Last Saturday I helped out at the St Ives Bookjam which is a fantastic children’s event held every year to celebrate the love of books and reading. Together with an awful lot of small but enthusiastic artists I helped terrifically talented illustrator Pam Smy in her mission to create two huge murals. The Bookjam was attended by many wonderful illustrators and authors and I was especially delighted to meet Ruth Symes for the first time ever – Ruth is the author of the Bella Donna books which are illustrated by yours truly! Below are the Bella Donna covers as well as some highlights from the murals which featured pirates, aliens, mermaids, a recycling war and many more fantastical goings on…

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Bella-Donna

octoshocktopus

mermaid

pink

mermaid2

aliens

pam's-birds

surface pattern

patterns

I’ve come to the end of my e-course in surface pattern design and it’s been great fun. I have learnt a great deal and I still have lots of exercises to catch up on. My tutor, the wonderful designer Rachael Taylor really packed the course full of information so I shall be going back over it all with a fine tooth comb over the next few weeks. For now here are some of my first patterns made with indian ink straight from the pipette and manipulated in photoshop and illustrator.

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illustration

Inky and Dotty

I have just finished my roughs for the next Maisie Hitchins book so it’s time for something a little different. This is one of the drawings I have been doing lately in my sketchbook. It was made with indian ink straight from the pot using the pipette to draw with. I rather like drawing like this because it is very spontaneous and a little bit uncontrollable. When the ink was dry I gave the drawing some colour using Caran D’ache neocolours which are another one of my favourite things. They are sort of pastelly but sort of oil-pastelly too and also can be watercoloury if you wet them! I know, it’s all a bit too much…

DOTTY