Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
More of my work (some Dr Who, some not) can be found on my website.
Friday, 20 November 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
I've dedicated this one to my daughter's junior school, Sherwin Knight, where she's just been made deputy head girl and very proud of her I am too.
Saturday, 10 October 2009
When the cover's finally finished with each Doctor added I'll show you- it's quite exciting for me to be in company of such talented (and in lots of cases, such downright famous) illustrators.
Right-o, work has kept me away from this blog for a while (I've got three books on the go) and will keep me away again for the next month at least but I'll try and pop on and add to it when I can. In the meanwhile, if you'd like to see some more of my Dr Who drawings you can pop onto my website if you like and have a poke round.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
Saturday, 4 July 2009
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Now, I'm not the sort of person who makes an awful lot of friends- I tend to hang about on the periphery, I hide in the shadows and hope the world leaves me alone but in 1991 Jackie opened the door and coaxed me out and was warm and lovely and made me laugh. A lot.
And I'm not the sort of person who's awash with confidence either- I tend to muddle along, hope for the best and fumble my way through the dark but in 1991 Pete turned on the lights and illuminated the path and he was warm and sagely and swore. A lot.
Today, for the first time in months and months I had a day off and for the first time in years and years I went to visit them. Every bit as fantastic as they always were, I completely enjoyed several happy hours whiling away the time in the warmth of the sunshine and their company.
I can't begin to tell you how dear they are to me but I'm absolutely certain had it not been for that one glorious and golden year I had with Jackie and Pete, I wouldn't be an illustrator at all.
Saturday, 20 June 2009
And I'll never, ever be able to thank them enough for all their hard work, support and advice through the years.
The little guy above who's splashing through a puddle of paint is a promotional drawing to be placed on a beermat for GCI, probably the best illustration agency in the world.
Friday, 12 June 2009
My poor little eyes are littler, blearier and redder than they've ever been before. And they sting a bit. The reason for the lack of sleep is having to meet my deadlines (or 'dead lions' as my little girl calls them). I've been bustin' guts to complete the final drawings of Gargoylz Put on a Show in which a ridiculous version of Little Red Riding Hood is performed.
But all the subterfuge that comes with that story and the red eyes that comes from illustrating that story reminds me of a time when I got up to some pretty good subterfuge myself...
I was a wee, freshed faced lad of 17 in 1990 with high ambitions and the world at my feet, which I suppose is why I had a part time job working at Tescos. They always made me do Saturday which is the worst day of the week to be sitting on a till from 8 in the morning 'til half 7 at night. I hated every minute of it and invariably left work with a headache. But the worst Saturday for a lad of 17 to be working on was FA Cup Final day and the 1990 Final was between Man United and Crystal Palace. I forgot to ring in sick.
So I arrived at work and was sent to my till by a sour faced supervisor and whilst ringing in the frozen peas (groceries, 59p) I devised my escape plan. Kick off was at 3pm but I had to be sitting in front of my telly by lunchtime as the FA Cup commanded a considerable build up back in the day, so I was going to have to work fast.
Break time came in which I had just twenty minutes to execute the most brilliant plan any boy ever devised to get out of work to watch football. Before going for a rest upstairs I bought a pack of colouring pencils (home and wear, £1.49), a pencil sharpener (also home and wear, 49p) and a small pair of tweezers (again, also home and wear, 99p). Upstairs in the changing rooms I sharpened a red colouring pencil down until I had a fine red dust which I applied around my eyes. I was starting to look a bit ill.
Next, I used the tweezers to pluck nose hairs from my nostrils which had two desirable effects: it made my eyes water uncontrollably and made me sneeze violently time after time so before getting back to the shop floor I plucked several more times. It was now do or die.
Slowly I shuffled back to my till, holding my head in one hand as I went. Immediately it was noticeable I was very sick. I started squinting, believing the lights ought to be hurting my eyes and the sour faced supervisors (not you Sandra, you were always very nice- I hope you're well) were now showing some concern as to my welfare especially as, believing noise ought to be hurting my ears, I couldn't hear a word they were saying.
Sunday, 31 May 2009
The cats that visit are double hard. They put the frighteners up my fox and me and sometimes chase us off. My fox though, since he's missing a leg, doesn't run very fast. Also, because of his missing leg he veers to the left until he turns a large circle and starts running back the way he came which is unfortunate as the cats usually wait on his return.
The drawing of the fox above is taken from my sketchbook but it isn't my fox (count the legs).
Actually, writing this post reminds me of a teacher I used to have at school (Chatham Grammar School for Boys, fact fans) who only had one leg himself. He had a wooden one but died of Dutch Elm Disease at the tender age of 82.
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Friday, 15 May 2009
You're wondering how someone so seemingly fluid in thought has the nerve to waste your time by chopping on about monsters again.
You're wondering how someone so seemingly infallible is so frightened of the opening 10 minutes of Carry on Screaming he can't bear to watch it. You're wondering how someone so seemingly flawless is even more terrified of balloons than he is of the aforementioned film. You're wondering what any of this has to do with anything.
