Category Archives: Work

Painting artwork for Dragon Red

This video follows up the video about rough sketches in the video that you can see below. In this video I’m drawing the final artwork for Dragon Red on to Seawhite Heavy Cartridge paper and then painting it with Winsor and Newton Neutral Tint watercolour (link below) to create a greyscale image for my black and white book, Dragon Red, which is the final part of my Dragon Trilogy.

If you want to see even more of this painting and get even more chat, visit my patron channel to see the extra videos.

The paper is Seawhite’s Heavy Cartridge
Get it here in the USA
And here in the UK

You Can get Neutral Tint here in the USA
And here in the UK


Creative Training – doin’ my brain in!

Seven pillars of creativity

Seven pillars of creativity

I spent the last two days in a freezing hall in Pontypridd, with a host of other creative people, doing our training as Creative Practitioners for the Lead Creative Schools project in Wales. I’ll be working with the Archbishop Rowan Primary School in Portskewitt this term.

I was among a load of creative people from a wide range of backgrounds, practice’s and media. We were made to play games, shaking us up into new groups all the time, making us think hard and question our own attitudes and particularly the meaning of things and the meaning of creativity.

What came across to me was the importance of an agreed vocabulary. That’s half of what the sessions were about, making sure we were all moving in the same direction with the same understanding. Quite often definitions were challenged. I found myself thinking deeply about assumptions that may well have turned into lazy prejudices over the years.

It was also fascinating to see how people worked in groups – who stood out as leaders and who stood back quietly and thought longer and quietly before adding their two pennyworth. Either way, in short, timed exercises, someone has to get things rolling.

In a room of creative people everyone got on with it and instinctively knew their jobs within each task. In a more mixed group I can imagine those who think themselves less creative would stand back much more and maybe hinder the team. The nature of the group was that we were all self-starters and happy to pitch in.

I’m surprised how tired I am today. Full-on brain work and networking, followed by a horrid drive home in the dark and wet, is very tiring.


creative attitudes schematic

creative attitudes schematic

Assessing our creative attitudes and representing them in this spider plan method, was very interesting. I found myself admitting that I’m maybe not as collaborative as I could be. But it was good to see others were the same as me – mostly artists who work on their own a lot in studios. It was also good to see that those who had high collaboration skills were lower in other areas that I thought I did well in.

It’s swings and roundabouts. But making the the hidden or denied so obvious, in a fun, non-judgmental way, does allow you to look at what might be weaknesses that can possibly be worked on – if the will is there!

Thanks to all the trainers and collaborators over the last two days.

Children’s Writer’s Conference

Conference logo designed by Patrice Aggs

Conference logo designed by Patrice Aggs

I went up to London yesterday, for a CWIG committee meeting, to hammer out the CWIG New Visions Conference in Bath on the 5th and 6th of September this year.

What is CWIG? You may well ask. It stands for Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Group,  a subsection of the Society of Authors. I’m currently sitting on the committee – for the second time in fact.

Jo, our wonderful Secretary was slightly worried that the conference was not that far away and we hadn’t really got it nailed down yet, so we had a special meeting and managed to do just that.

We had quite a lot of possibilities to play with and past experience to play with – I’d been on the committee for two conferences before. Costs seem to spiral each year, so keeping the price down was an issue, as was trying to get a little something in for everyone.

The term children’s writer covers a multitude of genres and ages, from baby books to Young Adult – from fact books to joke books to picture books to chapter books to novels to study guides and text books.

Writer’s work in a bit of a bubble and can come to think that what they do, and the age group they write for, defines children’s writing.

We’d came up with a load of names that we thought would be great speakers and most of them, naturally, are busy or already booked. But I think we did a great job yesterday coming up with a mix of interesting, informative, entertaining and thought provoking sessions with a wonderful array of speakers.

If you are a children’s writer, or are interested in writing for children, make sure you have Bath – 5-6th September marked down in your diary!

More info to follow soon!