Monday, 18 February 2013

Mark Jenkins, Dave and some weird flying thing

Sad times this weekend as the last episode of The Hotel happened. To mark the occasion, my fellow Hotel watcher and all round encourager of drawing, Mr Fraser, suggested that I should do some pictures of them as they bid us a tearful and karaoke-based au revoir. These are monstrous drawings and make me feel a bit ill, but I quite like them all the same.

Mark (bless him)

 Alison (kicks ass)

In other news, I had another two days at the Sick Kids last week. We shadowed a doctor on a morning ward round, I drew a pug for a lovely girl, and amongst other highlights, Dave was created. We run workshops when we are in the hospital for patients, parents, volunteers and pretty much anyone who likes drawing and writing. Last week I met Noah who is a bit of an excellent artist and he is also the owner of the best imagination that I have ever stolen ideas from. Above is Dave. He broke his arm doing Kung Fu (I think) and is now the host of Pat Plaster and Serena Syringe who are on a date. Yep. He is illustrating the story, ready for our workshop tomorrow. We worked on a story board last week. He just drew it in about ten minutes. Genius.
And one more thing...I drew this for my next Lollipop and Grandpa book and I have no idea what it is, but I like him.

Monday, 11 February 2013

National Libraries Day 2013

At the weekend we celebrated National Libraries Day. Libraries are very very important, and I love visiting them to run drawing and reading sessions. On Saturday I was at Oxgangs library in Edinburgh which is a lovely library, and has a great craft cupboard incidentally. 

I read one of my books, we drew some characters together, and then worked on a long drawing with an underwater theme. I started off working with 5 kids, but many joined in once they saw the fun we were having.

Here are two close-ups of the drawing. I hate snakes but I think David did a great job, and I also like his flying fish. Matthew was a bit of a shark expert.

Afterwards, I went to the pub with my werewolf-eared pal Fraser, and I drew an uncannily accurate picture of him. Apologies for the shadow, but we had drunk loads of beer.

Monday, 4 February 2013


Last year I was asked to do a very interesting hand lettering job by Quercus. My lovely friend Cat Clarke is a Young Adult author and has written three amazing YA novels, all published by Quercus, called Entangled, Torn and Undone (it is the official launch of Undone tomorrow and Cat and I are going to Nando's beforehand so double celebration there).

So back to Quercus...Without giving too much away about the book, I was asked to hand-write a series of 12 letters that appear in Undone, in a style that suits a teenage boy with very neat writing. This is harder than it sounds and I wasted about 17 trees-worth of paper. I also had to work to a template and start the line again if I messed it up at any point, which obviously happened loads. And I had to use a fountain pen for a good quality of line for reproduction, and it obviously needed to be legible at all times.
The letters become increasingly distressing and there are lots of scribblings and crossings-out and good messy bits.

I highly recommend that you read this book. Cat is a brilliant writer, and she is also a bad influence whilst drinking champagne. Look out in the book for a really rubbish drawing of a lamb, and a line about how Kai's hand was hurting from writing all the letters. How very true that was! I had a claw for a hand for too long after I finished the letters.