Because as the night and the moon and the stars give up their space for day, I stop in silence to watch the fishing boat pull slow across the sea. And old, half forgotten and half drowned dreams resurface, tugging my memory, begging for life and I'm dazzled by the speed and strength of their recovery. I'm haunted by her face and words I never got to whisper but now I realise the clouds are getting dark and the chill is getting crisper. All the while I stand on the bay in the rain, restlessly waiting for the boat to sail again. One persistent thought bobs up once more and carries through my mind as driftwood carries to the shore: wouldn't it be quite good if a big sea monster ate all them boats up?
There, much clearer isn't it?
So that children, is why monsters are so good. I look at my own personal demons, balloons and the opening 10 minutes of that film and I wouldn't be without those fears, not for a minute. Actually thinking about it, of course I'd prefer to live without them, who wants to be terrified of telly and parties? It's stupid.
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
This is the rough of the Beauty and the Beasts post I put up on 2nd May which I did in my A5 sketchbook. After I'd done the initial rough, I decided bits and pieces needed changing or improving and with this in mind I did corrections on a separate piece of paper and stuck them over the parts I wasn't so keen on.
I also added extra little details to make the composition more interesting and fill the space better. Once I started on the final drawing I continued to add further details to improve the illustration.
Saturday, 9 May 2009
Friday, 8 May 2009
And say my glory was I had such friends.
I was at Camberwell College of Art in the mid-90's with some talented people but none more brilliant than my friend Charlotte Dewar (nee Mallaby). We designed and made this stunning little piece of crap one afternoon for fun and it only took about four or five minutes. Possibly twenty. Certainly no longer than the whole afternoon.
Charlotte helped me find my inner sisu and was responsible for making me blow more bogey bubbles per minute than anyone else from '93-'95. I always smile when I think about the stupid, jerky motion the bulb made when it rotated although I'm not sure what its function was other than to make us laugh.
Now The Revolvertron is safely stored in some box in some loft somewhere waiting patiently to be rediscovered.
Lovely and completely off her chump, Charlotte deservedly left college with a 1st Class Honours Degree and is now the Creative Director at People Brands.
I did considerably worse at college although I reckon I might of made it big in the sciences were I not an illustrator. Erm, probably would have designed rockets or something.
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Apologies about the title, my friends. More children in mortal peril here but this time they're in the sewers which, as everyone knows, is a favourite stomping ground for monsters. I don't know why the children would be in the sewage system in the first place and I expect they'll be in for a telling off if they make it back home.
I love drawing monsters and I think I might do some more...
Further drawings can be found via my other blog here, or you visit my website.
Saturday, 2 May 2009
What freak of nature wouldn't want there to be monsters lurking in some forgotten corner of the world? I long for there to be monsters and I know I'm not alone. There are people who set up camp on the shores of Loch Ness hoping to cop a brief glimpse of something wonderful.
And when I was a boy there was a local bus driver who spent 6 months of every year driving the no. 36 on its route, saving up his wages and spending the other six months of the year exploring the Amazon hunting for dinosaurs. I don't know if he ever had any luck but I do know that one year he never returned. I like to think he was eaten.
But as much as I hanker after monsters I wouldn't want to be eaten by them and I fear for the children in the picture above. Hopefully they'll escape but I'm pretty sure Fluffy's doomed.
Sunday, 12 April 2009
Happy Easter, kids!
As a little Easter treat I'm posting a picture of Ira, a new Gargoyle from book 3, Gargoylz and the Midnight Feast. At least I think he makes his first appearance in book 3- me brain's so befuddled, your guess is as good as mine.
Like all the little stone Gargoylz he has a special power, but you'll have to read the book to find out what it is.
Monday, 6 April 2009
Hello friends, we haven't spoken in a while and I'm so tired I can't even afford the time to think up a rubbish title for this post.
Duncan, my agent, has been on his travels and sent me these pics which are promoting the Gargoylz from this year's Bologna Book Fair. I didn't do the covers which might explain why they're so striking. But what I have been doing is the insides and that's a lot of work too for a fella of limited drawing ability.
Each book has around 100 b/w illustrations which each need scanning and emailing and the scanning and emailing alone takes hours for someone of limited technical ability. I've been up all night scanning and sending 32 corrections for book 3 of the Gargoylz and I'm not sure I have the time to steal just a few hours Egyptian PT as there's plenty more work that needs my attention.
I just didn't want you thinking I'd died or anything but many thanks to all those who thought I had and sent flowers.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
I woke up this morning to the sad news that Tony Hart has died at the age of 83. I grew up watching his art programmes and was always impressed and inspired with his speed and skill at using anything he had to hand to create a picture.
I'm sure watching Tony Hart and Morph for half an hour a week contributed to the art education of many children of a certain age, myself included and I thank him for it.
Rest in Peace Tony, at least Mr Bennett will stop pestering you now.
Saturday, 10 January 2009
This is a brand new drawing of Stewie Scraps who's now available to buy in his own book series. A bit of a loner, Stewie makes top inventions out of junk before having mad adventures with what he's made.
Stewie Scraps was created and written by the brilliant Sheila Blackburn and published by Brilliant Publications (who are also brilliant, funnily enough).