Making a how to draw book

I’m currently working on a how to draw Ancient Greek Stuff book. I was really inspired to get on with it after a day spent with year 5/6 working on Ancient Greek themes. The children were so keen to draw ancient Greek stuff, but didn’t have much to show them how. So, I thought I should fill that gap. I’m currently about 2/3rds of the way through.

The artwork has proved to be more complicated that I thought would be.I suppose I’d be doing it the other way around if I were being commissioned, but as I’m going to publish the book myself, and have this book as the foundation of my new publishing empire (lol) I’m working in detail, page  by page to an overall plan.

In the meantime, I’m becoming a whizz at inDesign, the page layout program. I’m hoping to launch the book as a Kickstarter project, probably in February.

Vikings!

VikingShipAre you getting excited by the British Museum Vikings Exhibition? I am! The British museum is one my most favourite places in the world and the new exhibition is going to open the brand new World Conservation and Exhibition Centre.

Having a Norwegian mother, I always thought I would grow up to be a Viking. Unfortunately there are few jobs for Vikings these days, so I became a children’s author and illustrator instead.

Eventually the time came to write my Viking stories. I was inspired the day I went to my Auntie’s Hutte – or little holiday house – on an island not far from Bergen in Norway.The Hutte looks down on a small inlet from the sea.SnekkevikThere was a moment when I put the name and the geography together and realised that Snekkevik (Snake Vik) would have once been a Viking settlement.

The name Viking means “People of the Viks“. This inlet was a Vik and this is where Vikings would have lived. Now you can drive there over bridges and there is gas and electricity too. But I could imagine Viking children playing on the beach, just as my children were doing a thousand years later.

Viking Vik was born in my imagination! A lot of work later and The eight book series became a reality. If you are studying Vikings, you may like to have a bit of Viking related reading. They’re both fun and informative – boys love them 😀

Learn to draw Viking Vik!

How to draw a World War 1 Tank

Draw-a-WW1-tanksmlI’m sure many people will be wanting to draw a WW1 tank as the centenary of the first world war is upon us. This one is fairly simple. I shall do another more action scene too soon. If you would like me to draw more WW1 things, let me know in the comments

Around the world by Zeppelin

In case you missed it, you can still see Around the World by Zeppelin a fabulous film about a 21 day round the world voyage by the Graf Zeppelin in 1929.

The story is told from the viewpoint of the young journalist Lady Grace Drummond-Hay, reporting for the Hearst media empire. The film is based upon her letters and diaries and told exclusively through archival and newsreel film from the time, this film relives the incredible voyage.

It is told in a wonderfully slow and graceful way and has some astonishingly ephemeral moments that must have seemed trivial at the time, but are now a fascinating insight into the times. You can see it on BBC iplayer here