Thursday, November 14, 2013

Summer Reading Club 2013

This year I am contributing a 'how to draw' series for the QLD State Library Summer Reading Club blog. There will be six lessons over six weeks starting from December 1st. It'll be really easy stuff, so if you're a young grasshopper or just starting out it should be quite useful for you!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

More from LITOL series

Digital illustration of Lucy & friends scaring their teacher, from the 'Legends in their own Lunchbox' children's book series.

digital illustration for children's book series

digital illustration for children's book series

digital illustration for children's book series

digital illustration for children's book series

digital illustration for children's book series

digital illustration for children's book series

Here are some of my favourite illustrations from Legends in their own Lunchbox. I did a total of more than 128 illustrations I think, so this is only a tiny fraction. I can gratefully say I took a lot of lessons from this project. One of the biggest was how to simplify. Simplify characters, props, backgrounds, compositions etc. That's a never ending journey, but I do feel I made some progress in this department, and I think this lesson is going to affect my future work.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Legends in their own lunchbox

Book cover for children's book series by Paul Collins
Book cover for children's book series by Paul Collins

The first two books in the series which I just finished illustrating. The publisher was surprisingly open to my showing the artwork, so I'll see what I can post from behind the scenes in coming posts. If you'd like to get your hands on the books they are available from Macmillan's website. A direct link to the books is here.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Still alive...

A nine-ish month project has just concluded so I'm looking forward to resuming regular posting. Here are some oldies until I dust off my sketchbooks.

anger-eating demon concept.

young lady in heels hopping over a puddle.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Four frogs


Experiments with different techniques and colour schemes. At the top is the final piece rendered with graphite pencil on watercolour paper.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Dog Tags

Digital illustration for a picture book collaboration

 Friend Paul C. Newman wrote a short story called The Dog Tags. After reading it I thought it would make a good story to illustrate. At this stage I'm only doing one or two concept illustrations to see what it might look like. I put a lot of time into the colours for this one but I'm not sure how well I chose them. With digital painting I find it a real challenge to limit the number of colours and to keep them all singing together in harmony.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Drover with horse

 Another experiment with the loose pen style. More practice at hatching will do me good. I had to fix a few spots in Photoshop and the horse didn't fade away into the background quite like I'd pictured it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lost drover

 With some down time on the horizon my thoughts are returning to personal work. I've been wanting to flesh out my folio for some time with those styles I most enjoy working in. Here's a character that's been making appearances in my sketchbook the last year or so. I have him down tentatively as a drover, definitely a dreamer, and probably an anti-hero of some kind, though my knowledge of Australian history and rural life in general is sadly lacking, and definitely the weakest link when it comes to taking this character beyond the concept stage.

Nevertheless, I wanted to develop this loose pen style of illustration in my folio in the hopes of getting to actually use it on some real projects, and I felt this character provided fertile ground for some folio pieces.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Holiday sketches

 Watercolour & pen drawing of sailing boats on dry land

Pen & wash sketchbook drawing of a boat on dry land

Holiday sketches from last January, except the very bottom one which was with Google street view - definitely the easiest way to travel.

Friday, March 1, 2013


“If you listen quietly enough life will whisper its secrets to you.” ~ Rasheed Ogunlaru

Well it's been a while, but here's my entry for this week's Illustration Friday. The week's word is 'Whisper'. Hope you like it!