Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Cosmic Chef, acryic and oil 20 x 30cm

One of many covers I created as a younger illustrator for a series of chapter books aimed at reluctant readers. Much educational illustration serves this important role, trying to get a disinterested student actually interested. For a while such work was an important source of income for me (especially in lieu of decent picture book royalties), and while it was still not a lot in those days, I enjoyed visualising these funny and action-packed tales by different writers, combining cartooning with painterly effects. It's worth noting that digital editing was not available at the time, so these were all straight oil paintings, using little watercolour brushes on acrylic-primed paper. I often wonder if I'm a better illustrator now due to a lack of digital convenience, particularly in learning to use glazes to make the subtle colour, hue and saturation adjustments. These always seem better when done by hand, the old fashioned way.


  1. ~(*o*)~! ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ·.•*•♫°•♫·.•ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ!!

  2. Replies
    1. I was working on The Lost Thing book at the same time, around 1998; hence tentacles!

  3. Hi Shaun. I am a big fan of your work. I am inspired by it. I am a clockmaker in England and I would like to make something perhaps in your style. But I am not quite sure what yet.
    Best Wishes. Craig.

  4. Hi Craig, be my guest. You might appreciate the mood clock at the beginning of The Red Tree, although more of a barometer. I once illustrated thirteen clocks for a book called 'Crew's 13' (well out of print), and I'll bet hundreds more elsewhere, they are always so full of meaning.

  5. Reminds me of an intergalactic Swedish Chef. Just needs a puffier face, and Henson/Oz under a table.


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