Drawing elderly people

Drawing elderly people. Experimenting with colours and line work.

Drawing elderly people. Experimenting with colours and line work.

One of the things we love about illustration is designing characters. We are currently drawing elderly people in different scenarios and everyday life. From going to the seaside to reading the newspaper and walking to the shop. We use simple line work to capture the character of the people and use a fine line pen to create subtle details.

A black and white line illustration of an elderly couple enjoying tea and cakes. In fine line pen.

A black and white line illustration of an elderly couple enjoying tea and cakes. In fine line pen.

We decided to keep the colours simple, by only adding a few colours in coloured pencils and leaving some parts white. We wanted to keep the delicate and simple line work, so we kept the colour palette simple to highlight certain areas of the illustration.

How we design and make our character paper puppets

Often when we design characters for children’s books, we come up with little extra designs for paper toys, activity sheets and paper puppets. We base the puppets and toys on characters that we have designed and think of ways we can make them engaging and interactive.

Joe puppet.jpg

One of our favourite things to make are paper puppets. We draw our characters out a few times on paper and pick a character that we think would work well as a puppet with movable arms and legs. We draw the full character out on to some paper and then we trace the arms, legs and body separately onto some card. To add colour to our character we usually use coloured pencils and collage. We then cut the body, arms and legs of our character out. We make holes in the top off the legs and arms and attach split pins to the body.

Below is an activity page for children to make their own finger puppets. We use collage on the characters to make them more intriguing and playful. We also create activity pages for children to create their own animal masks, party packs and 3D paper objects.

Cat and Dog Finger puppets.jpg

Yoga Gorilla

4 pages for a picture-book we have created about a gorilla who is a little bit different. A feel-good story about acceptance and daring to be different. The story follows a gorilla who is not like the other gorillas. He doesn’t beat his chest and charge around. Our gorilla is gentle, calm and thoughtful. His great passion is yoga. Our gorilla loves meditating and preforming relaxing exercises, he just wishes he had someone to share his day with. The other tough weight lifting gorillas think he’s strange and most of the time our gorilla is on his own. Until one day he meets a new friend and learns that its ok to be a little bit different.

Page 3

Page 3

Page 4

Page 4

Page 6

Page 6

Page 10

Page 10

Jungle activity book finished outcome.

We have been working on a jungle themed activity book for children. We have included lots of activities ranging from designing a jungle character to drawing a hot-air balloon and matching games. Each page is fully illustrated in coloured pencil and digital collage and there is also plenty of space for children to design their own characters.

A drawing activity page. Children can work out the clues to draw the mystery character.

A drawing activity page. Children can work out the clues to draw the mystery character.

We have experimented with each page layout so that some scenes flow across a double page spread (much like a picture book page) and others are more detailed single pages, packed full of activities.

We wanted to make the activity book playful and a bit quirky, so we have developed two witty animal characters to guide you around the activities. We have made it like a story, with the characters going from one place to another, so each page is different and exciting. We have also included craft activities to get children creative, such a making a mask and designing paper bunting.

Jungle games page. Children can match the animals to the sound they make and help Pipkin the pig count all the butterflies.

Jungle games page. Children can match the animals to the sound they make and help Pipkin the pig count all the butterflies.

Creating Storyboards

gorrilamini.jpg

One of our favourite parts of illustrating a picture book is creating storyboards. When we plan out a storyboard we write quick notes on the layout of the story and the rough idea. Our first storyboard ideas start as little thumbnail sketches, usually these are very rough. We then draw up our designs on bigger pieces of paper so that we can experiment with what angles and viewpoints we want to use.

We work together to come up with each page layout, working on scraps of paper and in a sketchbook. When we have finished the rough storyboard, we layout all the pages next to each other so that we can see how the story flows. We then go back and make adjustments, altering the placement of things and looking at where the text would sit. Sometimes we would work on the same page together and other times we would work on different pages. We would then combine our drawings and ideas together and work over these.

Storyboarding- more worked up pages

Storyboarding- more worked up pages

We are currently working on an idea for a story. We have started planning out thumbnails and character sketches. These are some of the more developed sketches, where we have started to play with scale and viewpoint.

Designing greetings cards

We are currently working on some greetings card designs. We are mainly using characters as the basis of the designs and we are working to a particular theme or occasion. Many of our card designs are inspired by nature and the outdoors, so the colours are quite bright and fresh. We like our designs to have a playful feel, so we have created characters that have a subtle charm and wit such as hanging sloth in a red waistcoat.

To create our illustrations we use pencil crayon, watercolour and digital collage. We enjoy creating patterns and textures on the characters clothing. One of our designs includes a waddling penguin in a red fair isle style knitted jumper on a snowflake background.

penguincard.jpg

We have also been experimenting with typography which we wasn’t that confidant with to begin with. We are practicing hand drawing the type so that it sits nicely with our hand drawn illustrations. We trace the type we want using a lightbox and change it slightly so that it fits with the card design. We then go over it in watercolour, which took quite a few times to get right, but it was worth it in the end. We then layout all the elements of the design on photoshop, following our rough sketches.

The card designs we have done recently include a penguin christmas card, a zoo themed card for children, a playful baby orang-utan card and a lion on a bike birthday card.

Zoo themed greetings card

Zoo themed greetings card