A little while ago, I was contacted by Dan Morrow, who asked me to look over a picture book idea he and his brother, Derek had been working on. He said I should be honest. I felt the story needed a bit of editing and tightening up and made some suggestions. I never heard back from him!
Just as I was starting to think, maybe I’d suggested too much and had maybe upset Dan, I received another email from him. He’d revised the story, and now they were going to make an animated movie – Would I possibly record the narration, voice-over soundtrack? How could I say no to such a determined young man?
Last night, I was wondering wether they would actually make the movie when, ping! – an email arrived saying is was done! Comet – The Movie – was live on YouTube!
I think it’s rather fabulous. If you know anything about animation, you will appreciate how much work has gone into the making of this little movie. Please go and have a look, click the like button, subscribe to Dan’s channel and leave a message too. I think you may be witnessing the beginning of a very successful animation career from a very determined partnership – and you will be able to say say, “Oh, yeah, I’ve been following them from the start!”
I was with Derwent Pencils at the British Family Fayre in Westerham, Kent on Saturday. I had a great time showing how to use watercolour pencils and aquatone sticks with Derwent waterbrushes great fun was had by all! great to meet everyone – very tiring but great fun :)
Last week we visited the ancient town of Ludlow in Shropshire in England. It’s full of medieval half-timbered houses complemented by fine Georgian and Victorian architecture. It must have been a rich market town in its day. It still must be doing well, judging by the kind of shopping to be had there.
Ring the bell at the Castle Lodge, pay your three ponds and you will be treated to the most eccentric visit to an historic building ever!
For some reason the county name of Shropshire is shortened to Salops!
We were on our way to visit Stokesay Castle , which will be the subject of the next video.
On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of August I had the pleasure and privilege of joining Derwent Pencils and the Keswick Pencil Museum at CarFest North at Oulton Park race track. The place was buzzing with cars and families. The Festival is the brain child of BBC Radio 2′s Chris Evans. It’s a great weekend out for all the family with cars, food, music and lots for the kids to do.
The sun shone almost the whole time. We had our own marquee and were visited by hundreds of people coming to see what Derwent pencils are all about and finding out more about the Pencil Museum in Keswick ,where I will be showing how to draw scary stuff over the October half term holiday – 22-23-24 October. Come along, why don’t you?
Derwent donated a six foot long graphic pencil, just like the ones I use in my videos, but six foot long and a real working pencil! It raised £500 for Children in need. I had a lot of requests for how to draw Pudsey! Maybe I should do that for Children in Need this year?
It was a fantastic weekend – incredibly tiring – on our feet the whole time, meeting and greeting the great british public, showing them that it is really easy to draw, if you just pick up a pencil and have a go!
Come along to the Great British Family Fayre in Westerham Kent, next weekend, 31st August. We’ll be doing something similar there, but without the cars!
Music from epidemic.com Car chase 8 by Victor Ohlsson
Tommy Donbavand, the author of Scream Street and Fangs, was due to visit libraries in Derby on Monday as part of the Summer Reading Challenge but sadly he is not going to be well enough, so I’ve agreed to take over and visit in his place. I’m not sure my books are quite as scary as Tommy’s but I’ll do my best.
I’ll be at Sinfin at 10.30 – Blagreaves Library 1-2pm and Spondon at 3.30 see you there!
In the meantime let’s all hope he gets better soon and gets back to thrilling us with his hairy, scary stories!
If you can’t get enough of Tommy’s zaniness, here’s a video of him shooting an apple off a small child’s head!
I thought I’d lost my faithful Swiss Army pocket knife when I checked into security at Birmingham airport. Normally I put it in my suitcase, but this time it was still in my pocket! I was allowed to go and buy a jiffy bag and stamps and post it back to myself. It would have been a sad day if I’d had to hand it over forever.
However, the temporary loss of my penknife did not impact on my visit to Jersey in the Channel Islands. The plane stops at Guernsey first, where I visited schools in 2010. You can see my trip videos here, and here, and here.
I was met by Linne, from the Young Readers’ Department of Jersey Library, who generously showed me around the island a bit. It’s full of castles and lovely beaches and romantic, wooded valleys that are very evident from the air as you come into land.
As a strategic island, it bears the marks of warfare over the centuries, with castles and fortresses, napoloeonic martelloi towers and a good deal of concrete gun emplacements from when the Nazis occupied the island in WW2.
I had a lovely time in the library, which had really gone to town with the Creepy House Theme. There was a creepy house – or garden shed! – a ghost train and a creepy queueing system as there are about 1000 children doing the Summer Reading Challenge in St Helier alone! The Children’s library is a very busy place over the summer!
I told scary stories and showed how to draw the Pizza Man and Frankatstein’s Monster and all the children did wonderful drawings.
Many thanks, again, for a great trip and I hope I’ll be able to come back again one day.
I’m off to Jersey today to tell stories in Jersey Library in St Helier tomorrow, Wednesday. It’s part of the Summer Reading Challenge, so I might tell you a scary Story! If you are around, why not come along! We’ll be doing some drawing too.
I visited Malmesbury in Wiltshire today and told stories in the Town Hall as part of the carnival and The Summer Reading Challenge. I had a great time and everyone did fantastic drawings of the Pizza Man.
I was very taken by the Norman Abbey, which had the most fabulous carved Doorway entrance, which has succumbed quite a bit by the ravages of time.It looks like there are a lot of bible stories and historical stories carved on there. It seem the King Athelstan, the Grandson of one of my heroes, Alfred the Great, is buried there. Alfred fought off the Vikings to establish the first instantiation of England. Athelstan fought them back and united the country to become what we call England to day, so we can say he was the first King of all England, but I would say that Alfred the Great was the the first true King of the English.
Malmesbury is a very pretty and very old town that seems to be built on a bit of a hill that must have originally been chosen for its defensive properties. Well worth a visit if you are n the area.
How can you draw the whole world in one go? Draw it as a globe sitting on a table or something. The globe is an iconic image, summoning up the idea that we can hold the whole world in our hands and spin it around at will.
It’s also very useful for finding where places are and how to get there! The trouble is you need a new globe each year as the countries change and places get new names and whole new cities are constructed in the middle of nowhere!
If you missed the first episode, it’s at the bottom of this article.
This episode sees my family off to Pakistan – watch and find out more.
All drawn feehand and spontaneously with my favourite Rotring Tikky Graphic pen and coloured in with Copic Ciao markers – Yes i love them, they are so quick and easy to use. They may seem expensive if you buy a huge set, but you can refill them and add new nibs and brush tips too. Over time, they work out to be very good value.
The paper is cheap photocopy paper. What more can I tell you? ask in the the comments box below.
Here’s last week’ episode: