• Competitions,  Illustration

    A Fun Day Out Illustration Competition

    The results have come in for the New England Illustration Prize. Well done to the winners and everyone who entered! My illustration for the theme ‘A Fun Day Out,’ didn’t get selected but I am okay with that. Being a writer means you get used to rejections. I come away feeling that I am glad I entered because you have to be in it to win it, and if you don’t enter your chances are zero. Rejections seem to spur me on to do better next time and that’s the great thing about competitions. Plus, I come away with an illustration I might not have even bothered attempting if I…

  • Illustration

    April’s illustrations – 52 week challenge

    Have I said before that every week I think I am going to fail and not complete an illustration? Probably. Well, surprise, surprise I felt like that again this week. It’s not always down to the lack of time. Many times I wrack my brain for an idea for the week’s theme and feel completely stumped. But I can breath a sigh of relief as it seems I always manage something in the end regardless of the outcome. So here are April’s illustrations: Week 14: Camping Gelli printing, pastels, posca pens I hadn’t used pastels for years so it was good to get them out again. Week 15: Ocean Gelli printing,…

  • Illustration

    #illo52weeks – February’s illustrations

    Week 5: 1920’s This illustration was based on a photo of my grandfather’s cousin Mabel Benest. Copic markers & fineliner Week 6: Printing I got a bit carried away this week with the Gelli plate, creating 3 different scenes. It is such a fun medium to work with and I never really now what the end result will look like. A lot of trial and error and pleasant surprises! Acrylic paint and gelli plate.     Of course, it was February so I had to do a Valentines version. Week 7: Kindergarten I did some casual teaching in a kindergarten class during this week and they were learning about ordinal numbers.…

  • Editors,  Illustration,  Publishers

    #illo52weeks – October’s illustrations

    Week 40: Carnival Copic markers & Artline pen I am not really pleased with this illustration. I had limited time this week and it showed in the outcome but I still participated and stuck to my goal of entering on time each week regardless of the standard of work.   Week 41: Sweets Copic markers & Artline pen As you can see I had the event of Halloween in my mind. I enjoyed doing this illustration and am pleased with how it looks. 🙂   Week 42: Instrument Gelli printing & Acrylic paint I felt the need to use a different medium again and gelli printing felt perfect for this…

  • Illustration

    #illo52weeks – Week 37: Balloons

    I have decided to develop and improve my hand drawing skills hence another sketched illustration which nicely enough received quite a few likes on the 52 Illustration Week Facebook page here. Pencil & pencil crayons Echidna loved his new best friend balloon and was going to enjoy every minute while it lasted! I really want to develop the kind of drawings I’d expect to see in a children’s picture book – I feel I may be getting closer! A little more shadow under echidna’s feet would have improved the illustration and would have stopped the echidna looking like he is about to float off with the balloon. I am looking…

  • Illustration

    #illo52weeks – Weeks 15 & 16

    Week 15 – Detail Interestingly enough, at college and previous to that i would say I was a detailed artist. It’s what I felt comfortable with. I could spend hours drawing in minute details into my art. But for this weeks challenge I found it difficult to be aas detailed as I used to be. Maybe it’s a time limit thing. Pre kids I had more time to draw in detail and take hours over one piece. So the above image is not as detailed as I would like it to be – I may come back to it. Week 16 – Book Cover Book cover design isn’t an area…

  • ebooks,  Picture Books,  Self-published

    Self published Christmas book!

      In the very near future I will (fingers crossed) be announcing the end of some very hard work and the beginning of my first self-published children’s picture book. Although I am aware that this is not the end of the hard work, as marketing your book can be tough. The book is aimed at anyone with connections to Jersey, Channel Islands, the book contains illustrations to go with a very classic Christmas rhyme. It can also be used as an early reader and counting book. How good is that, reading, counting and singing all in one book! The self-published route is a huge learning curve. Here are just a…

  • Artwork,  Illustration,  Picture Books


    Backgrounds for me are a tricky thing – I never know whether to leave it blank, add a bit of colour or add detail. IWhen adding colour I need to consider consistency of colour. Am I keeping the same tone with each illustration. Does it look right if some background colours are bold and others are softer? Here are two examples;   I initially used a green background as pumpkins grow in Autumn where I am from. But then I got thinking about the colour wheel and how opposite colours make each other stand out more.   Plus, we associate pumpkins with Halloween, so I decided to make it night…

  • Artwork,  Illustration,  Quick sketch,  Writers Conference

    The Art Of Creating Character

    On the fourth and final day of this years SCBWI Australia & NZ Conference programme I attended as illustrator masterclass with the lovely Nina Rycroft. I don’t have many notes for this class, the reason being that it was very hands-on, which is exactly what you want when it is a practical class. She demonstrated the following: IMAGE how she presents her work (sample pieces) to publishers what a ‘tear sheet’ is (something I had never heard of) how she draws the first thumbnails for the whole story concept the various stages she goes through to get to the final piece if your animal characters move from left to right…

  • Illustration

    Collage for class project

    For those of you that don’t know I also write another blog called Learning Activities. It is aimed at parents and preschool/ school teachers displaying lots of crafty ideas. So here is another arty side of me: Class art project I love collage and there are many books where the illustration is created from a collage technique, such as these two books from my own bookshelf: Dinosaur Encore by Patricia Mullins and Crocodile Beat also by Patricia Mullins and of course there is Eric Carle and Lauren Child