Monday 30 December 2013

Poodles adventure in Rome

At the beginning of the month, myself and my husband flew to Rome for a long weekend. I took a sketch book with me, but decided not to document Rome through my eyes, but through Poodles. He spent the whole trip tucked safely in my bag with his little head popping out. This blog is dedicated to Poodle and his adventure in Rome.
"We had Pizza everyday! Some with tiny fish! The ice cream was the best I've ever eaten (and I've eaten quite a lot!) Down nearly every street there were real life nuns!"
"I went through an XRay machine at the place with lots of candles and people praying. Outside we ate a yummy panini"
"People kept trying to sell us things, especially scarves, I don't really like scarves. We saw where the Gladiators fight too!"
"I sat on a very very old rock and we saw more nuns. There was lots of people buying bags outside a big old building. I ate some more ice cream. Then a man got told off for taking a picture of a ceiling, weird!"

Patchy Poodle, Rome, 2013.

Friday 25 October 2013

Penguins! Penguins! Penguins!

This month I have mostly been painting penguins. The top illustration is from a story I've written. The little girl is terrified. She can hear loud bangs in the kitchen. The noise is coming from the fridge. She musters the courage to open the door and see what's inside; to her surprise a waddle of penguins (a 'waddle' is now the official collective noun for penguins on land according to the international penguin conference held in Chile. The collective noun for penguins in the water is a 'raft'. Well there you go!) waddled out onto the kitchen floor. 

The bottom illustration is from this weeks illustration friday 'entangled'. I was beginning to design some christmas cards involving penguins and thought this was a perfect opportunity to capture them in sticky situation.

Saturday 21 September 2013

Creating Characters

I find one of the enjoyments about creating a new character for a story is exploring their personality through body language. Before I did my Masters, this was something a really struggled with, so I joined a life drawing class. I found when we did faster sketches, about one pose per minute, I got a much better at recreating the figure more accurately. I also spent hours in tea shops drawing the passers by. When people are unaware they are being sketched, their body language is far more natural. Practice really did help to make my characters more interesting.

Here's my latest character for a story I've written. I wanted her to be a little shy and nervous, but with a good sense of humour and a flare for fashion!

Saturday 7 September 2013

There's Another Bunny Rabbit!


Mother Bunny and Baby Bunnies...

These little bunny illustrations I did for two of my oldest friends who have recently entered into motherhood. They've given me lots of ideas for this years set of christmas cards. Watch this space!

Sunday 28 July 2013

Jet Bike Safari

So, we've just got back from our summer holiday in the Canary Islands. We travelled with the whole family, my sister and her husband, my husband and my mom. We spent most days lazing on the beautiful beach or relaxing by the pool reading, but by the last day my husband was itching to do something a little more adventures. I'd never been on a Jet Bike before, but as my husbands Australian, and grew up doing water-sports, he assured me I'd be fine. We signed up to do a Jet Bike safari, first to see Los Gigantis and then to see the whales and dolphins. The safari started out great, we left the beach doing around 25 miles an hour which was great, I loved it! Then, without any warning, we speed up to 50 miles an hour! I've never felt such terror and such joy all at the same time, it was scarely fantastic. We saw a school of dolphins playing around a boat, then right near us, about 10 meters away from our Jet Bikes, a whale! I would recommend this trip to anyone visiting Tenerife, it was something I will never ever forget.

Friday 5 July 2013



This weeks Illustration Friday word is 'Equality'. I immediately thought of my sister and brother-in-law. They share everything equally so nobody ever feels without. This comes into full action when they serve up a yummy meal, they make sure everybody has exactly the same amount of food on their plate. The same number of potato wedges, an equal amount of chicken pieces in a chicken madras, a proportionate measure of vegetables on a Sunday roast. It doesn't matter what gender or size you are, all servings will be one and the same. Sharing is caring!

I'm working on a story featuring a fare few mice at the moment, so I thought I'd use them to illustrate this weeks word.

Saturday 22 June 2013

Illustration Friday



3 Weeks of Illustration Friday

All of these illustrations I did using a dip pen and ink, and painted with watercolour. I've used the last three weeks to really explore patterns and textures. I wanted to create a real sense of depth with the textures especially. For the next couple of weeks I'll be experimenting with shadows, attempting to create tension and atmosphere so watch this space and please let me know what you think.

Saturday 15 June 2013

The Incredible Chapore On Sale NOW!


The Incredible Chapore is now available on Amazon. 
The feedback has already been very overwhelming, take a little look!

Wednesday 29 May 2013

The Fairground

The Fairground
The fairground. A truly convivial atmosphere, brimming with exciting possibilities and temptations,. Clouds of fluffy pink sugary candyfloss, hot dogs topped with delicious caramelized onions, creamy yellow mustard and lashings of ketchup. Rides that spin so fast the possibility of seeing the hotdog and all the trimmings a second time is quite high. Big red shiny balloons, how all the children would do almost anything to get there sticky candyfloss coated little hands on a big, red, shiny, balloon. Oh and the joy to win a little golden fish in a bag after catching a pesky yellow rubber ducky circling round and round in the water. At the fair, the possibilities for adventure are endless...

Thursday 18 April 2013

The Incredible Chapore


Illustrate is 2013 begins very soon. But before it needs a little help and support from you guys. 'The Incredible Chapore' is all shiny and ready to be published, but you can get your mitts on some pre-published signed copies. Just click on the link, and on the left hand side of the page is a list of all the perks you could get depending on how much you're prepared to donate! Have peek and see what you think!

Sunday 24 March 2013

Coconut Monsters

sketchbook pages

'Eye Glass" for illustration friday.
I've been working a lot with watercolours without dip pen and ink recently, it takes quite a while for each layer to dry, so in between layers drying, I like to curl up with my sketchbook and let my imagination do it's thing... At the moment it keeps creating fluffy little monsters (more cute than scary, but they don't know that). I think I've been missing the scratchiness of my dip pen and ink, so the fluffy coconut monsters seem to be filling my need to scratch and splat the ink. Hope you like them, I'm beginning to grow quite fond.

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Clockwork Ballerina

During my Masters, I sketched many many monsters made from factory parts: pipes, screws, chimneys, cogs, metal sheets etc. I became a little obsessed with drawing the intricate details; how the different machine parts would work together. Looking back, I wish that I'd included something more delicate and beautiful, but also strong and complex. Something quite like this little clockwork ballerina. She was made, by someone, for a purpose. But maybe she had other ideas of what she wanted to be...

Wednesday 30 January 2013

The Gunfighter

Curled up on the sofa on a rainy day, I was flicking through the sky movie channels, and came across an old favourite: 'The Gunfighter'. I picked up my pencil and began to sketch...

Friday 4 January 2013

Our New Home

Illustration Friday.

Each Friday, a new word is posted onto the "Illustration Friday" group on Flickr. This weeks word is NEW. The first thought I had was of my little sister, Gemma. Gemma and her husband Leon have recently become home owners. The first time they did their weekly shop in their new home was quite an exciting affair. Gem had never bought fresh flowers for herself, so they picked out a pretty vase and made their first blooming buy. 

Each time I now hear the Crosby Stills and Nash song "Our House" it reminds me of Gem and Leon, pottering around and admiring their lovely home, and it makes me smile.

I'll light the fire
You put the flowers in the vase
That you bought today 

Our house is a very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy
'Cause of you
And our la,la,la, la,la, la, la, la, la, la, la.....