Leave to remain

This is me, as seen from the door to my studio. I'm going on holiday for a couple of weeks, and it is customary at our studios to put a note on your door letting people know you're not about. I thought I'd do a drawing of me where I'm usually seen as people pass my door, and I've blown it up to fill the window.

In real life I'm probably bigger in my chair than this, though something about the proportions resonates for me.

It's funny how creating characters with outsized heads, long thin limbs etc can drastically change the tone of a drawing or cartoon. Certainly with children's books I always think the head to body ratio will have a huge impact on how old a character feels. If a child protagonist feels too old, making the head bigger in relation to the body will usually help shave a few years off.
I suppose it's only a mild exaggeration of reality.

On the other hand, in the drawing above I look like a grown-up, despite being small and having a big head - so length of limbs and body play an important role too.
Alright, and lack of hair, I'll concede that.

How to draw-a Pandora

I’ve just filed the drawings for the 3rd Hubble Bubble young fiction book: The Super Spooky Fright Night, written by Tracey Corderoy and to be published by Nosy Crow this autumn.

These fabulous books feature Pandora and her granny Araminta who is (whisper it) . . . a witch: they are 120 pages long, fully illustrated in black and one colour, and each contains three stories. The spot colour we used for this book was orange - which just happens to be my favourite colour - here's a sneak preview of one of the pages . . .

So to celebrate, I thought I’d post a short clip showing the process I use to create the artwork for these books. 

First up is a rambling vid where I attempt to draw Pandora whilst holding the camera in my other hand. It’s a must-see for anyone who likes out-of-focus gloomy video of pencils hovering above paper, and pen lids being chased around the page by pen barrels in an attempt to put them on one-handed.

And, drawing achieved, here’s a follow-up where I show what happens once I’ve scanned in the pic. Since this is filmed from the screen it shouldn’t induce motion-sickness to the same extent as part 1 . . .

Happy friday,
JBx