Monday, 4 July 2016

Note Books!

I'm terrible with note books, I have so many! They're all full of ideas and bits of stories etc, that one day will become that great novel or best selling picture book! In reality though they're just taking up lots of room in our little house. So I decided to work my way through them and put all the bits worth keeping in a box.
I've just started sieving out all those golden nuggets, when I came across this story about our poor nervous dog. This rhyming tale was made when Rascal was younger and scared of absolutely everything but especially our hoover. Now she is a very ancient pooch, who is deaf and blind, and also completely fearless. This one's for you Rascal darling.

Rascal's Monster

Rascal was doing,
What Rascal does best.
Belly in air,
Having a rest.

When somebody mentioned,
Her fear of all fears,
Her eyes flung open,
With a twitch of her ears.

Rascal was nervous,
Of all things, it was true.
Washing machines, lorries,
And hats that were blue.

Cows, and tall statues,
Spiky young plants.
Sprinklers and storms,
And extra big aunts.

But something she dreaded,
She feared even more.
Above everything else,
Except the black cat next door!

Was The Monster in the cupboard!
Locked out from sight.
She never went near it,
Especially at night!

Whirling and growling,
It came prowling each day.
Sucking at carpets,
Gobbling things in it's way.

Rascal's companion tried to tame it,
Pulling back on it's lead.
But The Monster was MONSTROUS!
No attention it would heed.

Rascal was ready,
This time, Rascal was brave!
She would out wit That Monster,
And her family she'd save!

She tiptoed around the table,
Belly crawled around the chair.
Dodged and dived behind the bookcase,
Flipping somersaults in the air.

Instead of jumping on the creature,
She skidded on the mat.
Rolling into The Monster,
With a gigantic SPLAT!

When she opened her eyes,
Everything seemed calm.
She didn't need to panic,
Or raise an alarm.

The Monster was silent,
She had obviously won!
Her mission was over,
Before she'd begun.

Now everything was quiet,
Full of peace.
Her family need no more fear,
That terrible beast!

Then! Fear of all fears!
As she settled back on the hearth.
Somebody mentioned,
Giving Rascal, A Bath!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

The story of Emerald or Emie the cat is almost there. As with most of the stories I write, the first draft is nearly always the best. Of course it's always good to change some things, add to it, or take something out but on the whole my best stories seem to be made when I least expect it. I think my nerves kick in too much and I end up questioning the whole thing.. just like Emie.

That certainly doesn't apply to my illustration though. With that I find that the more I change a character the better it becomes. As I'm trying out more watercolour at the moment I've decided to try some full colour double page spreads in it. 'A Wild Wash Day' above was initially done in pastel but looking back at my sketches again, I'm going to give it a go in watercolour.

 And lastly, I've been working on a new chapter book called 'The Smile Club' and it's making me smile writing it. These are a couple of the characters, well how they look for the time being anyway!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Playing With Watercolour

I've always put a lot of detail into my work but of late I've been trying to loosen up my style. One way that I've been trying this out is with paper cutting and screen printing. This has worked and I'm really pleased with the results. Another thing is that I work in watercolour all the time in my sketch book but have never used them anywhere else. So decided to play around with some! 
I quite like this watercolour doodle that I've just titled 'mum'.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Holiday Sketches


Crumpets, tea, and The Gruffalo's Child on tv.

Walking around Wildwoods, a brilliant british wildlife park.
Sketching on holiday is great, lots of new places and people to tackle. Having just come back from a lovely hols with my parents, staying in a cottage near Faversham in Kent. It was nice to have the time to just sketch our family relaxing on the sofa in front of the telly, or when we went out and about exploring the local area.