Hi! Has been a long time of quiet! Apologies for radio silence, I was hoping to get time to put up some more creative tutorials but in between making an animation and putting together my first kids’ picture book it just hasnt happened 😦
I hope everyone’s getting their making mojo on for Halloween??!!
I love this animation we made at Acorns Children’s Hospice in Selly Oak Birmingham. All conceived and made by life-limited and profoundly disabled kids and their carers. I think my favourite is the very bonkers-looking cat…
Have a look and then why not make your own 3D animation to spook your friends and family? See the free download at the end of this post!
I’ve never “advertised” anything on my blog before, but this new picture book by Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris is gorgeous, both thoughtful and beautiful. What must it be like to be a polar bear, and where is this polar bear going? In this book Mac and Shawn create a magical starting point, leaving us to go on and explore the polar bear’s life in our own minds and imaginations.
Mac Barnett’s text is sparse and crisp, with lots of space, just like the snowy arctic landscape, while Shawn Harris’s cutout and torn paper illustrations give a wonderful visual interpretation of the polar bear’s world. It really is a magical book 🙂
It’s published by Candlewick in the US on 13th October and available to order there from super-friendly Copperfield Books. Out in the UK on November 5th, you can preorder through your favourite local bookshop, which in my case is the brilliant Harbour Bookshop in Kingsbridge :).
If you love Polar Bears and want to learn more about them, see below to download my free Creative Learning pdffull of information about their lives – including a link to a Polar Bear tracker way up in the far north of Canada.
It’s two years since I made this stop motion video for Brummie music wizards Pram! It was a real blast to make (sorry for the pun! ) So if you didn’t catch it the first time round, take a look now. Enjoy! 🙂
I’ve been experimenting with stencils to create lines and textures in my work recently – the image above is one outcome, and it was all done using torn paper edges and charcoal (see below). I was fascinated during the process how you can create exciting marks and textures with such a simple technique.
The process seems to work really well using a smudgy/flowing medium with bold graphic lines. So here I used charcoal, but pastels, watercolour, gouache would all work well, I think.
Canadian artist Sydney Smith is one of my favourite children’s illustrators, and he uses stencils brilliantly in his work, and it was after seeing the video below that I decided to have a go myself. Here it is:
Stencils are a popular tool in digital drawing and illustration. Drawing a simple shape and filling it with a complex texture is widely used in children’s book illustration – Jon Klassen (another Canadian illustrator) uses this technique to great effect. Here he is talking about his work to a man and a group of (distracted!) children in Melbourne; it gives an insight into his process, and how he got to this point in his career:
I’ve submitted my drawing to Double Elephant Print Workshop’s “Riddle 57” project, based on an Anglo-Saxon riddle from the Exeter Book, a World Heritage Book kept in the amazing library at Exeter Cathedral, and I was lucky enough to have a look through the book when I was studying A Level English – mind blown!!
The British Film Institute have put up a collection of films for under-5s online. It’s a real mixed bag! Some of them I remember from childhood – LOTS of public safety films for children, the best ones being the “Charley Says…” series.
I’m not sure many 21st Century Children will really enjoy some of them – black and white is a hard sell to under-5s these days, but the Charley films are funny and informative, with messages that are still relevant to children now. Take a look 🙂
I can’t believe I’m doing this, but it is so exciting!! I’m going to be live illustrating today on Instagram 3pm EST – 8pm GMT with the Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, NYC!!!
Their children’s books specialist Philipp Goedicke reads classic children’s stories live on Insta every day and invites an illustrator to draw along. If you’re on Instagram take a look, either on my feed @small_world_animations or theirs @communitybookstore.
Tonight is Chapter 20 something from “Tom’s Midnight Garden”
The pictures show what I managed to draw/make in the 30 minutes or so I had. It was a lot of fun, and Philipp was so lovely to chat with! 🙂