Saturday, 24 April 2010

Dinosaur pop-ups

I've just received this from Corina Fletcher, the brilliant paper engineer who designed all the pop-up mechanisms for the Dinosaurs of Doom book that I finished a few weeks ago. She's printed out my files and dummied up the whole book to make sure that everything works as it should. And the good news is that it does, so no last minute tweaks needed!
To show you the levels of complexity we had to go to, the image below is the illustration I did for just one of the four back panels of the final 360 degree pop-up. A good deal of it is obscured by other features as well, but I had to put in this amount of detail because there are so many cut outs in the panels at the front. Part of the reason this was a long old job!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Please can I Play?

This is an image I did recently. It's a sample double-page spread for a favorite book project of mine that hasn't found a publisher yet. Shame really, because the book deals with some of the anxieties that a lot of young children experience when they go nursery school or start school for the first time, and I'm pretty sure a  lot of parents would find it useful to read to their nervous off-spring. It's called 'Please Can I Play?' and features a little penguin called Fran who is lonely and wants to find a friend to play with. But all the other animals are too big, or too busy or too grown-up to bother. At least at first. I'm sure it would make a nice board book. One day, maybe.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


I've spent three days agonizing over the opening sequence of a book I'm writing. Finally cracked it last night when I went for a walk. I think. It's a constant source of bewilderment that you can stare at a piece of paper or a computer screen for hours without making any progress at all. Then you walk away, think of something else, and it's as if you've sneaked up on the problem from behind and taken it by surprise. Suddenly you can see where all the answers have been hiding themselves.

I also witnessed the little drama shown above when two dogs went for a blackbird. I've been experimenting drawing images without using a line to hold it all together. I'm quite pleased with this approach and will try to do some more in the same style.

Friday, 9 April 2010

1st blog

This is my first blog, so hi to one and all. I mainly write and illustrate books for children and I'll try tell you something about what I do as I go along.

After nine long months I recently finished all the artwork for a book for Macmillan Children's Books called "Dinosaurs of Doom!" It's been quite a slog, but everyone seems very happy with the result. The book is out in the shops about October I think. It's the second in a series about the Time Pirates and it features time travel, evil scientists, lots of armoured dinosaurs wreaking havoc and a great big pop-up at the end! This is a picture of the cover.
Thanks to Corina Fletcher for her wonderful paper engineering and to everyone at MacMillan especially Hannah Ray and Jo Spooner.

So -- it's time to press the button and send my first blog into the big wide blogosphere. I hope it will find lots of little bloggy friends to mix with and not be too lonely out there. Bye bye little blog, bye bye.