Category Archives: Stories

Keeping my eyes on the prize…

Recently, having flicked through The Writers’ Magazine, I came across a couple of competitions which I decided to give a go.

Firstly, there was The Big Idea Competition¬†http://thebigideacompetition.co.uk/ which had a focus on pitching an idea for a story and then there was http://www.stratfordliteraryfestival.co.uk/article/picture-book-competition which required several sketches and a couple of double paged spreads. I have taken a lot of my inspiration from visits to the Kitty Cafe in Nottingham and just thought I would share some of my sketches with you…

p3-4p21p28

I don’t find out the result until next month, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. I was busy sketching at home & on my lunch breaks at work. I often had reference books to hand, including those that detail how to draw fashion and the history of shop frontages. It was fun & challenging to draw with the aim of achieving something at the end of it all and I think it gives you that extra push to really put your heart & soul into the project.

Look out for competitions and if they tempt you, go for it! You never know!

Until next time, take care.

Rachel

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The back up plan

Happy 2018 to you all!

Continuing with my sketchbook based developments, I decided to really focus on what background imagery to feature in the background of some of my stories.

I have been debating with myself for some time on whether to go for full on, coloured and collage backgrounds, to feature black and white line drawings, or to just go with a plain white background. Thinking back to books I read during my childhood, such as Spot and the Mr Men series, there was little in the way of a background within those books.

Prior to putting more of an emphasis into creating backgrounds for my work, I have started doing some experiments…

Background 5Scenary 1Scenary 2Scenary 3Scenary 4Background 4

I have used different papers which have been layered over with my line drawings. I particularly enjoy drawing and tracing buildings, alongside people. I like to take a camera out and photograph town centre scenes in order to trace. I aim to create town centre scenes drawn up in a traced style, whilst also including Tiger and Friends drawn in their child friendly way.

A previous example saw Tiger’s family visit the supermarket…

Shopping 2

Besides this, I again took inspiration from work done during my college and university years…

My next task is to put my planning into motion and to see how it all looks. I shall look forward to providing you with my results.

Until next time, take care!

Rachel

Getting it covered

Hi all,

Following some time dedicated to drawing up some fuller stories based on my imagery, I decided to start experimenting with some cover ideas.

I have stuck with a basic cover which is quite boldly stating who the main characters are within the story…

whilst contrasting them with some lightly applied watercolours in the background.

I have merely used my own handwriting for the font on the cover. I wanted something quite bold, but not something that takes focus away from the image…

My final experiment, consisted of an idea for a series of stories, “The Holiday Series.” For this experiment, the format is slightly different, seeing me revert to my traditional style of working to create the colour for the background, whilst also dabbling with a digital font found on Photoshop…

Holiday seriesa

I hope that 2018 brings more success for Tiger and Friends, whilst also ensuring that I remain inspired and creative. I hope to go to new places and visit attractions that will inspire my work.

I hope that 2018 is a wonderful year for you all and I shall hopefully be updating you on Tiger, very early on in the new year.

Many thanks for your support throughout 2017.

Happy new year to you all!

Rachel

One for Sorrow; Two for joy

Hi everyone,

I know, it has been a while. I have been dedicating the recent months to gathering contact details, tidying up and updating my portfolio before distributing to agents & publishers.

I am currently very much in the zone, having learned basic clothes making (I’ve made a few skirts recently!) I am now very much back into illustrating and enjoying it. I am looking forward to showing you my latest sketches and edits to older work, but I have only recently returned from a holiday and am yet to set up the scanner and printer. I have, however, got a few images ready from another recent story that I have put together “One for sorrow; Two for joy” which focuses on the superstitions surrounding a single magpie versus magpies in pairs.

Recent responses from agents and publishers have suggested that they would like to know the full story, rather than just see samples of my work, so I have started dedicating my time to drawing up fuller stories as opposed to just samples.

Once I have all of the equipment set up, I shall be posting up my edits to old imagery, whilst introducing imagery associated with Tiger coming into the life on his family amongst other things.

Meanwhile, enjoy my new Magpie character and enjoy yourselves in whatever you do!

Take care

Rachel

How did Tiger get here?

Having been delving back into the archives of not just my Tiger and Friends project, but all of my recent artwork in general, I was inspired to use a combination of old imagery, story ideas and inspiring papers to create a new idea for a story.

There have been many theories as to how Tiger came to be with his family. Perhaps Tiger was just bought in the pet shop, perhaps a stork delivered him to his particular family or perhaps Tiger set upon a long journey. I began to get a few of the ideas into my sketchbooks and I have a few examples here of my long journey version.

I could imagine Clancy and Brady, the children of the family, asking where Tiger came from. When it comes to children, we have to make stories as bright and colourful as possible, without focusing on the straight to the point stuff.

I have already begun to put the other ideas to paper, so please watch this space for How did Tiger get here? Part 2.

Until next time, take care!

Rachel

 

Bad birds

I’ve created a seagull character, or several seagulls, based on what I have seen and heard of on the news. Unlike seagulls in real life who can be pretty darn mean, I have centred on mine being mischievous and annoying, but I want them to be laughed at rather than recoiled from.

This has been one of my most fun recent projects, as it has allowed me to get really messy, concentrating on the markings of a seagull, particularly the markings they leave behind!

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Unlike my previous characters, I haven’t written a story as such, but I have concentrated on their real life antics and will create a story based on what I feel will work well for the intended audience of my illustrated works.

I have other projects on the go, including our good old mate, Tiger and his family. I have delved back into the archives, focusing on Tiger’s journey and Tiger playing outside, for my latest projects. It’s funny how looking through old art work can inspire new ideas.

Until next time, stay creative!

Rachel

Bee keeping

Hi everyone!

No, this is certainly not a new hobby that I have taken on, but it is something that I have taken on drawing recently.

I can’t remember exactly where this idea came about, but you will generally find that the more you draw, the more inspiration you look for and the more materials you gather to work with, the more ideas begin to fill your head. So here was an idea I had for Tiger’s family keeping bees.

I like to keep the family on their toes with new adventures and hobbies, so here was their latest venture. Tiger doesn’t feature too heavily here, but I’m sure he’ll love the honey once it’s prepared.

My latest project, in the works, features a brand new character who is intent on mischief! He has been great fun to work with and has allowed me to have a bit of a laugh. I won’t announce exactly who he is yet, but let’s just say that in real life, this creature is known for causing trouble and is even being debated in parliament (any guesses?)

I am also toying with the idea of a further character, but I’m yet to pull together a story as of yet. I really will leave this character to remain as a mystery.