Nursery Mural

I spent the weekend finishing off a nursery mural for my little niece. It was great fun being unleashed on a wall!

I had a very loose brief of 'animal themed', which quickly led to the jungle theme. I liked the idea of a tree full of animals, to give a bit of height to all the characters. The cot or bed will be surrounded by lush green leaves and the cheeky creatures.

It was a nice challenge to work on such a large scale, and only with paintbrushes (where is the 'undo' function on a paintbrush?!) Very pleased with the outcome. Here are some photos:

If you fancy sprucing up your own space with a bespoke mural, get in touch!

Araştırmacı Çocuk

Last year I starting regularly working with the lovely guys at Araştırmacı Çocuk magazine in Turkey.
This is the cover of their latest issue, which was all based around astronomy:

   The issue also featured information on famous astronomers. Here are my portraits of Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler:

 

The issue also featured information on famous astronomers. Here are my portraits of Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler:

More images I've done for Araştırmacı Çocuk are in the portfolio. Looking forward to working on the next issue already!

More images I've done for Araştırmacı Çocuk are in the portfolio. Looking forward to working on the next issue already!

Sparky's Bad Spell

Not long until Sparky's Bad Spell is published! This is a series I'm working on with Red Fox, an imprint of Random House Children's Books. Sparky is a non-magical puppy who gets accidentally whisked off to Mrs Mothwick's Magic Academy. Sparky becomes the 'familiar' of the loveable but rather inept Carl, and needs to learn how to keep up with his magical friends. This is the second book in the series, and here is the cover, along with a sneaky peak at a new character, the evil Mrs Cackleback: 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pixar Times

The Pixar Times is a fantastic news site, covering (you guessed it) all things Pixar!
I recently contributed a piece to their 'Pixart' section, and here it is:

Tell us about your piece:     "I  started off by sketching some of my favourite characters, and found it hard to stop. It quite quickly turned into my personal Pixar wall of fame! There are framed snapshots of Edna Mode from The Incredibles, Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc, Wall-E, Dot from A Bugs Life, Woody, Dug from Up and Squirt from Finding Nemo. These are all characters that have really stuck with me from the films. There is a desk in front of the wall, with a few more Pixar pieces: the snow globe from Knick Knack, a little character from For the Birds (because let’s not brush over those beautiful shorts) an Incredibles mug, the iconic lamp, and a pencil with a certain number on it…    It was lovely to work on something so self-indulgent. I really enjoy character design, and it was a refreshing challenge to focus on someone else’s style. I spent about 30 minutes on the image most mornings in the past couple of weeks as a warm up to my day. It forced me to draw differently, to move away from my default and experiment with different techniques, colours, brushes, lighting and poses. A tiny insight into how the masters do it!"

Tell us about your piece: "I started off by sketching some of my favourite characters, and found it hard to stop. It quite quickly turned into my personal Pixar wall of fame! There are framed snapshots of Edna Mode from The Incredibles, Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc, Wall-E, Dot from A Bugs Life, Woody, Dug from Up and Squirt from Finding Nemo. These are all characters that have really stuck with me from the films. There is a desk in front of the wall, with a few more Pixar pieces: the snow globe from Knick Knack, a little character from For the Birds (because let’s not brush over those beautiful shorts) an Incredibles mug, the iconic lamp, and a pencil with a certain number on it…

It was lovely to work on something so self-indulgent. I really enjoy character design, and it was a refreshing challenge to focus on someone else’s style. I spent about 30 minutes on the image most mornings in the past couple of weeks as a warm up to my day. It forced me to draw differently, to move away from my default and experiment with different techniques, colours, brushes, lighting and poses. A tiny insight into how the masters do it!"

Some close-ups:

And you can see the image and full interview here: http://pixartimes.com/2014/09/26/pixart-september-feature-iii-pixar-wall-of-fame/

Thanks for featuring me Pixar Times!

August 2014 books!

