Tag Archives: writing children’s books

Nearly Finished Artwork for Walker- The boy who can talk to dogs


In this video I do a lot of drawing and painting and talking about artwork and making children’s books as I create the final artwork for the image I prepared as a rough in the previous video 

My Editor, Janet, loved the sketches I sent her and now it is a race against time to finish the artwork for the print deadline. I need to paint at least eight images a day, preferably more. It doesn’t help that Mrs Rayner is going away for a week and I have to spend a day in London and we have builders in, who I have to lease with, and cook supper for my aged Mother and go shopping for her and me and my son… but I will get there in time, even if I have to work late in the evenings. It’s part of the “Glamour” of being an illustrator.

Actually, that sounds like the title of a video blog!

It is all painted greyscale as It is going to be a back and white book.The colour I use is:
Neutral Tint Half Pan Watercolour Paint
http://amzn.to/2ymFRJI in the UK
http://amzn.to/2Cbk5f5 in the USA
http://amzn.to/2E5E3t4 in Canada

Why No Drawing Video Today?!

Why no Drawing Video today?! Because I am applying the seat of my pants to the seat of my chair and I am writing. I’m about 8,500 words into my 25,000 word children’s novel. My editor has brough forward the publication date, so I really need to get the first draft finished as soon as possible.

Need a drawing fix? The head over to my other channel www.youtube.com/drawstuffrealeasy, where I am doing Drawings from my book – published 17th May – called How to Draw Ancient Greek Stuff Real Easy –

You can pre order now on Amazon and all good book stores and get signed copies with a free poster from my online store.

SaveSave

Are children’s book authors and illustrators adults too?

I went to London on Thursday and had some time to spend in the mediaeval galleries at the V&A  (Victoria and Albert Museum in London)  I did some sketching and shared the work on YouTube.

This morning I woke to an interesting comment:
I thought about it over breakfast and ended up with a much longer reply than usual, so I thought I’d turn it into a blog post. What do you think? This is what I wrote in reply:

You might think, but a sketchbook is made for only one market and that is the artist themselves. If they choose to share the contents that’s another thing. Children’s books are inspired by everything – adult or children’s. A children’s book author/illustrator is an adult and, as such, interested in adult things. An illustrator in particular needs to be interested and try to understand pretty much everything they ever come across. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a catholic school, but you are often greeted with similar images of Jesus, wounded, dead or dying all over the place, even in classrooms, so young children can absorb the horror all day long.

This is a drawing of a statue that used to be on display in a church, and which is now openly on display in a museum, where children not only go but are welcomed. Such images, and far worse, are on display in churches all over the world and, once you get your eye in, you will find all sorts of horrors casually displayed in all sorts of religious establishments. My sketching is about exploring that idea.

This sketch is particularly about the casual nature of the horror. In the Bible, the scene is about doubt, the disciples having to see the wound to be convinced it was really him. While drawing this and the other things in the exhibition, I was struck by the idea of how each age and culture adapts bible stories, recreating scenes with their own dress codes, ethnicities, hopes, fears and prejudices. This sketch brings that though consciously up to date with the comment, “Hey guys, check this out.” And the Monty Python cherubs in the back reflect music video/Giorgio Armani style.

My job as a children’s writer is to take those ideas and make them accessible to children, gently preparing them for the realities of adult life. My job as a illustrator means I need to understand how the world is put together to show, explain and yes, to entertain too. But that involves going out into the real world, and continually drawing to learn, understand and improve my skills. It is a never ending job.

As Octopusbeak says, This channel has become for an older audience. Have a look at DrawStuffRealEasy for everyday drawing with a target audience of children – which is also watched by a large audience of older beginner drawers who are picking up from where they left off at the age of about 11!

All the best