Phoenix Frogs

Last year I finished two books for a company that unfortunately expired
before the work could see print, leaving me with unpaid invoices and a load
of illustrations that I assumed would never see the light of day. Luckily,
the lovely people at Templar stepped in and took Frogspell on, so the series
will finally be released. There’s an added advantage in that I can go over
the line drawings and make some small improvements, particularly on
Ferocious the Rat, who was looking a bit too much like a cuddly hamster.

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Goats

Over the years I have developed a bad habit: I do the easiest, more exciting
illustrations first and leave the awkward ones until last. This annoys me no
end, but I can’t stop myself. As the Old Goat and Heron project nears
completion, I’ve had to tackle the pictures I was least enthused about, but
they are necessary for the flow of the story.
Despite drawing the waving goat quite carefully beforehand, in the finished
painting I found he ended up with a head that was two sizes too small, so I
enlarged it in Photoshop. The hint of landscape in the background was an
addition after I scanned the image the first time and decided it was looking
a little bare.
The goat in his allotment was just deeply tedious to paint. Vegetables may
be good for you, but don’t bother drawing them.

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Brian Jacques

Brian Jacques, creator of the Redwall books, passed away yesterday.
I was lucky enough to do a few covers for him, my two favourites, Loamhedge
and Triss (the print of which is signed by him) are below.
What I particularly liked about his writing was how the characters came to
life through their rich speech and varied accents, which was possibly due to
Brian’s previous life as a well-travelled sailor.

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