Tag Archives: HarperCollins

Bird Doodles during HarperCollins Author Workshop

I like to think I was being wonderfully efficient with my time last Friday afternoon at the HarperCollins Author Workshop Day. (Lordy!) After doing the blobs on the train going to the event, I doodled on with these birds during the presentations as well as taking notes!

I’m not sure I needed to take so many notes, but the doodles were a continuation of some character development for a HarperCollins picture book I will be working on over this coming summer. So that seems quite appropriate really.

Leonard doodles2 judywatsonart lores

The bird will sort himself out without too much trouble, because he’s kind of there in spirit already, even though his appearance does morph quite a lot. But what I’m interested in particularly is how to depict the legs, making them as versatile as possible for doing all sorts of things that birds don’t generally do in the common suburban back yard (like dancing the polka), and not getting bogged down by actual bird anatomy, whilst also not offending my own sense of birdishness by having ‘knees’ facing the wrong way or anything.

I can’t seem to help that. My dad is a vet. Sometimes I look up the skeletons of the animals I am drawing.

Leonard doodles judywatsonart lores

I do want this particular bird to have big feet if possible. There’s a reason. But I don’t want them to hamper the drawings either. So I will be playing around with options and we’ll see where we get to. In this second page, you see me having the wild idea of fat legs!

I’m not sure if this could work in moderation, or whether it might offend my aforementioned sense of birdishness…

 

Experiments with Blobs in a Moving Vehicle

Don’t try this at home.

It must be done on the train or, if you are really brave, in a moving car.

1. Take some freshly painted blobs. (see my earlier tutorial here)

2. Now sit down in a crowded location, preferably with somebody looking over your shoulder.

3. Take a fine point felt tip and turn the blobs into creatures. Do not wibble-wobble!

train blobs judywatsonart lores

Page 1. I added the watercolour later. I will give 20 extra points to anyone who can do the watercolour bit on the train as well. (I am stingy with my points.)

Hot Tips: 

• Don’t worry too much about the person looking over your shoulder. Jiggle your page sideways until it nearly bumps them in the face. They may lose interest. Probably not.

• Do the fiddly bits when the train is on the straight and not about to pull into a station. This will work best if you know your railway line.

• Make your journey a long one. If you are worried about missing your stop, you will lose concentration. Do you have an auntie who lives a long way away in the country? Go and visit her.

Here are some close-ups, because I don’t really have any more to say.

Inspector Dog. (Giant Schnauzer x Greyhound. Possibly could be categorised as a lurcher. But this one only lurches when the train pulls into a station.)

Inspector Dog judywatsonart lores

 

Ernest. (Maltese x Chihuahua x Pug x Papillon)

Ernest judywatsonart lores

 

Noir Dog. (Beagle x Whippet x Wire-haired Fox Terrier)

noir dog judywatsonart lores

 

Muddy Madge. (Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen. Yes, really.)

muddy judywatsonart lores

 

This is Finn. It’s always good to have a fish in your repertoire.

Finn Judywatsonart lores

 

This is Foxy. I could have called him Finn too. His friend is Frederica.

foxy judywatsonart lores

 

This is Dodette. She is uncomfortable with publicity.

dodette judywatsonart lores

 

This is Herman.

hummer judywatsonart lores

 

This is Gene.

chirpy judywatsonart lores

 

This is a Woman of Mystery. She has laddered her tights escaping… what? No. No. You’ve got it completely wrong. She carries a pistol in her pocket and is dodging out of the glow of a streetlight while she trails a criminal. You’ll have to imagine the gloomy alleyway.

noir lady judywatsonart lores

 

This is Alberto. He likes pancakes and reading detective novels, but only if he can read them in a boat.

Alberto judywatsonart lores

 

This is Cymbidium Night Angel. She is rescuing a puppy from Gene. Gene was going to feed the puppy to his wife and family. Now Gene and his family will go hungry. But the puppy is very happy.

Cymbidium Night Angel judywatsonart lores

I did another page of blob dogs, but perhaps I’ll save that for another time. I was on the train to go to the HarperCollins Inaugural Author Workshop Day, which was very good. It’s good to meet some of the other people in the large team who make books, and it’s always great to talk with other book authors and illustrators.