Monday, 26 September 2016

An Animal ABC - publishing

Continued from last week...

So it was from my hefty 50x50cm plan for an illustrated and rhyming ABC that my picture book with Pavilion Children's was born. We scanned each of the screen prints for the book, so it would be as true to the original as possible, edited the rhyme a little, added a curious fact for each animal and a little quiz in the back and we has a book! The book is set to be published on the 13th October - watch this space for more information about the book and a launch/signing event.

Here is little and large sitting next to each other on my shelf.

Monday, 19 September 2016

An Animal ABC - printing

Continued from last week...

I have an ongoing working relationship with The Print Block in Whitstable where all of the animals were hand printed by Suki. Once we had established between us the 4 colours, and how they needed to layer up for each one they were good to go and each letter has since been printed as a limited edition of 30. These are still available to purchase - they are 60 x 60cm, 4 colour screen prints at £100 each. Email me at: if you are interested in purchasing one - the full set is available to look at on my website HERE.
It was at this point that I started thinking of it as a book/ narrative and decided to write a rhyme for each letter, and kept aside a number of the edition of prints so that I could bind it together (at the lovely London Centre for Book Arts) into a hefty 50x50cm book.

Above are some pictures from this process.

Monday, 12 September 2016

An Animal ABC - process

Continued from last week...

As I work quite a lot in screen print within my personal work I wanted to produce a series of prints where I drew the layers completely by hand (as often for time and ease I work with a combination of hand drawn elements and photoshop composites). I decided to start with a simple ABC as a starting point, and chose ‘animals’ as the subject so I could enjoy playing with mark making and textures to build up the variety of animal’s skins and furs and feathers.
I always draw in black and white using a combination of brush and indian ink, black acrylic and white ink sometimes working inversely onto black. I often paint pages of marks and textures which I can then cut out and collage together, working with a lightbox to pre-empt how the layers of the screenprint will come together.
However at this point I did scan in the layers so I could digitally (i.e quickly) see how the colours would sit together, and add the type, before preparing my drawings as acetates to be exposed on to screens.

Above you can see some of my schemings for which animals to draw, very quick composition sketches and the ink drawings for the layers.

Monday, 5 September 2016

An Animal ABC - inspiration

As my book 'An Animal ABC' is due to be published in the next month - I thought I'd give a little insight into how it came into being.

An Animal ABC began life in a quiet spell at the beginning of a new year (tends to be the same every year as a freelance illustrator!). 
After a year of being swamped with much more commercial commissions and being tied to quite strict briefs I wanted to be able to just spend some time enjoying drawing, for the sake of drawing. 
I chose quite quickly on to work with a limited colour palette (as I usually do) of just 4 colours across the full 26 prints within the ABC - taking inspiration from some of my favourite lithographed childrens books of the 1940s and beyond; The Puffin Picture Books by artists like Edward Bawden, Sheila Robinson and Enid Marx to name a few, as well as looking at some of my favourite alphabets (Eric Ravilious, Enid Marx, Brian Wildsmith, Clarke Hutton...) and revisiting ephemeral finds in my scrapbooks.