Friday, December 21, 2012


Ahem, I mean Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Going out with a Song

Episode 52: Rock Music, last of the new episodes of Abney & Teal goes out today at 6pm. 
(Yesterday's extremely silly episode Spots is here on iPlayer as are about half of the new episodes if you're quick. I don't know exactly what CBeebies will do after that, but I'm sure they'll be round again soon. Have I already mentioned how proud I am of these new episodes?

Here's me playing, just about, Toby Dog's tune on Toby Dog's actual Squeezebox. 
I'm going to save you the horror of my bagpipe version (FOR NOW) and go out to an art gallery instead.

Some enlightening/disturbing stats that animators Jonathon Hearn and Nayden Nikolov saved from producer Chris Wood's wrap party speech:

On average 110 - 120 shots per episode
6000 composited shots
572 minutes (9.5 hours) of broadcasted content (4.8 feature films)
134 TB of data
2 Keyboards
5 Monitors
480 loaves of bread
36,000 tea bags
1,440 packets of biscuits
1,927 dishwasher cycles
36kg of instant coffee
480 pens & pencils

And that may be partly why I'm currently quite enjoying slip-sliding back to the reclusive life of a book illustrator.

People have been asking a lot about DVDs and I don't have a proper answer for them. I do remember there being a discussion about releasing some in spring of next year, but that is not definite, and I don't have much say. There are currently 10 episodes available on iTunes and I imagine more will follow. I think people still want physical DVDs more than downloads even if the market has shrunk in the last few years, so I am hopeful that it will happen at some point.

Meanwhile. Books!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Creature colours

Colour/character tests from the very bottom of the pile of what needs to be done with some of my picture book ideas.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pocket Paintings

I've done some pretty ratty painting, sketching, and layout-work these last few days, but I quite like these two pocket sketches done in Derbyshire and two thumbnail paintings done a couple of days after.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I did a painting, to then make a print from as a prize for the Abney and Teal toy launch at Harrods (which was yesterday).

I'm now pretty much set up to make high quality Giclee prints at home, and may be making some for sale in the not too distant future. This one is printed on Hahnemule German Etching paper and is virtually indistinguishable from the original painting (which is in itself partly printed, but mostly real painting). Whether I'll do Abney & Teal ones (such as an edition of this) is an interesting rights question yet to be answered.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Belated Fanfare!

New episodes of Abney & Teal this week (and yesterday), 6pm CBeebies.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

In and out of a printing machine

First experiment mixing paint and coloured print on watercolour paper. Pretty exciting, though I think I can get richer colours.

Wearing the same expression. A cartoonified version of the cat from post below. (Digital)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Brilliant Books

This book and two others (Bop's Hiccups and pop-in-the-slot novelty book An Island Adventure) are released today. 
I illustrated this one by building a kit of parts and puppets, similar to the way the original show was done. The kit was passed on to Davide Arnone (an old friend and one of the main animators in charge of Abney). He has used the kit, adding his own parts, to illustrate the other two, and is currently  working on several more. The texts were written by Stella Gurney.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A painting I did as a gift for Lisbeth Zwerger. She was signing books at The Illustration Cupboard early this evening, and the show is on tomorrow as well. 
The new Tales from the Brothers Grimm is beautiful, although I'm annoyed that she beat me to illustrating Hans My Hedgehog. (In a book anyway, I stuck him on here a while ago).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Illustrations in progress...

...done entirely using the computer:

The last two are Giclée print tests on Hahnemühle German Etching paper. (Giclée is a word for posh inkjet prints on archival paper, apparently laughable and quite rude to actual French speakers).