Thursday, 31 December 2009


This is the cover for my story, i have decided to take it from a different angle, and not introduce the boy till the inside cover page. Instead one of the night creatures is caught sitting on the piano staring up at the logo, which also contains the bees and mice which are situated almost as a ring of support around the Piano and the Boy, a symbol of them always being near to the boy.

Spend some time with Silence

This is a new piece taken from an upcoming story titled 'Halo'. I have worked on recreating forests and producing illustrations set in different times of day and season.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Cheltenham Festival visit to Anthony Browne

This is an awesome post for me to be able to write, as we were able to meet picture book illustrator Anthony Browne today following his one hour session as part of the Cheltenham Festival. Bar my dorky grin, it was a great day after he gave some background as to his inspirations and methods of teaching children stories purely through his illustration. We also had a quick chat after at the book signing session and i gave him a few cheeky badges one of which he is (proudly) wearing in this photo.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Poppy Character Sheet

This is an preparatory character sheet for another story i am working at, "Light up the Sky". I wanted to work more on creating more diverse expressions rather than the relativel melancholy aesthetic of Piano and the Boy.

'Spilt Glitter' Piece

Ive finally finished the new piece for Piano and the Boy, showing a landscape. Ive decided to take the detail up again for this piece, though i want to remain consistent throughout the story i terms of attention to detail. I may mut the colour a little as they are very vivid, and i may redraw the sky as it could be executed better.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Autumn befalls the Fairy Ophelia

This is my new piece, a spot illustration for now of the seasons changing as the fairy sheds its leaves to reveal autumnal colours. I have amended many little bits of this and im still not totally happy with it but its a decent representation of how one of the new images from this story, entitles 'Halo' may appear.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

An alternative story I am doing unrelated to the childen's book is a narrative entitled 'Shine On' that i may create as a graphic novel short story. It will be done probably in pen with mixed media backgrounds to give a textured look which differs from my previous works.
This is a very rough example of how a frame would appear, with spots of colour on each illustration, in this example the red hoodie. In a way it is a textless narrative as two stories unravel simultaneously, as the illustrations are a seperate story to the manuscript text however they entwine at the story's close.

Poppy New Still

A new image of my character Poppy chasing a butterfly. I could perhaps use this as an endpage image as it doesnt feature in the story however it gives an indication as to the type of persona of the lead character.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Character Idea

Along with working on the 'Piano and the Boy' story, i have been developing the narrative for a story which currently has a working title of 'Light up the Sky'.
It follows the relationship between father and daughter and after the father becomes ill, this is a concept design for the daughter character Poppy out collecting plants and herbs in an attempt to help her father.
It is still a rough design which needs refining, the figure is slightly out of proportion and the face needs some work.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Arms like towers

Another new piece for my children's story, i was worried that such focus on purely the boy's face would not be able to carry itself as its own composition, i'm still unsure but i paid particular attention to the eyes and framed the face with the arch created by the father's head and shoulder to draw a point of focus to the boy.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Days Dragged By...

This is the next piece, i wanted to pay more attention reproducing technical, architectural based subjects like the structure of the boy's house, as this is again something i have not woked hard enough at.

I feel that this is quite successful, i may change some hues althought i would like to keep the mute tones to compliment the rest of the story.
The father is introduced more at this point of the story so he turns up in the background as a secondary character who eventually becomes the main reason for repairing the boy's happiness.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

New Piece

This piece precedes the previous couple, showing the boy falling asleep in the field before having to run home. I attempted a new perspective on the lower half of the page, an almost first point perspective of the father, again showing the boy as small and fragile, but also to focus on the tiiredness off the father, with cuts on his neck. This is an initial hint as to what he has been up to whilst the boy was out, as we later discover he has been working hard to fix the piano.

...the boy drifted off...

This is my first complete spread piece, it involves the bees going into the boy's room after he has been sent to bed. This time the mouse makes a cameo, i have made this a semi-running theme, including mice appearing in various parts of the story in the background, always watching over the boy.

...pessimism bleached the skies...

This is my new piece for Piano and the Boy. For the first time i have decided to draw a one page piece a little bigger than actual size so more detail can be drawn in. This image required loads of detail as it is grand in scale, showing the sadness sweeping over the town as the boy wanders through the decadent streets.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Worker bees silently marched...

This is the next page for Piano and the Boy. I have kept the colour palette limited because it was beginning to go a little mental. I've also been a little more creative with the type because every other page is simple sentences laid out quite conservatively.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

And the Night

This is the next page for the Piano and the Boy story which I am working on towards entering for next year. Took me a while to work out how to portray something at night time. There is a outerglow on the window as well to show the light emanating out but also to show as if something magical is coming from the room, lighting up the night.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Promotional Idea- Jigsaw

This is an idea for a puzzle that i could have printed out and sent to companies as a piece of promotional media, and perhaps it could be packaged in somethign interesting as well- like a jar from the Piano and the Boy story, so then the image and packaging could both act as teasers to the full story. Scroll down to see the puzzle.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Down from the Sky

This is an updated version of my entry for the Observer competition brief. I've coloured it all to give it a more of a children's story book feel. This was the piece I exhibited at Creature as well.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Spaghetti Cover

I was fortunate to be approached by the Spaghetti people to do the cover for next months issue of the Student Union magazine. Its thematically based on the exam period so i've illustrated a student in stressing out in front of a huge text book to revise from. She's got all the answers up her arms, because thats what kids used to do at our school, hide everything up their sleeves!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

freddie other half of spread

unfortunately i didnt get time to complete this brief in time but it was a good exercise and practice for me, especially considering the time restraints form when i started it, it pushed me to work faster and try any achieve shortcut methods offor example dropping colour. the characters that ideigned can be taken on elsewhere and it has actually been very useful because i have a few ideas for postcards, business cards and badges that incorporate the fairy character.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


I opened up the new copy of Kerrang! magazine this morning to see a familiar drawing weyyyy! Although its says 'Milal', everyone loves a typo! Its the 2nd piece of illustration i've had published in their mag in the last year :) all good exposure!

