Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Real Toucan brothers!

Marta sent me a photo this morning of a real toucans business that she passed by! I have emailed them in toucan solidarity, and expect us shortly to become firm friends. Isn't it great that they're tradesmen suppliers? What is it about toucans that suggests this?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I'm working on this lady - she's a Calamity Jane type, and I'm trying to make her clearly female without too many frilly touches. Yeeehaw!

Monday, April 7, 2014


Blinking re-post!

picasion gif maker
I remembered this gif the other day and wanted to re-post... just because!

Friday, April 4, 2014


For the first time this year I went to the Bologna Children's Book Fair, which was an inspiration and an eye-opener. I'm not a great traveller - I forgot a suitcase, my passport had the temerity to go out of date without consulting me, and when I arrived I found I'd booked myself into a conference hotel about 20 miles outside the city. BUT, all that aside, I had a great time - and am inspired to return next year and do it better! 

I had a day to explore the city too - what a medieval good time! 

Looking down through the middle of the Asinelli Tower... urgh.

From the top of the Asinelli Tower you can see Bologna stretching out like a spider's web from the centre.

Come on feet, we can do it!

After the fair, Emily and I went to Rome for three days, which was wonderful.

My favourite of the many cherub babies we saw in Rome.

(Rome church-going new-to-me fact: so there are cherubim and putti (singular putto) - the latter are little male children who appear  more often in secular pictures, but are often confused with cherubim... to be honest I still don't think I could tell them apart, but nice to know about them anyway!)

Emily and me (neither putti nor cherubim) in front of the Trevi Fountain - classic stuff.

Since coming back and mostly shaking off a (potentially overeating-induced) bug I'm feeling very inspired to work and draw and think... hurrah for renewed energy and excitement!

Cacahou├Ętte saying goodnight in Tralalire. 

Cats n pigs

Character sketching! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Last of World Book Day pics

Emma at Hampton Infants School kindly just sent me some pics of my day there!

Costumes n whiteboards.

Expressions - I guess this is scared, or surprised!

Some Toucans signing afterwards.

I like how this photo makes me look as if I've inadvertently come as Harry Potter too. Maybe it's every day that I'm doing that, and I didn't even know it! 

I think this was after I left - but look what a wonderful sad rabbit drawing!!

Thank you again Ellie and Emma and all at Hampton Infants!

Friday, March 14, 2014

World Book Day

I spent Friday at Hampton Infants School. It was a busy day - 7 workshops of 30 minutes each, and what a lovely school; all the children (and teachers) were dressed up so that was great to see. Thank you for having me, Hampton Infants!

I had two very exciting emails on the morning of World Book Day itself.

My friend Eve sent me a photo of her daughters Ellie and Lydia - Ellie had chosen Olive as her character, and thought of the Bad Mood cloud herself:

I think she looks brilliant!

And then I got a wonderful email from a nice man called Alex saying that his son Wilf really likes The Toucan Brothers, and had chosen Paulie as his WBD character! Look at his fantastic costume - with a tool belt to make any toucan plumber jealous! 

Thank you so much Alex and Wilf! 

On Monday as part of the Hackney Pop-Up Festival I went to Millfields Community School in Hackney, and did some Olive workshops with them. We talked a bit about general illustration history (a rather potted one, admittedly!) and then did some expressions and talking about the idea of spreading around a GOOD mood, rather than a BAD one. I had a great day - thank you to the lovely children and teachers at Millfields! 

What if Olive was spreading a NICE mood?

Filling in expressions

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Metal box design

I was very happy to be asked to take part in a project to design some boxes for The Original Metal Box Company. Other contributors will include Alice Lickens and Barnaby Richards. I had fun and I found it challenging, as I've never really done any product designs like this. Here is my finished picture, a very lizardy box:

They will be exhibited at Pulse at Earl's Court this 11th-13th May. I'm really looking forward to seeing all 9 designs, and seeing these guys on an actual box!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Character designs

I'm working on some main characters for a story, having some monkey nose issues! She will be the main character so need to get her right... maybe she shouldn't even be a monkey! She's supposed to be wearing black and white checked Vans but I think they might be a bit small to see!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lizard pattern

Having my first go at a picture for a product... it's taking me an age because it's such a new thing for me! I keep second guessing. Colours aren't there yet, but I'm tweaking...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Imagine Festival

I had a lovely time at the Imagine Festival at the Southbank yesterday, reading the Toucans and doing some drawing, worksheets and having plumbing chat! The audience was absolutely lovely, and did some beautiful expressions drawing - thank you all who came along! Especially the little boy at the end who put up his hand during questions and asked me how old I was - always good to cut right to the chase, I feel!

Here are some photos courtesy of brilliant Ella, and thank you to Catherine for keeping me company and lending support! 

Filling in the expressions worksheets

Who are the twosome on whom to depend?

 Demonstrating that long thing you use to clear out drains... not the flugelbinder, though that keeps leaping to my mind! 

Some book signing afterwards

An Asterix treat for Dyl!

And beer treats for Els and Tor!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Drawing ladies

I'm trying to do more people practise... but so far it's only women in lovely dresses! Must expand this...

They started from Bette Davis in Now, Voyager - I think I covet that film wardrobe above all others, apart from Molly's in Pretty in Pink of course.

EDIT: AND Kelly LeBrock's in Weird Science too! Although this outfit is less practical...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hot water rules!

Was fiddling around a lot with the bottom lady's pose... think I prefer the right one, she looks more impassioned!