Well, I think it's safe to say that August 2014 was a pretty exciting month at Elsom HQ.

Three smashing books I worked on were published: The Last Chocolate Chip Cookie by Jamie Rix, Maisie Mae: Camping is not very Ooh La La! by Poppy Harper and Sparky at Magic School by Ruby Nash. Have a look through the portfolio pages for more images.

I'd love to know which one is your favourite!


Eygptian characters

I have been working on a few historical characters recently. Here are some Ancient Egyptians for you! Loved researching all the details for the clothes and jewels.


Miss Hits

Morning all! I've been working again with the fab Judy Murray, and it's brilliant to announce her latest project MISS HITS.

Miss Hits is a tennis programme specifically targeted at 5-8 year old girls, which aims to lay the foundations for future female tennis stars. I helped Judy visualise the six characters (and a dog!) who lead the progamme. Here is one of the girls, Belle Backhand:

Not officially launching until Autumn, this is very early days at the moment, but here she is introducing Miss Hits (make sure you check out minute 02:21 and 02:28...!) http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/get-inspired/28135778

Great Barrier Reef

I decided to do a finished artwork based on sketches I did in Australia after snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. So, here it is!

I loved snorkeling, it was like being in another universe. The colours, the crazy creatures, the silence... and I don't think anything can beat the moment a turtle glides towards you.

The original sketch

The original sketch

The finished artwork

The finished artwork

Some close-up sections

Some close-up sections

(Oh, and this is the first illustration done with my shiny new graphics tablet - oooohh!)

Maisie Mae

Maisie Mae is finally out and about and causing trouble!

I was super excited to be asked to illustrate this new series from Little Brown Books. Maisie and her madcap family make a great set of mischievous characters to engage with, and I loved the combination of Maisie's desire for princesses, sparkly dresses and all things pink, mixed with her feisty nature and ability to outsmart her older brothers. Here is an introduction to the family...

This is the final cover for the first book, along with some of my original sketches for typography styles:

Book one in the series, No Boys Allowed! sees Maisie in fierce competition with her brothers for ownership of a new bedroom. Here are some of my favourite images from the book, and have a look in the portfolio for more!

Australia!

In 2 weeks I am off to Australia, for a month long trip. Hooray!  
However, there seems to be an alarming amount of creatures that would like to kill you in this country. I have made myself feel better by drawing the most dangerous ones with cute smiles and glasses. Ready to befriend them all now.

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Fairy Godbrothers

Last year I illustrated a hilarious little book for Oxford University Press called Roxanne and the Fairy Godbrother.

It stars Roxanne and her cat Tiggy, who get more than they bargained for when Roxanne's well-meaning but rather inept Fairy Godbrother turns up, complete with broken wand, to help her out. Cue lots of mayhem, fairy dust, and a crazy assortment of animals!! 

The book is part of their 'Chuckers' reading programme and is written by Meg Harper. Here are a few magical images from the final book:

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Hello 2014!

Well, the weather is insane and I am nursing a chocolate orange shaped hole in my life, but other than that, 2014 is lookin' good!

Can't wait to share some books that are coming out this year - namely the launch of the Maisie Mae series with Little Brown Books, and a delicious (bit of a hint) picture book with Piccadilly Press.

I've just started work with Random House on a super (and secret!) new project which will keep me busy for now, and hopefully this is the year you'll see some self-authored things take their shape....

Happy New Year from Elsom HQ!

Getting festive

Only a few days left until the big day! A little woodland Christmas procrastination doodle...

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Martha...

Doodling in a sketch book can sometimes give you some weird and wonderful characters... such as Martha, with her pet tortoise, who wears a fez. 

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Christmas giveway!!!

To celebrate the start of the festive month, I am going to be giving away a set of 6 signed Arthur books. ("WOW!!" I hear you say.) Head over to my facebook page to find out the details... Winner will be selected at random and announced this Friday 6th December at 9am sharp. Good luck!! xx

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