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Friday, December 14, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Year of the Snake 2013

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Saurus Street

Saurus Street drawings are looking great! Kids will enjoy the humour with HUGE dinosaurs and tiny dogs facing off to work out who's the alpha animal. Official release date is the 2nd January 2013 and I've got the new books in my hands - they look fantastic.
This has been a fantastically fun series to work on. I have been blessed with my Publisher at Random House, Chris Kunz. She has allowed me to have a lot of freedom with this series. In turn this has let me play with lots of visual tangents in the stories.
I am looking forward to release of these and also ‘What the Raven saw” by Samantha-Ellen Bound on the 1st of February 2013. It will be a busy start to the year with these releases. Today I was lucky enough to attend a book giving assembly at the Bridge Road School in Camperdown , Sydney. This was as a part of a Role Models program run by ‘Books in Homes’. The experience was a wonderful one. It is a fantastic program designed to inspire young readers. For more information on Books in Homes check out the links below. Books in Homes http://www.biha.com.au Bridge Road School http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/schoolfind/locator/?do=showRecord&code=5540 What the Raven Saw http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/samantha-ellen-bound/what-the-raven-saw-9781742757353.aspx Saurus Street http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/nicholas-falk/saurus-street-1-9781742756554.aspx http://jacintadimase.com.au/authors/18/tony-flowers

Monday, November 26, 2012

Busy Times

I haven’t posted any new work on this blog for a while. The reason is that I have been exceedingly busy. Over the last couple of months I have been concentrating my efforts on finishing the last 2 books in the Saurus Street series (image below from book 4). I am also working on some new work for ‘the School Magazine’ for the NSW (Australia) department of Education. I will post these images as it gets closer to their publishing date.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sketch of Holly

I have returned to Sydney today after a weekend away at the Griffith Readers Festival. I was great festival some interesting authors (and 1 illustrator) presenting talks and workshops. I am planning to write a bit more on the other authors in a separate post, with some links to books or websites...etc. I was lucky enough to have some time to spend working on some of my own story ideas. I have made some good progress on my Ulverstone story and a new story idea about a retired police dog. I am planning to use my dog 'Holly' as the main character. If all goes well and a book is produced. Im sure Holly will love the attention, not to mention the publicity tours! Below is one of my first sketches of Holly. This was one of the many drawings that I managed to do while watching a 2 hour line for young Andy Griffiths fans waiting for a signature. I think if fame hits Holly at the same that it has Andy, she will need a ball throwing break in the middle of a 2 hour line up. It will also be hard to train her to sign her name. Im sure that she will give it a good go!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Here are some up dates from my sketch book. These were drawn while holidaying in Samoa. Wonderful country, wonderful people. I was lucky enough to get a good deal through Virgin to stay at the Coconuts Beach Club on the south coast. This was my second visit to Samoa. My first was in 1991, so it was very interesting to see the changes.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

