Sunday, 22 May 2016

Mono printing and creative mess...

I have been experimenting with mono print this week, making marks and seeing what evolves. 

I have played with mono printing for years. My initial images were dancers, created when I first studied at Cambridge School of Art years ago. 

After busy months leading up to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, it’s been refreshing to create editorial images. Working with bold brush strokes on a glass plate and textures, my work is slowly evolving. It's wonderful to wake fired up, ready to make a creative mess and see what happens! 
Below is a selection of images from this process. 

I think this texture might just have to be a mushroom! Watch this space...

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Bring me sunshine...

Working with these colours was a welcome break from the grey days full of rain. 

Here it is the peacock illustration in progress and some of the tools of my trade. Hydrus inks, wax crayons and good quality heavy blotting paper.
The first ink wash is down and drying (time for a cuppa or two) then I work into it rubbing patterns with wax crayons. 

This button was perfect for creating the peacock feathers, discovered in a traditional haberdashery shop in Salisbury. 

Polly Noakes Illustration

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Merry Christmas illustration...

Merry Christmas!

In September the House of Illustration in London, asked if I would contribute to their  advent calendar this year. Laura Carlin illustrated the front and I had great fun creating this illustration of a dog sledging for day 14. I have to admit as soon as I received the calendar I couldn't resist peeping at the wonderful images  created by some very talented children's book illustrators! 

   Wishing you a very happy and fulfilling 2016!

Polly Noakes Illustration

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Sketches on a train...

Last week I spent a day out of jeans and muddy wellies, put on my smart clothes, left my husband in charge of our new dog- the scruff bag Bertie and went to London to meet my agent Elizabeth Roy.  I sat tentatively as she expertly scanned my text for a baby board book series. 
It was a great meeting, I always enjoy our get togethers, then she said seriously  “I would like four of these as dummies before Christmas”.

“Before Christmas!”, she called out again firmly with a smile, as we waved goodbye. 

I can see I will be failing miserably at creating the perfect, festive abode and food. Not to  mention the Christmas shopping… 
Anyway moving on swiftly... here are  some very rough ideas/sketches  I did on the train home, squashed between sneezing fellow commuters.  Needless to say new dog Bertie and his muddy embraces feature too... do take a peep at him at the bottom of the page! 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Creating a bear Illustration and memories too...

This is a tiny corner of a picture book project I have been working on with the experienced eye of a children's book editor. 
Like certain pieces of music can evoke  memories, the textures I created by hand for this illustration will always remind me of my current home and 2015. Our old, scarred chopping block  made the tree hollow. A clay disc by potter Johnathon Garret I bought 17 years ago and which survived tribes of kids playing in the garden created the bears fur. The weathered 80 year old shed doors (keeping the shed up!)  and a rushmatting door mat created the trees. Everything I have used to create texture using wax crayons, graphite and inks has a story and a practical  use.

I travel back in time to Cambridge 1990  whenever  I hear the evocative Koln concert by Keith Jarrett and the beginning of a romance.  And  I will look at this illustration in years to come and remember how much I disliked chopping the logs! 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

What's the most musical part of a fish?

I always enjoy starting a new story.
Recently I went to the Bournemouth Oceanarium to sketch characters for my new picture book,  a fishy tale set in the Indian Ocean. Luckily they had a model for the little chap who is the central character- an Angelfish. Not the easiest fish to draw as they move very quickly! 

After many, many edits and my wonderful agent Elizabeth Roy pruning words further, she then gave me the thumbs up. So now its all systems go and June will be spent creating thumbnails, working on the structure, pacing and then some artwork. Here are some rough sketches pondering various layouts. 

The one downside of this early part of the process is I can’t listen to anything - (except the Archers!) as it interferes with my thinking process. It can be an intense time.. so writing my blog is a nice distraction!  Needless to say, I wont be making fish pie for a while……. another downside of getting to know some of the beautiful creatures in the ocean! 

Oh, here is the answer to the joke in the heading- their scales! 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Fifteen  copies of my dummy books made and three X portfolios later - yes it must be the Bologna Children's Book Fair.

Here, book deals are brokered, international editions sold and hundreds of illustrators hawk their portfolios around to show art directors.

Luckily for me my work will be on the Cambridge School of Art stand, run by our fantastic tutors Pam Smy and Marta Arltes. Their diaries are full as word of the MA continues to spread amongst the industry.

Along with projects I created for my Masters, I have meetings to discuss new picture book ideas too. Below is a character sketch (one of many) from a new project about a girl and her dog Boris.
Right, I better pack!