Le P’tit Colin and Le Grand Colin do Mischief


Back to Guernsey and a few illustrations of some crafty customers known locally as Le Petit Colin and Le Grand Colin; supernatural creatures that enjoy meddling in the domestic affairs of their human neighbours, much like a Hobgoblin or Boggart.

Here’s the very first thumbnail I did for the above painting, scribbled between the paragraphs of the brief. Unusually, it’s quite close to the final in terms of its basic layout. I wanted to paint the spectral horses look like they were made of the same stuff as the moon, but for some reason I couldn’t make it work so I had to settle for a subtler approach.  Often, what’s in my head (and looks marvellous in there) refuses to plop out onto the paper. This is a very annoying thing to have to put with.


Next up, an unfortunate householder rescues someone from a storm, only to find it’s a pesky Colin. Once invited in, Le Colin is a tricky guest to extricate…s428kitchen

Next, a rough for the incident at La Longue Roque, a megalithic standing stone that can still be found on the island. Naturally, its particular placement is down to a quarrel between the Colins.


Lastly, the Colins like nothing better to creep in and steal bread from your furze oven. A furze (or gorse) oven is a small cubby hole in the fireplace, common on the Channel Islands and also here in Devon. They are stuffed full of furze that is sealed in and burnt until the oven is red hot, whereupon the bread (or cake or joint of meat) is slow cooked within. In the following image, Le P’tit Colin has trouble hanging onto the scalding loaf with his thieving hands.15


Disabled Rabbit Storms Book Awards

Thought I’d go for a tabloid-style heading for maximum impact, if you don’t mind.


Yes, Podkin One-Ear has won the 2017 Blue Peter Book Award. This Thursday, author Kieran Larwood will be on the programme to talk about his creation – you won’t be seeing me accompanying him as I’ve been on telly before and it’s a frightful experience that I’m not after repeating. In my absence, they were quite keen on some kind of representation of me, so I went round to Todd and Carol’s for an impromptu photoshoot – I imagine the results will scare the nippers, so our efforts will probably have been in vain. UK viewers can catch the programme on the BBC iPlayer.


Besides, I’ve been too busy reading Podkin Book 2 to be galavanting on the media circuit; making lots of (in retrospect) completely unintelligible scribbles that I assume will have some relevance at some point…


The triumphant book is out in paperback very soon here, or, one would hope, your local high street bookshop.