Final Fairy Illustration

This is my final design for the Fairy Bessie-Belle. I decided to keep the colours of her outfit simple but eye catching and i think this colour shceme works pretty well. I have also put a kind of fade out effect on the wings to give to some more visual interest rather than them being the same flat green througout.
I may consider using this illustration in designs for badges, postcard and perhaps as a small spot illustration on a business card.

Final Freddie Illustration

This is my final character drawing for Freddie, i have decided to illustrate him in one of the scenes of the story where he asks for a dog.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Promotional Ideas

This is an idea for a puzzle that i could have printed out and sent to companies as a piece of promotional media, and perhaps it could be packaged in somethign interesting as well- like a jar from the Piano and the Boy story, so then the image and packaging could both act as teasers to the full story. Scroll down to see the puzzle.


This is the second page i have drawn which will be the first of the story

when it is place in order. I wanted to make this a strong first page, inquisition will be raised when the viewer sees the wand poking out of the tree as to what the fairy looks like

Page Idea

This is the first page i have one for the freddie story, i wanted to use serong perspective to increase the impact of the image and also focus the viewer on the fairy. To make the fairy look more precious, i will design the first spread in a way that slowly unveils the fairy, so the viewer only gets to see the fairy fully on the second spread (3rd page).

I will add colour to this, especially considering it is a Julia Donaldson story it needs to have that naive and simplistic in-your-face aesthetic as well.

freddie character design

this is a design for freddie, he is impersonating a dog to help the fairy understand what he is saying. i may keep this design, if i have the time i may re draw him in a different pose or change his expression to give more indication of what kind of character he is.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Freddie and the Fairy Julia Donaldson Competition

This is my sketch for the Fairy Bessie Belle, i will add colour to it eventually to bring it alive a little. It was important to the story that the fairy looks a little confused and uncertain as she keeps mishearing Freddies wishes and hence conjuring up the wrong things

Friday, 17 April 2009


This is an old piece from Reportage last year

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


I will tidy this up a little then drop some colour on the tunnel- as this is where the only spark of magic exists in the gloomy town.

New image

I have just completed the next image for the four spreads needed for the MacMillan competition

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

First colour trial

This is my first attempt at fully adding colour to a page of the story, its needs refining and maybe the colours are a bit dull but its roughly how i hope the final spreads will look. if they come out unsuccessful i may stay with the original monochrome pages.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

'The Fires' Graphic Novel for Inksoup #3

This is my experiment with stupidly thin 0.05 pen.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Colour trial

This is my main character for 'Piano and the Boy'. I have experimented with a limited colour palette and put down colours beneath the original pencilled scan. I may continue with this if this method is successful on the other compositions.

David Bellamy Comparitive Study

I took one of David Bellamy's images and tried to reproduce it. Its just an experiment as i decided t owork in pencil for my Children's story, to which i may add muted colours.

MacMillan's First 2 Final Drawings

I have used just Hb for these two, although i might go back into them with a 5b to highlight the shadows and increase the graphic contrast because this is something i need to improve on!
The bottom half visual of the boy not being able to reach the pedals is important to the text so i might add some subtle contrast here to draw attention to it. the perspective on the windows is a bit off as well so i might dabble and correct this.

'The Fires' First Panels

I'm not used to working in pen so this is an opportunity for me to expand my knowledge in different media and problem solving, by attempting to recreate pencil qualities with pen. I am using a 0.05 pen to achieve high detail.
The story is about the struggle in every human being between honesty and deceit, inspired by the phrase 'Paper Tigers' which symbolises empty threats.

MacMillan's Children's Book Competition

This is the first portion of my story for the MacMillan Competition
& t h e B o y

There was once a boy who played piano.
He loved the piano and played it throughout the day and the night. His melodies echoed up and down the streets of the poor town he lived in.
He knew from a very early age that his biggest love was music. But it seemed that music was still a little too big for him (image of boy not being able to reach the pedals). Regardless of this, he could be heard everywhere in the neighbourhood- and it bought some much needed joy to the quiet little town.
One cold autumn morning the boy woke up and like every other day, he sat at his piano, lifted the stiff cover and began to play. However a rumble sounded, which turned into groans that drained down the wood grains and shuddered through the floors.
He suddenly stopped, and the sounds died away. A coarse whirr: the sound of hope tumbling. Somewhere inside its aged ebony bones, the old piano had given way.
The boy’s only joy had been taken away from him.
He shuffled away from the seat he spent so many hours playing at.
The boys heart strings were frayed. Sadness soon bleached the skies above him.
It became so saturated with sorrow that every dawn, the sun had to rise early to ring out the despair which fell as rain on the small town, affecting the young and old. Even the world turned its back.