Stealing some of the glitterball limelight from Strictly Come Dancing, Sir Dancealot is out now from Bloomsbury. This nimble-toed young knight has a novel approach to combat – defeating his enemies through the medium of dance!
Written by acclaimed children’s author Timothy Knapman and illustrated by me, this is a hilarious story of sequinned clothes, dragon foes and twinkly toes.
From jiving away trolls to boogying aside bogglesnots and bopping off beasties, there’s not a fearsome foe Sir Dancealot can’t defeat.
But when a fire-breathing dragon arrives at the castle gates demanding a dance-off, everyone is worried.
Could this be one step too far for our hero of the dance floor?
Tim’s rhyming romp was a joy to illustrate. Although drawing a dancing, ice-skating dragon did present some challenges!
*September 2016 Book of the Month*
“This zany idea is perfectly executed through a jolly rhyming text and lively illustrations. Kids will love the idea of Strictly with dragons”
Read It Daddy
“Sir Dancealot” is full of fun and bops along to its own sequin-encrusted rhythm thanks to awesome writing from Timothy and brilliant energetic illustrations from Keith.
Mum To Five
“a much loved recent addition to the kid’s bookshelf”
Blimey! I’m beyond excited to be working with Disney-Hyperion Books, creating all the artwork for The Percy Jackson Coloring Book.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians is a bestselling book series by Rick Riordan. It follows the adventures of a twelve-year-old who discovers he is a son of Poseidon. Percy and his friends meet gods, battle monsters, and take on the Titans from Greek mythology.
All of which is brilliant fun to draw! It’s going to take a while (the colouring book will run to over 90 pages), but in the meantime, here’s a sneak-peek at the cover.
In other news, I’ve just received my advance copies of Sir Dancealot from the lovely people at Bloomsbury. Hurrahalot!
Written by the brilliant Timothy Knapman, and illustrated by me, Sir Dancealot defeats all manner of fearsome beasts through the medium of dance, until one day, a light-footed dragon turns up.
‘A hilarious story of sequinned clothes, dragon foes and twinkly toes.’
I’ll post more about this when Sir Dancealot will hits bookstores and ballrooms in early September.
And while we’re on the subject of dancing dragons, just for fun here’s a little Knight music to finish off with.
Blimey, where is the summer going? August is upon us already, but at least that means it’s time for Robin Hood Festival 2015! (3rd-9th August, Sherwood Forest Country Park – where else?) When I was a kid, I wasn’t bothered about Superman or Batman. Nope, Robin Hood was my tight-wearing hero of choice. Here’s a few character sketches I did for my own amusement a little while back. And herein lies a merry tale of the magical powers of Ye Olde Interweb. Read on…
Not long after posting these on my blog, I received an email from a nice lady in Nottingham, asking if she could use the characters on some Robin Hood souvenirs. They’re now available from robinhoodgifts.co.uk and Nottingham Castle no less! I’m delighted that Robin and the gang are having a life outside of my sketchbook. The wonders of the internet eh? And I thought it was just for amusing cat videos and angry teenagers…
You might have seen the #MeetTheArtist hashtag circulating on Twitter recently. There’s some lovely stuff out there by the talented artists of the Twitter-sphere. They all follow the same general format, with a central self portrait and lists of likes and dislikes on either side, plus the odd cheeky comment. Well worth having a look here.
Anyway, here’s my effort. Pleased to meet you! (Click the image to enlarge.)
The Maloney’s Magical Weatherbox, published by Orion, is a brilliant debut by Irish author Nigel Quinlan.
(The cover art, above, is by the excellent Erwin Madrid.)
It was my great pleasure to provide the interior illustrations. I love working in black and white, and Nigel’s vivid characters and fantastic situations, infused with celtic magic, were wonderful to draw. You can see a few of them below. Click HERE to see the rest of the illustrations from the book.
Neil and Liz Maloney’s dad is a Weatherman – but not the normal kind. He’s the person who makes sure the seasons change every year. This year, though, the Autumn hasn’t arrived and the weather is spiralling out of control. Witchcraft is at work, but can Neil and Liz stop the chaos before it’s literally the end of the world?
To celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Penny Black, I’ve illustrated this commemorative stamp issue for Guernsey Post. The Penny Black was the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, and marked the begining of universal postage; a one price goes anywhere, affordable postal service to all UK addresses.
The designs show Sir Rowland Hill, widely credited as the inventor of the postage stamp. They also show a 19th century postman and mail coach and feature a reproduction of the original Penny Black stamp.
Click HERE to see more
Seems like a good excuse for some pictures of knights and dragons. Not that I ever need an excuse for pictures of knights and dragons…
Click on the image to see more from my illustration portfolio.
Towards the end of last year I had the pleasure of reuniting with Wish Films to art direct the second series of ‘Melody’, the popular BBC – CBeebies show.
Melody is a partially sighted girl with an incredible imagination. Her adventures come to life through animation, as she visualizes stories and characters conjured up by classical music.
The new series can be seen on weekdays at 11am from March 16th 2015
For Series 2, I’ve updated the character design and refreshed the overall look of the show, working with the RNIB to make sure the animation remains accessible to a partially sighted audience. In the first series we often relied on using bold black outlines to make things stand out, which could look a little heavy. In this series I wanted a fresher look, so to achieve contrast we used carefully thought out colour combinations and clear layouts.
One of the great things about art directing this series was working with four fantastic animation studios, each with their own unique style. They have created richly imaginative responses to 20 stories, featuring the music of great composers from Mozart to Gershwin
So, a big thank you to everyone at Keyframe, Tentacle, Finger Industries and A Productions.
2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. To celebrate this literary milestone Guernsey Post commissioned me to create a set of stamps and collectable products. Stamps? Alice in Wonderland? Suffice to say it was pretty much a dream project.
My central idea was, what would postage stamps from Wonderland look like? I referenced vintage stamps from around the time of the book’s publication, which typically feature a portrait with decorative frame and border. I used bright colours in carefully chosen combinations, to bring out the slightly psychedelic feeling of the book. The character portraits also had to be instantly recognisable out of context of the book, which meant connecting with a popular consciousness of Wonderland while bringing something fresh to the familiar characters. The illustrations were also designed with the final postage stamp size of reproduction in mind.
For the characters, I went to the sort of ‘central casting’ that I carry around in my head. I quite often approach characters in this way – try to think who I’d cast as them in a film. It usually ends up being an amalgam of several people – and not necessarily famous people. There might be elements of Friends, family or people I’ve sketched on the Tube.
I wanted Alice to be a modern little girl, so I updated her outfit, hairband and hairstyle. She’s about 90% based on my daughter actually. (Who just happens to have a pet flamingo. No, not really.)
The rabbit is sort of based on Captain Mainwaring from Dad’s army as he’s a pompous character, obsequious to his superiors and disdainful to his juniors.
I had the Beat Generation writer William Burroughs in mind for the caterpillar. He’s got that wonderful voice – that’s JUST how the caterpillar would speak!
And the Hatter is quite unashamedly Terry Thomas. By the way, you might notice his hat is a giant tea cup and the famous price tag on the hat is like one of those dunking tea bags on a string. (Incidentally the price is now 52 and a half pence, which I read somewhere is about the modern equivalent of the classic ‘In this style, 10/6’ on the original illustrations!)
Click on the image to see more of my Christmas misadventures…