Christmas feels like a very long time ago now. We are in spring – I briefly saw the sun and went outside without a coat on! But I wanted to tell you about the Santa Run I went to in December (watching not running).
I organised an urban sketchers meet up at the Santa run thinking it would be something fun in the cold winter months. And it was such a feast for the eyes! A sea of Santas. So many brilliant costumes. But it was also freezing! We watched them all set off, did a few scribbles and then retreated to the coffee shop. Sadly, you couldn’t see much from in there, so I was drawing one of the big trees I could see out the window… and the T-Rex came in for a coffee! It took him a few tries to get through the door and then inside he couldn’t really move in case he knocked the lights off the ceiling. It was was fantastic.
So then I just had to create some illustrations based on all these great costumes, and this was the result:
There were actually about 3 runners dressed as dinosaurs and at least one crocodile, but the T-Rex was the only one I saw up close and managed to snap a few photos. As with all my illustration nowadays, all the bits that look like watercolour are real watercolour and then most of the linework is digital pencil. These two pieces are much tighter than some of the things I’ve been working on over the last few months. I wanted clean colourful action shapes against a white background to hint at snow on the ground. Then the second illustration is just the classic joke of T-Rex having short arms. I didn’t see how well the real T-Rex managed to drink his coffee…
What I’m Reading
I thought I’d share my favourite book of all time (so far) since I was rereading it recently. Duckworth the Difficult Child by Michael Sussman and illustrated by Júlia Sardà.
Duckworth’s parents think he is a difficult child, so when a snake slides right up and swallows him whole, his parents don’t believe him! What’s poor Duckworth to do?
The text and illustrations are perfectly paired. The story has the sort of darkly humorous edge to it that I seem to be drawn to in all things, especially picture books. The photos around the house with Duckworth not quite in frame or with a finger obscuring the lens are the most brilliantly subtle details that do so much to flesh out the backstory of Duckworth’s less than ideal relationship with his parents.
You’ll have to read it to find out if he manages to escape.