Sunday, May 03, 2015

Tumble, tumble...

So I booked a holiday for my kids to make up for working so much recently... and spent the holiday working. Such is life, but needs must. It's been a particularly busy year so far as I've been working with Hometown World on a couple of new products. The Santa is coming to books has been in print for the past few years and has sold like a gazillion copies, so we figured it's time for a new book. Santa's Sleigh will be an all new story coming out later in the year - as with the previous title it'll cover just about every city with a book-buying population. For some inexplicable reason however, they never gave me the Glasgow edition to illustrate...

The author, Eric James has a nice little feature on Santa's Sleigh.

This was created in tandem with a Santa Board-Book for a slightly younger audience. It's been a hell of a lot of work and stress but hopefully everyone will like the new books when they're out.

I also have my own picture book 'Spacewalkies' coming out in June... or November. I have no idea. Illustrators are generally the last to know about what's happening with their work.

What else... oh yeah , I made a website in a vain attempt to look professional.

That's about it for now
R x

Until I do some non-commissioned work...
Or at least an Illustration Friday... does anyone still do that anymore?

Monday, January 26, 2015


I found some old watercolour board with half finished sketches on them and worked this one up to completion. The texture of the watercolour board mixed with the scanned texture creates the effect. It's all smoke and mirrors really.

I love working in this style but it doesn't translate well to commercial illustration. For commercial work I tend to work on Bristol Board. It looses the charm I think, but the sheer volume of colour illos I'm asked for in a project requires a cheaper board to work on.

Digital artists don't have this problem but I'm loathe to swap.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Splitting in two

Just realised I should have two seperate online entities. The day job and private work are for two very different age groups... I need a new name for the contumacious night time doodler. Any ideas then fire away!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Three lights and Laura (Process)

I have a weird hang-up about working on illustrations during the daytime that aren't commissioned. My best ideas always materialise when I'm up to my cranium in deadlines, and I work on them sporadically at night or with the ocassional stolen hour between jobs. I've had a few days of mulling around waiting for final pencil approvals so I've had to draw SOMETHING before I go postal. So this is the process behind 'Three Lights and Laura'.

I start by doodling faces. Sooner or later one of them is not terrible and I start to work it up. Leaves appear as they take no mental effort to draw and I can switch off/stare at the wall/play footsie with live cables while they appear. At some point a coherent picture begins to take shape. I have a glass of wine and blink painfully up at the blinding sun outside.

The leaves get coloured and three circles emerge. They'll either be simple geometric shapes or lights of some description. I'll decide later. The face gets toned and I start to thinking about how much to do in photoshop. I need more wine...

Eventually all the organic work is done. A better artist with more time and space would just work up the tones in paint. This artist just drops in a scanned texture to use as tone. With two gremlins nipping at my heels and pencils from the day-job calling, it's put aside until the evening.

I drop in the scanned texture and darken it dramatically, bringing out the highlights.  The circles become lights and are highlighted appropriately. The mistakes and tweaks are sorted (Mostly the face - more hair and shadow). Finally, the three represents my third leaf-girl illustration that isn't completely awful. I also called her Laura as I think it looks a bit Nephilim-ish. Anyway, hope you enjoy. R x

 And yes, more wine cometh...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Minnie 3 (Metamorphosis)

Funny, I was working on this piece and wondered of its suitability for Illustration Friday. I used to draw a lot on post-its when I should have been working at the day-job. We filled up drawers full of creatures and cartoons and weird little goth girls, eventually spawning Minnie. She's changed a lot since then...

Minnie spends her days between two worlds, living in blissful isolation.