Thursday, 25 March 2010

Illustration Friday: Expired

Click to enlarge.

A Dead Mouse in the Classroom

Inspired by a true story!

When I was in Year 3 in Primary school, we returned from a holiday to discover a revolting smell wafting about the classroom. We searched everywhere for the source but couldn't find it anywhere. Drawers were emptied, bins were sprayed with air freshener and stinky discarded clothes were sent packing to the Lost Property Dept. It was only when one of the naughty boys had a good root round behind a set of drawers that we found a dead mouse, stinking to high heaven.

As you can imagine, this resulted in absolute mayhem and disorder as we watched it, fascinated, until the caretaker arrived and bravely removed the poor creature to loud whoops and screams from the gathered crowds. As a class we dined out on that story for weeks, eagerly recounting the story breathlessly (and with added, revolting details) to anybody who came to visit. Any supply teachers were in for a TREAT!

Alas, my teacher looked nothing at all like the one pictured above, but as this was the early 90's I'm sure she was equally stylish in , I imagine, some sort of long, floaty silk bouse and startling lipstick. The 80's lived long at my school.

She did, I remember, have the most enormous hair which was both fascinating and amazing.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Illustration Friday: Subterranean

click to enlarge.

This weeks theme is Subterranean and so I decided on Moles. Moles, Moles, Moles and their cosy underground world.
I wish I lived there....

I promise I will update with something other than Illustration Friday work soon - Bologna deadlines are wafting around and it's very busy here!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Digital vs Traditional...

Click to enlarge.

I decided to use yesterdays Illustration Friday image and mix it up with a bit of digital work in a similar way I do my illustrations for the children's books I work on. I'm also trying to find the balance between hand-drawn/created and digital and this was a bit of an experiment.

I'm pleased with the look of the above image and think I might experiment further with this way of working.

In other news: I just ate an amazing salad.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Click to enlarge.

This week's Illustration Friday picture on the theme 'BRAVE.'

Up top is the finished illustration painted in watercolour and gouache with pen and pencil crayon on Winsor & Newton Medium Surface Cartridge paper ( Heavy Weight 220gsm)*

Once again I've really enjoyed participating in IF. It's a great way to get my mind going on something other than the books I'm working on at the moment.

Why did I draw this picture?
I have no idea but it does combine a lot of my favourite things: NYC, mad old women, tiny dogs and red haired superheroes.

I wonder what next week's theme will be???

* WAY too much information here.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Kind words and nice things

Bella and Monty: A Hairy Scary Night by Alex T Smith
Published in 2009 by Hodder Children's Books

Kind things being said about my book 'Bella and Monty: A Hairy Scary Night' by the very nice Nikalas over at The Apple and the Egg. Thanks you!

The Apple and the Egg is a brilliant website and a wonderful resource - so great to be able to have a peak inside other's illustrator's sketchbooks.*

* I am quite nosey.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Illustration Friday : PERSPECTIVE

This is the first week I've participated and it's been great fun squeezing time to do a new illustration.
The above piece is mixed media on Arches HP paper. This is the first time I've used that paper (after months of going into my local art shop and staring at it and touching it and generally being a bit of a paper geek) and it was lovely. Smooth and took the paint and water well.

I don't know whether this is a thing with that make of paper or if it was just a reaction to my paint, but this picture smells of biscuits...


Probably just me....

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Pet Lovers

I'm not sure why this hasn't scanned very well....?

In other pet related news, my sister-in-law-to-be is coming to visit today. I don't think I am ready for the level of hysteria and excitement this will create amongst our dogs. They will literally not calm down for the entire time she's here.