Creative Workshop & Doodle Book

Interview Paddy

On the 28th of August I will be holding my Creative Workshop, where we will be playing with doodles, before getting lost in the world of clay.
In unrelated news, Marleen visser (AKA Paddy), has recently launched her doodle books for adults. She has so far created two of these amazing books with her publisher and is in the process of designing her third. Continue Reading

Book for Illustrators: The Art of the Croods

book reviews for illustrators and writers

Author: Dreamworks
ISBN: 9781781164112

As most illustrators, I am always on the look out for books that will show me something new and thought it would be a good idea to share my findings and my top books. Please feel free to make your own suggestions and share in the comments.

The Croods Book Cover
The Croods Book Cover

I have just discovered this world of movie books. Why aren’t more people talking about this in the illustrating industry? After stumbling a blog post on a review of another “art of <insert any amazing animation movie>” I quickly started searching to see what was out there. You know what I found? A lot. My wishlist on Readers Warehouse just skyrocket back up to 22 (only because they don’t stock the others books… and there are a lot).

Out of the top movies I really enjoyed the style, The Croods were listed as one of the best Art Books to invest in. There is art on every page of this book – and it is colourful, detailed and the compositions are amazing. I really learnt a lot from this book in terms of style and inspiration. There are also several pages that ‘flap out’ to reveal 4 page spreads of beauty.

As some of you know, I really enjoy the animal/creature side of things, and this book had some great mash-ups and styles. The movie had a few amount as well, but this book has everything that they couldn’t fit in the movie, including a zebra elephant, a Dodo rat, Quail frog and ostrich turtle. Who comes up with this stuff? Continue Reading

Book for Illustrators: The Animators Survival Kit

book reviews for illustrators and writers

Author: Richard Williams
ISBN: 978 0 571 23834 7

As most illustrators, I am always on the look out for books that will show me something new and thought it would be a good idea to share my findings and my top books. Please feel free to make your own suggestions and share in the comments.

The Animator's Survival KitThe Animators Survival Kit is targeted at animators, hoping to learn a thing or two from the ‘greats’ about space, anatomy, and weight (to name a few). But I found this to be one of the most usual reference books for illustrators as well. Animators have to know from frame to frame, but as illustrators we always have to capture the moment of action. We have to enhance the drawing and bring with it the full potential, as, unlike animators who have endless frames to show movement, we only have one.

What illustrators also tend to do is stick to a ‘formula’ where once we have mastered a look, we stick to it. For example, when drawing a person running, we might stick to the classic, one leg stretched out, the other bend, one arm forward, the other behind. But that is not the only post in running. What about the body shape of the person? Are they a large person, or a skinny person? What happens to the large person’s belly when they run? Does it not move? Where is the weight? What happens to the skinny person’s back? Are they leaning forward? Does their neck extend? Continue Reading

Book Reviews for Children Book Illustrators & Writers #March 2016

book reviews for illustrators and writers

The number one advice to writers and illustrators is to read and observe other children books. Here are some books that I’ve read this month, to emerge myself in the world of imagination and to learn from others*.

*Note: these are my own personal reviews and suggestions for those looking for books to read. You may have different opinions and tastes.

The Grunts in Trouble

Title: The Grunts in Trouble

Author: Philip Ardagh
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Publisher: Nosy Crow – 2012
ISBN: 978 0 85763 069 8
To buy: Readers Warehouse (South Africa), Amazon (International)

Rating: 5/5

If you are looking for humour, you’ve found it. Philip Ardagh writing is ridiculous, laugh-out-loud, entertainment. The author’s imagination is something fierce. It is also something, that I think, ever child would enjoy. From telling the reader to keep bits of notes under their beard (if you don’t have a beard, you could ask for one for your next birthday), to keeping stuffed cats as doorstops, Ardagh had me laughing throughout the book.

The story folllow’s the Grunt’s adopted child (they pulled him off a washing line), Sunny, and in this book, they go on an adventure to fetch Fingers, an elephant. They also meet amusing characters, such as Larry Smalls, Lord Bigg and Mimi, who is the bootboy, who is actually a girl.

Axel Scheffler’s drawings are scattered throughout the book – depicting expressions as exquisitely as Scheffler does. Lovely scratchy style, which compliments the humour in the book. Continue Reading

Bring Reality into Your Imagination

Imaginative RealismIt all started with a book called Imaginative Realism by James Gurney. What a book. Now, I am in no way a realism painter. It’s not my thing. But just like I am sure a lot of artists out there, drawing from your imagination is always a little tricky. And I’m not talking here about simple things, like banana’s or post boxes, but being able to create worlds or creatures that don’t exist.

Gurney illustrated a book about dinosaurs and men co-existing in one world. I’m not too familiar with it, but creating entire worlds and characters, most of which have died millions of years ago, was a problem he encountered. In the book I read, he revealed some insight into how he got around it, as well as how he manages to draw all his other fantastic art. I’m not going to go into detail here, (feel free to go buy the book!) but I wanted to share with you my experience with some of the techniques here.

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