books · Drawing · Reading and Literacy · School & Library Visits

Illustrating Dragon Gold

DragonGoldFrontcoverComing soon! I’m working on the final artwork for my new book, Dragon Gold, which will be published in May by Firefly Press, the new and first children’s book publisher in Wales. It’s an honour to have been asked to write one of Firefly’s launch titles and I’ve had a lot of fun writing it.

Harri never wins anything at school, because Ryan’s Dad has a lot of time on his hands and makes sure that Ryan wins everything. Dragon Gold is the story of how Harri and Ryan’s Dad battle it out to win Dragon Gold, the prize for making a model dragon fly for over 10 seconds at the school Eisteddfod.

What’s an Eisteddfod? fireflyWell you’ll have to read the book to find out! It’s set in Wales, in a town that is a mixture of places I know well, like Machynlleth, Portmadoc, many schools and towns in the Valleys of South Wales and my Grandmother’s Birthplace, Hollywell.

In this video I talk a bit about the book and show the techniques I use for the illustrations.


My Favourite Pen – The Rotring Tikky Graphic

I’m always asked what pen I use. It’s called a Rotring Tikky Graphic and you can now get them from the Rotring Store. I’m not being sponsored by Rotring, this truly is a great pen and I’m more than happy to tell you why.

The inks is black black and permanent. Most importantly for me, it is waterproof which means you can use watercolour or marker pens over the top and the ink will not bleed and dirty up the colours. The Nib is very responsive – I think you can see in the video that i get a really good “flick” effect with the nib. It can be used for neat equal width lines but you do also get that nice, sharp point with the flick that you would also get with a dip pen.

They are disposable.I find I usually wear out the fibre nib before the ink runs out. They are pretty much the same price as a disposable rollerball pen , but you get such high performance from them that I think they are great value for money.

I generally get my pens from who have an amazing stock of weird and wonderful pens from all around the world and they provide a very fast service in the UK. I think they send stuff worldwide too. Don’t look at their site! If you are a penaholic, you will want to buy everything!

I used to use the Rotring Isograph in the old days. It’s a very technical pen that needs a lot of looking after and cleaning out. It also has a fine metal nib which clogs up easily and I was always breaking them! If you love fiddling with pens and cleaning them out, this is the pen for you!

There you are – I’ve been asked so much about this pen, I hope this tells you everything you need to know. If you need to know more – put your questions in the comments box below!