The Huffs and the Budges

sq 01 sq 02

This project was a picture book commission from Family By Family

I devised, wrote and illustrated the rhyming story, following their brief of introducing the concept of family matchups to small children whose parents are interested in sharing ideas and support with a nearby family in need.

This book was heaps of fun and I enjoyed the writing time (almost) as much as the illustrating!

Read the whole book here

Maddy’s Dilemma

Kids these days! Using the internet like they were born to it … which, I guess, some of them were. This was a commission to illustrate a scenario for an internet-decision-making resource for primary school children. The teacher would show the image and read out the scenario to their class: in this case, Maddy has already tried all the games on a ‘safe’ kids’ website, and is trying to decide whether to search for a new site without asking her Mum. After hearing the scenario the kids would discuss what they might do in Maddy’s shoes, and why. This illustration was hand-drawn and coloured with a tablet using Photoshop.

 

Character development

Doodles of a character I’m working on. She loves her bike, and is having trouble getting used to boarding school!

 

Undone!

“The bats beat their wings in a terrible rhythm. They stirred up a storm of squealing fury. My feet left the ground. I was flying.”

– Paul Jennings, ‘BATTY’, from ‘Undone!’ Penguin Books 1993

“Anthony nodded his branches at me. ‘Mnn, nmng, nn,’ he said.

I didn’t know what it meant. Probably something like, ‘You embarrassed me. Now it’s your turn.’ “

– Paul Jennings, ‘NOSEWEED’, from ‘Undone!‘ Penguin Books 1993

Re-reading Paul Jennings’ books is a treat. There are always a few stories that I’d completely forgotten, whose endings fill me with fresh surprise and delight. And while they really don’t need pictures – everything’s there in the stories – some moments just cry out to be drawn, even if it’s just for the fun of it. Here are a couple of those moments – the ones I couldn’t resist scribbling down the instant I finished reading. BATTY and NOSEWEED. How did these characters end up like this? Go and read Undone! – you won’t regret it!

Harriet The Spy


Recent drawings inspired by one of my very favourite books (and characters!), Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh!

The Book Beast

‘The Book Beast’ is a playful little story I wrote last year, which is still in development. These initial illustrations were exhibited at The Reading Room – a wonderful space supported by the Renew Adelaide project.

Good old George! She was as brave as a lion!

Timmy and George meet Morgan

Five get into a fix (by Enid Blyton)

Having never so much as dipped my toes into the Famous Five series before, yesterday I started reading a scruffy second-hand copy of Enid Blyton’s Five get into a fix (1942). The edition I’m reading has a black-and-white illustration every chapter, but they’re somewhat dull and character-less, so I went ahead and bashed one out myself – learning a lot about photoshop colouring techniques along the way.

The Five are taking a winter holiday in the Welsh mountains and in this scene, George has just rescued Timmy from an attack by three dogs belonging to the caretaker’s son. George, by the way, is a girl – a tomboy – and Timmy is a dog (but still one of the Five) 🙂

—–

“… the giantlike figure of Morgan came round the corner of the barn, his three dogs, extremely subdued now, at his heels.

‘Hey?’ he said, inquiringly, looking at the four children and his mother.

‘The dogs attacked this one,’ explained his mother. ‘You shouted just in time, Morgan. But he’s not much hurt. You should have seen this boy here – the one the dog belongs to – he stood in front of his dog, and fought off Tang, Bob and Dai!’

Julian couldn’t help smiling to hear George continually called a boy – but, standing there in snow-trousers and coat, a woollen cap on her short hair, she looked very like a sturdy boy.”

—–

George is definitely my favourite character!