New webcomic: Pettyfolly!

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My whimsical little comics-short-story project, Pettyfolly, is now online as a webcomic! The first story, Lullaby, about a cranky giant and an opportunistic forest imp, is a few pages in already – and the comic will update with a new page every Monday and Wednesday. I hope you enjoy it!

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The Huffs and the Budges

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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

With a ho ho ho

It seems an age ago now, but in the lead-up to the silly season I was hard at work on a varied suite of illustrations to accompany letters from Santa. That’s right, FROM Santa! As I’m sure you’re able to deduce for yourself, it logically follows that my client was none other than St. Nick himself. You see, Santa’s quite a wordsmith, but has never been any great shakes at drawing, and what with Mrs. Claus’ arthritis setting in, I was the natural choice to decorate the letters!

I particularly enjoyed drawing all the different elf-kids and the various Woodland hanger-onners of their tree. I have it on good authority that rather than rudely separate all the critters from their stubbornly-defended lodgings, the elves just decorated around them!

The little grey cat was a constant attendant to proceedings …

 

Spring Ride this Sunday!

The birds are above and the bees are a-buzzin’ … Spring is here! The Bicycle Institute of South Australia gave me free reign on this poster for their second annual Spring Ride, and it ended up a cavalcade of colour and new life. It was more of an excursion into watercolour than I’ve braved before, and I’m very happy with the freshness of this big birdy and how she holds her own without the black lines I usually use.

The Spring Ride itself looks set to be an excellent event, I can’t wait! A couple of the organisers are the masterminds of past Ready Set Ride outings and I reckon anything they’re associated with is guaranteed to be heaps of fun. If you live in Adelaide, come along! This Sunday, from 10:30 at Victoria Park. There’s more information here and here

 

wuff, wuff!

 

DOGS! I’m a bit obsessed with ’em. In pencil, watercolour, ink and pen, I’ve been busy doodling woofers all over the place. Here are a few of my recent canine creations in a variety of styles. Lovely little fellas.

 

Shiloh the Pirate!

Yaaargh! Avast! Trim the mainsails! Shiver me blasted blue-barnacle-encrusted, jolly-rum-do timberoonies!

Who says no good comes of reading glossy, gossipy magazines? If I hadn’t been perusing the celebrity rumour-rags one fine day recently, I wouldn’t have been inspired by a certain pint-sized tomboy Jolie-Pitt and her pirate-themed birthday party hijinks! The fuss these magazines make of a little girl choosing natty vests instead of frilly dresses is just absurd, but I say she always looks like she’s having far more fun than little what’s-her-name Holmes-Cruise in the pointy high-heels. With a yo-ho-ho and a bottle of OJ!

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!