Monday, 22 March 2010

New Blog Redirect

Hello everybody,
I'm starting a new blog or rather my blink - blog & link at
Please bookmark this new page.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The Autumn Children's Book Illustration Class

Well, as promised here you all are (or nearly all of you), working hard on drawing your rabbit characters. You all look fairly serious in these photos, but I think that next week when we are working on facial expressions, there will be a few giggles! Don't forget your little mirrors, we will be using them.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Whitechapel Gallery - Art Book Fair review

On Friday evening, I took the District Line from nearly one end to the other to see the London Art Book Fair at the Whitechapel Galleries. I have to say that I was disappointed. The subtle change in the title of the exhibition from the old 'Book Art Fair' to 'Art Book Fair' should have warned me that it was not going to be the same this year.
When this annual event was held at the ICA Galleries, you could expect to be confronted by the unexpected at almost every stall, so imaginative were the 'books' on show. They were each and every one, pieces of art in their own right first, and books second. You just would not expect to see ordinarily bound books, which could be bought in a high street shop, in that show.
Now that is not the case, there were 'normal' books occupying most of the ground floor (and I don't include the Whitechapel Gallery's own book shop, an this is a great little book shop).
Upstairs there were still a few unusual books stalls where handmade books could be found and a little of the odd atmosphere lingered, but just not enough for my taste.
I recognise that a great deal of hard work goes into putting on one of these shows, and there were certainly a lot of very tired looking people at the opening in the evening, so I do wish them well. But I can't help wondering - where are all the others who were not 'invited' to the show this year? I want to go and see their show. I will try to track them down and let you know if I find them.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Bologna Book Fair - illustration competition

This might be of interest to all you hard working illustrators out there! For those of you who don't know, the Bologna Book Fair is the most important book fair for children's picture books, as it is only about children's books. This is where publishers and agents do their deals and discover new talent!
It is not too soon to think about this competition as the deadline is the 30th November 2009. (The next fair is in March 2010.)
 The link is below, but do be sure to read all the fine print about the rules. If you are accepted, think of it as excellent publicity for your work.
Good Luck!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The London Art Book Fair - Whitechapel Gallery

Attention all book lovers! The Book Art Fair which used to be hosted in the ICA Galleries -  and was an excellent opportunity to see some really imaginative examples of 'Book Art', has changed venues.
You can now find it in the Whitechapel Gallery.
For those who have not been before, 'book art' is an art form where the boundaries of what constitutes a 'book', is explored and expanded in some highly unusual ways. The books are generally handmade and can utilise some surprisingly unlikely materials, such as ceramic or tree bark. I hope that it is still as exciting an exhibition as it used to be.
It starts on Friday September 25th, and goes on until Sunday the 27th.
Friday it is open from 5 pm-late, and Saturday and Sunday, 11 am - 6 pm. Hope to see some of you there!

Children's Book Illustration II - class photos

David Habchy just sent these photos of all of you who were in my last illustration class in August at Central Saint Martins, and they look great, (except for the ones of me!) Do look them up at his website below.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Art Tip - stretching watercolour paper

This is for any of my students who might be reading this!
I have just found out about this method from a fellow artist with Japanese connections. Most artists working with wet media such as watercolour or ink and brush techniques, will be familiar with some form of paper stretching to stop the paper from warping and buckling when wet.

The traditional method commonly used is to dampen the paper, place it on a board larger than itself, and run gummed brown paper tape around all four edges thus fixing it to the board.
When the paper dries, it should be nice and tight and flat. It is then ready to paint on. However the down side of this method, and one that always bothered me, is that when you are finished, you cut the paper free loosing the deckle edge hidden under the gummed tape.

This new method which uses egg white instead of gummed tape to stick down the paper, requires no cutting at the end. This is particularly good for thin water colour paper, but you will need to get a piece of rigid plastic sheet instead of wood for this method. This is the type of plastic used instead of glass for framing.
Take one egg white and paint it onto the back of your dampened watercolour paper, this may be easier if you beat the egg first so that you can paint it on evenly. When it is covered, turn it over and place it onto the plastic sheet allowing an even border all around for handling. Smooth it out so that there are no air bubbles trapped underneath it. Let this dry. You are now ready to paint. When you want to take the paper off the plastic, just flex the plastic sheet and it will pop off.