illustrating


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There are many many moments in a creative person’s life, where you produce a piece of artwork with a deadline looming and you then just want to tear your hair out. I did this recently with the book cover illustration  the second of Fiona Ingram’s series. in the first book […]

How I wanted to put Excalibur through my book cover ...



A lot of my work is figurative, especially the illustration, but it has been a long time since I have been challenged to create portraits. I count the onsite sketches I have done over the years as useful exercises in hand/eye coordination. Just before Christmas I was contacted by my […]

Portraits – my pre-Christmas challenge



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James Mayhew posted a link on facebook to a page on the website Illustration Cupboard, where some of Jan Peinkowski’s illustrations are for sale. It was like stepping into a time machine and being whisked back to my childhood. My reading life took off the day I picked up my […]

Advent Challenge 20 – Joan Aiken and friends


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It was one of those viral things, someone likes a page on facebook, and being nosy you go over to have a look and discover someone who tickles your funny bone. That’s how I found Angela Smythe who is based in Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. Whether she is illustrating […]

Advent Challenge 18 – Angela Smythe


Today’s artist is Catherine Rayner. I admire her wonderful painterly style and how her animal characters are such individuals. Her bio from her website: Award winning author and illustrator Catherine Rayner studied Illustration at Edinburgh College of art. She fell in love with the city and still lives there with […]

Advent Challenge 12 – Catherine Rayner



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James Mayhew is author and illustrator. He is famous for the Katie books and the Ella Bella books, both series introducing young readers to fine art, ballet, and museums. His list on amazon runs to three pages of interesting reads for the young. How he describes himself: He is well-known […]

Advent Challenge 10 – James Mayhew


In our family, guinea pigs are known as Pinny gigs, because we all love spoonerisms and we think it suits them. Even if you are not a rodent fan, you will LOVE the pinny-gigs drawn by Holly Surplice. They dance, play musical instruments, have parties and get carried away by […]

Advent Challenge 9 – Holly Surplice


Our family history with Chris Riddell is a long one. It all started with The Bear Dance, a book we read over and over and over again, while I drooled at the illustrations. Muddle Earth, a collaboration with author Paul Stewart, followed: an absurd romp through an alternate universe, with […]

Advent Challenge 7 – Chris Riddell



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  I was approached in the car park of HeronBridge College with a request: “We want you to redesign our prospectus, Nando’s Style”. My first reaction to this was: “huh?” Nando’s is well-known for its off-the-wall advertising, but how do you relate a chicken outlet to a school (even if chickens do roam […]

Designing with heart