OPEN SKETCHBOOKS Spring 2019 Part 2

Another selection of drawings from the pages of SCBWI illustrator's Spring sketchbooks, curated by John Shelley.  

Spring is almost Summer, though the weather may be saying otherwise! We've just time to take another look within the secret sketchbooks of SCBWI members.  

I never fail to be amazed at the variety and breadth of our members' work, not only in subject matter, but materials and approach. Sketchbooks are the foundations of creativity, there's a revealing honesty about our working drawings and observed sketches. These are images outside the confinements of deadline or portfolio, which I think really brings out the character of the artist.   (Click on the artist names for links to websites).

Catherine Lindow

I've been finding sketching very grounding at the moment, having taken on part time work which really impacts on my drawing time.
I took my sketchbook to the Youth Climate March (inspired by Imogen Foxell!) and loved having a way of my own to connect with the event. The speaker pictured is a 14-year-old who attends my drawing group and I was rather proud of her despite having no claim to that whatsoever.

The street scene (in Edinburgh) is one I found in the rain and had to return to, feeling completely driven to draw it. I left the sketchbook on the bus not long after this so I don't have any of these drawings any more - thank goodness for social media which made me photograph them! @catherixx


Emma Graham

I have so few humans in my folio and I’m always being nagged to have some to show, plus I’ve been asked to sub a rough spread for a children’s book based on children (panic!!) so here we are, all experiments, not over happy still but I will keep going practice makes perfect so they say (hahaha I’ll never reach that goal!)

‘Bobby’ – character development
‘Boy’ – character development @emma_graham_illustrations

Farah Shah

These images are part of a #walktosee challenge over on instagram. Across the images I have just used three colours, and experimented with different layering techniques.
I saw some geese and had to try to capture them with using the same colours.

Looking at perspective and balancing colours from my attic window. @fawashah


Fiona McCloud

I tend to do one or two of these little sketches each morning. The inspiration comes from something I've done, spotted or read about that week.


Imogen Foxell

Here are pictures from my daily sketchbooking, both at home and away:

Birds in one of my local parks
Balconies in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona @imogenfoxell


John Hogan

The small selection of drawings is a representation of my natural style. I completed them to show potential commissioner's how the initial rough visuals would be presented, and also, how my style can be manipulated into character designs.



John Storey

This was an initial pencil sketch that was redone later as a drypoint print. The image may be a little familiar? :D
The idea is that this is how the American Gothic couple could have looked like when they first got engaged. This was done for an assignment from the MA Illustration course I'm on - the brief was to illustrate the term 'betrothed'.
A pencil sketch of a character (a Redcap) that appears in Northumbrian / Scottish-borders folk tales. Done for a bestiary/field-guide type of book I'm busy with at the moment.


Maxine Lee-Mackie

These are all experiments with ink and coloured pencil. Even though I work mainly digitally. I find that sketching on paper gives me lots of ideas and inspiration.



Pippa Ashton

Studies of dormice Girl Guide characters for a campfire piece.
Studies for a mole character who is scared of going into the woods. @pippaalice

Ruth Waters

I work in collage but start off developing my characters in pencil. This is for a story idea I have about a boy who makes some paper dolls.  
The pencil drawings are of the crafty bits and pieces the little boy has on his desk. I am also playing with the idea of using different papers and textures to create these everyday items.
Here is an early collage of the paper doll and her family - the central characters of the book. @ruthpwaters


Sarah Coomer

Not so much a sketch, but more of a collage in a sketchbook! The foreground was an experiment using making tape, graphite and ink diffuser. I then cut the paper and layered up a Lino cut of the trees, and finally an ink diffuser sky on another piece of paper. This is for a graphic novel. This is the original 'real' collage which I subsequently worked on digitally for the final image, but this is partly at least how I got there!
An ink and watercolour study of my desk, which is generally speaking a right mess and therefore an interesting still life subject. I work a lot digitally, and I often have the urge just to get back to real paper and ink or charcoal... often my final images start off as 'real' drawings or prints. @sarahcoomerdraws


Sarah J Coleman

My partner is the tour driver for a well-known American poet, Andrea Gibson. I like to go with him to some of the gigs and capture the audience’s reactions. Andrea has a massive, adoring following, and their gigs are always sold out; the audience is full of mainly female, enraptured fans who hang on every word, often saying the poems as they go along.

The audience will be couples, singles, big groups, unusual hair cuts, a wide spectrum of ages, races and genders, and I like to try and capture the little fleeting moments that pass over the faces of people watching.
Since I don’t get to draw people as often as I’d like in my professional work, I get the chance to do so with no attachment to outcome or feedback - not even worried about whether the faces ‘look like’ them; just committing the expressions to paper. @inkymole

Tita Berredo

This is a spread from the little sketchbook I carried during my MA Children's Illustration year at Goldsmiths. I like to explore and mix different media and always make little doodles and dreamy characters for that.
This is an initial character development from one of my MA's picturebooks. I always keep a big sketchbook for each project I make, this allows me to go back to it and see how the character has changed through time. @titaberredo
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Many thanks to all our member illustrators who sent work in for this Spring collection. We'll be presenting some more sketchbook peeks in the Autumn, so let's get busy! And please do continue to send in your images.
Header photo © John Shelley 

John Shelley is the Illustration Features Editor of Words & Pictures and the illustrator of over 50 books for children, most recently 'A Purse Full of Tales', a book of Korean Folk stories, for Hesperus Press. He's twice been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, in 2018, and again in 2019.

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