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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Light Pad

Today I thought I would share a change in my drawing process that might be useful to other illustrators or aspiring illustrators. I recently work on a hand drawn animation project. The only way that I could easily do this was to go old school and get a light box. I was very pleased when researching light boxes to find LED technology has been taken up in this area and thin light tablets are now available. I ended up getting an ‘Artograph’ light pad. 

(above picture of me at my drawing table with the light pad on it)

Now I create all of my images as finished art size sketches on cheap paper (photocopier paper is perfect). I work these up to have as much energy and fluidity as possible. 

For more complex images I can draw individual characters. I then place these on the light pad, cover with my watercolour paper and do a fine line pen drawing (I prefer to use Staedler pigment liners) based on the image that shows through (see photo).  

By creating the image this way, I never have to rub out pencil work, so I never tear, crunch or disturb the surface of my paper. I can play with characters and the composition.

I got this idea from watching the master Bob Graham (http://www.walkerbooks.com.au/authors_and_illustrators/bob-graham ) work at the Sydney Writers Festival a couple of years ago. Finally I get to choose the best lines and character expressions directly from my sketches. I hate realising that the sketch had better energy or a better expression on the characters face than the finished art work.

I would also like to just add, that it is so important to have someone to show you work to. Someone who can give good feedback. I show all my dog realted images to Holly, 
she always lets me know what she thinks.

For Artograph products look at http://www.artograph.com/products/light-pad.htm

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Billy is a Dragon book2

I have just delivered all the artwork for book 2 of Nick Falk and my  new series of books , ‘Billy is a Dragon’.  I have been having heaps of fun with these books are they are filled with were-wolves, Dragons and a range of other interesting beasties to draw.
I love drawing character images and book 2 had a few challenging ones for me. One of the first characters that I drew for the books was Polly the parrot who is prone to very rude insulting comments to the ‘Billy’. Polly features through out the book  with funny insults hand drawn to break into the standard text layout.

The book has also allowed me to play with different sets of images. Each set is design to give a different perspective or view point to the reader. There is the standard in text illustrations (as in Poly above). These create a visual representation of  mood and atmosphere, show action, expand on the stories visually.  I also have a range of ‘LORE’ page that expand on the mythology to the world that Billy lives in. Finally I have created collection of margin images and comics. These look at characters and situations from the main character ‘Billy’s’ point of view.
‘Anatomy of Mr Gull’ is a good example of Billy’s view on what makes his teacher tick. I apologies now any teacher who might be offended (see mini poster at the bottom) and also for any spelling mistakes. As I come up with all of the text on these pages, there are bound to be mistakes. Never fear my wonderful editor Cristina will point all of these out and we will correct them before it is published.

Thank you for reading please find me on… 

Also to support mens health I am participating in Movember this year, donations toward medical research and support of mens health issues please click here,