School Story

(sorry about the blurry scan) The autobiographical part will look at some recent (last few years) events in my life that were unpleasant, absurd and unbelievable. These events will form a sub-story within a larger story. The sub-story will be a combination of actual records of the event and character studies of the individuals involved. So a Hollywood style disclaimer is called for; the events of this sub-story are based on fact. Only the names have been changed (ever so slightly) to protect the not so innocent and to avoid any legal defamation cases being aimed at me.
I have also changed the setting. This is to suit the main story thread. I am planning a historic/period story set in the small Tasmanian coastal town of Ulverstone. I was born in Ulverstone and spent most of my childhood there. There were a number of dominant features to the town that intrigued my young mind. First the clock tower that is the towns most prominent landmark, secondly the towns ‘space age’ playground/park, decked out with wire frame rocket and u.f.o. Please remember this was the mid to late 1970’s. The Internet wasn’t about. All my information about the world was either in books, movies or on television. So I didn’t realise that wire framed rockets were a popular addition to many playgrounds in Australia at the time. Also remember that mine was the mind of young imagination fuelled by dalek on Dr Who and the first release of Star Wars. Videocassette recorders (VCRs) weren’t even invented yet. For the younger reader these were strange devices that held cassettes of magnetic tape to record television (all 2 channels of it). They were later replaced by DVD recorder and now Personal Video Recorders (PVRs). This lack of recording technology meant that if you didn’t see it at the cinema or on television when it was broadcast, you missed it! No endless replaying your favourite movies over and over. No chance to re-watch anything new. As a result, things seemed to infuse your mind and fuel you imagination, well mine at least. I digress, sorry, What Im getting at is, I plan to write a science fiction story set in Ulverstone in 1977. The story will look at story behind the objects that intrigued me in my childhood and look at a fictional and hopefully funny science fiction story that explains why they were placed in this small town. The sub story with it’s basis in modern times has been relocated to my childhood school, East Ulverstone Primary School. The events will unfold as a part of a schoolyard squabble that gets out of hand. Hopefully all of this will come together in a humorous story that will have a boarder appeal than my own therapeutic need to create. I have added some character sketches of some of the sub-story characters. I will no doubt add more and show the stories development as I go. So check in for time to time to see the creative story development process unfold (or implode).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

To die for

My advanced copy of 'to die for' by Mark Svendsen arrived today. I think the cover illustration has come up so well. There are a few of my watercolour wash sharks on the inside as well. It should be available on the shelves around the beginning of September (2012). So if you see it, have a look. I enjoyed the story a lot. for more details visit Random House Australia's website

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flying Raven

It has been too long since my last post. But I have been busy. These images are the update from my last post. the flying bird body that I created has been used here with 3 different heads. Im quite pleased how they have turned out. The heads took a lot longer than I expected. If these are accepted they will be used in greyscale as internal illustration images.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Making a paper bird

The above image shows the stages of construction for a paper flying raven. This is an object that I am working on for a book called 'What the Raven saw'. The images show the feathering of the wings, tail and body of the bird. I am still working on the head of this bird. Check back for the completed bird in a week or so.

Friday, July 13, 2012

the Pigeon

My next paper bird, the pigeon is a character form 'What the Raven saw' by Samantha-Ellen Bound. It will be published by Random House Australia in Feb 2013. Im hope that this bird will be used on the back cover of the book.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The paper RAVEN

Pictured is the making of a paper Raven. The Raven has been made as a part of a book cover design. You can see from the images that the base structure is made of black card rolled and glued into the required shapes.
This is then covered with paper feather. Based on the amazing work of Eric Carl (Hungry Caterpillar ), I created the paper feathers by first painting a sheet of paper. this is much like Carl paints paper before cutting out his shapes to create pictures. I then cut out the features and glue them into place. this takes a lot of time. But the end results are worth it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Book Project

Grade 2 Classroom Art Project, I was invited in to do an art project with my sons grade two class. The concept is that class groups create a work of art, for sale to help raise money for the school. I have had an idea that I have wanted to try for a while now. I thought that a class could jointly create a story in picture book format. It was a risky project to take on, as there was a limited timeframe to create the work, I had never tried something this complex with a class before and if the results were not saleable then I wouldn’t have the time to create an item for the auction.
I started by talking to the class about character design and story development. The some of the children came up one at a time, drawing elements on a single character on the white board (i.e. head shape, body, hair, face features…etc). Once we had jointly created a character I asked the children to individually go off and draw a story scene from their imagination based on the character. Students sitting in groups tend to borrow ideas from each other, so themes in drawings appeared as they created their images. One table draw ninjas (boys of course) another table draw magicians…etc. After the first session I took the drawings away and ordered them in to a rough visual narrative. In the second session I showed the students the images that I had been able to select for the narrative and suggested themes that would assist in the narrative flow. The students went off once more to draw their own images. By combining both sets of drawings I was able to create a wordless visual narrative that was driven by the ideas from the children. The resulting book will be auctioned in 2 weeks.
I have included pictures here that demonstrate the transference of the childrens drawings into the finished book. You will see that some images have had minor changes made to allow the story to flow. Others are made up of several students work and some have had elements added or extended. The children worked in grey lead pencil to made transferring the images easier and I have hand coloured all the pictures with water colour to give the book consistency over the different drawing styles. This has been a very rewarding project to work, I would like to refine the projects concept further and create more of these storybooks with student groups.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Speaking Agent

I have just signed up with Lateral Learning speaking agency. Lateral learning will handle all my speaking engagements for NSW. They can be contacted at the following web address for enquiries and bookings. http://www.laterallearning.com/

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

cCover art concepts for 'To Die For'

I just started working on some cover art for Random House Australia. The story is ‘to die for’ by Mark Svendsen. The story is about a 14 year old boy who has taken is fathers boat to go camping and fishing on a small island. But before he can reach the island he grounds himself on a reef. A four meter tiger shark finds the boy and boat, hence the imagery for in these sketches.

What I have attached is four concept sketches for the cover and an image from an older story, ‘The Rime of the Owl and the Pussycat’. I have included this image as it was one that Random House staff commented on when I was showing them my folio. I have done a lot of images that show water and boats. I think this image was one of the reason why I have this cover commission. Just thought some people might like to see the image behind the sketches and the commission.

The attached cover sketches are done in wash and watercolour, I’m planning to either use ink or scrapper board to create the line work for the final image. I will most likely add colour in Photoshop. This should allow me to get a smooth solid block fill of colour. Which will give a strong graphic look to the cover design.

I will post the next set of images, as the design process continues. But don’t worry you shouldn’t have to wait long as the deadline for sketches is the 16th, colour art on the 26th and final art on May 1st. So check back soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ceridwyn was a story concept that I have been working on. It is based on misspelling or misinterpretations of words. This is quite ironic as I am such a bad speller myself. My drafts are full of mistakes and I’m quite sure that any regular reader of this blog will have spotted quite a few.
Anyway, Ceridwyn is a witch who has magic fun with the linguistic mistakes that I make on a daily basis. I started out drawing Ceridwyn as an older character. After I had shown my first mock up to my agent, she suggested that I adapt a character that I had been working on for another story and draw Ceridwyn in this style as a younger girl.
After a few basic sketches I realised that she was right and that Ceridwyn was much more appealing as a younger character. So that’s where I am up to with her at the moment. I will update as things progress.

Monday, March 26, 2012


I am working on a story that I intend to pitch for publishing at the moment. It started as an idea 2 years ago and has grown and refined itself along the way. The story is of a young witch who's name is Ceridwyn. For the non-Welsh of us, it is sounds like Kerr-id-wen. I have attached a sample image of her and her cat Miffy (Miffanwy another fine Welsh name) casing a spell.

I will try and upload some interesting Ceridwyn character development sketches in a while.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Clay Board

In an extension on my scrapper paper experiments. I have been playing with clay board. Now scrapper paper is like a version of scrapper board. As is clay board. With the clay board you start with a white board, coated in a fine ceramic film. Then you apply a couple of coats of your favourite ink (in this case a Langridge drawing ink (Carbon Black)). Once dry you scratch back though the black surface to reveal the white. It is a wonderful working surface. Where the paper version tends to grab you nib or scraping point as you scratch, the board is a much smoother working surface. This results in finer and has more fluid lines. I have created this image of the Owl and the Pussycat as it is one of my favourite poems. I plan to do some more illustrations from this poem.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Scrapper Paper

Above are a few examples of some experiments on ‘scrapper paper’. This paper has a black coating on it and you scratch away at it to reveal the white. So the trick (if there is one) is to think in terms of negative space and draw the white. I really enjoy this stuff, it’s fun to work, you can achieve some very striking results and it is conceptuality simular to working chalk on a black back ground (or road surface).

These particular drawings are experimental images for chapter titles in a book that I am working on for Random House.