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Well it has been AGES since I've managed to update the site.

Its the end of May now, this year is flying by.. Lots happened since i last updated the site, I've finished a load of book projects, i have 3 books from Rising Stars out at the end of this month, i have a book out with Igloo (unsure of the date) and a book from Oxford university Press (Date unsure).

 

I went to the Bologna book fair at thee start of April which was great!

Absolutely beautiful city and the book fair was so good, amazing to see such gorgeous books and artwork. Met lots of new people and caught up with lots of others,Had my first experience of the notorious "Swine Bar" the local hangout for authors and illustrators and it was great!

then a few days after coming home from/ Italy i went off with the family to Disneyland Paris as it was my 40th birthday in April too. Officially old now!

Ive been trying to concentrate on writing my own stories and my agent is pitching one of them at the moment so I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed for that.

Just got a couple of new projects in the past week so looking forward to starting on those.

 

Plus i have had a new studio built with is wonderful, much more space.

 

 

 

Well it's October 18th, a Little update.. Well i am now represented by the Wonderful Bright Agency http://thebrightagency.com I have been with them now for a few weeks and they are such a lovely bunch of people.

I Met with the lovely Julia Patton http://www.juliapatton.co.uk the other week in London and we went through my portfolio and sketchbooks and came up with lots of new story ideas, so have been working on those when i get the odd 5 minutes free time. there are some promising ideas in there so i hope i have the ability to develop them into something special.

 

It is my ultimate dream to write and illustrate my own work, so lots of hard work, writing and re-writing ahead.. love a challenge!

I'm just finishing up 3 books from Rising stars, that should be done within the next week.. and I'm working on another for benchmark education in America, i worked with these guys over a year ago and were lovely to work with, so I'm happy to be working with them again.

i've been so busy with deadlines that i haven't had much chance to do any new portfolio pieces, which is a shame as i'd love to of done a new Halloween piece... maybe i need to get ahead of the game for next year.. and i will have to start thinking about and doing new christmas stuff soon... although i am (so far) managing to keep up with Inktober this year.. i think i did up to day 22 last year, but i am determined to make the 3 days this year. i'm doing them with brush pen in a Kraft sketchbook, so no digital, and its quite nice to just doodle something everyday.

You can see them on Facebook or twitter and when its all done i'll put something up on here.

 

I'm still here folks, been super busy with deadlines and family. Ive finally finished the 6 books i was working on which will be out in October and November.

I'm currently working on 3 books for Rising Stars (Hachette educational) I've done the roughs for all 3 of them, they've been good fun to do as there are lots of aliens and creatures i got to make up and i love a bit of character design. and one of them is a non fiction book about Blackbeard, which i thought might be tricky as its non fiction but i found it was really good fun to do and i loved developing a quirky Blackbeard character, i look forward to sharing some sneak peeks when i can.

I've just given myself 2 weeks off work as i worked solidly to get the roughs done for the books so i could have some time with the family without the overhanging deadlines, it was a well needed break.

While i had the chance to chillax and allow my brain to be free from deadlines, i managed to come up with a couple of new story ideas, I've done a fake cover for one of them, which i won't show just yet until I've got the story all sorted, but i think it could be a winner.. time will tell.. and the other is a dinosaur story and i LOVE dinosaurs so thats gonna be good to work on.. just gotta get them pitch ready and ill start showing publishers and see what happens.

Speaking of Publishers, I'm off to a conference for children's Illustrators and writers in September hosted by Fat Fox Books.. check out the link...

http://fatfoxbooks.com/ask-the-experts-the-first-fat-fox-books-conference/

Its gonna be really good, with a host of amazing speakers.

I'm hoping to get to show the right people my portfolio and dummy book too, be great to get some feedback from them.

anyway back to the doodling now.

Well i thought id put on a quick blog post about the image i did today and show the process that i used..

  

Ok so this was the quick 2 minute sketch done in my sketchbook, which i was going to do as a black and white piece, but when i tidied it up in photoshop i decided to make it colour.... so here is the Photoshop sketch, i imported the sketchbook doodle and drew over the top on a separate layer to tidy it up and design the children etc better.

Once this is done i created Groups and layers underneath this, lowered the opacity of the sketch and started painting.

I tend to just block in basic colours either using a basic brush or an oil brush. I like to separate everything onto individual layers, like one layer for skin, one for socks etc as it makes it easier when shading and altering things.

You can see the sketch still visible on this image.

Once the basic colours are done i start with the shading, highlights and pattern/textures.

I use an oil brush a lot of the time with a lowered opacity to about 25% ish, and go through the layers and paint in the shadows and highlights and make the image look 3d, or at least i try to.I sometimes just lock the layer and paint straight onto it, or i may add another layer above it and use it as a clipping mask so it only paints whats on the layer below, or i may use the lasso tool and just select the specific part i want shade.

Here is the image now with the kids painted.

then i may add some textures and pattern overlays, so i would drag the texture onto a layer above and create a clipping mask, drop in the texture and desaturate it, then go to filters and choose high pass, then choose that layer as overlay mode then adjust the opacity until i am happy with it.

then once this is all done on everything i need to texture or shade, i add a layer above everything and put in little details like blades of grass, flowers wispy hair etc just to try and make it a bit more detailed.

This image doesn't have a huge amount of bits and bobs and extras in it that i tend to add but thought i would share the image and the process anyway.

Hope this has been of some interest to someone out there and here is the final image with all the shading, textures and details, i think from start to finish it took roughly 4-5 hours with a few stops and breaks.

 

Well its been a while since i've managed to get on here and update the site as have been snowed under with deadlines.

Well 'The Mermaids Socks' was out on the 12th of May by Clare De Marco https://www.hachettechildrens.co.uk/authors/detail.page?id=noKQowKjJXjcmGMQmzwktKZo2yoP/7a9lb2O/dqutHginJih2YHWOS7Uqx/C (Heres Clare's page on Hachette site), published by Franklin Watts.

well I've been working hard on 6 books by Rising stars which have been fun to work on and i think they will be going to print very soon, so will post on here once they are out.

Been doing a smaller project for an american publisher for the traditional Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme.

And also been working on another book for Franklin watts, written by Damian Harvey http://www.damianharvey.co.uk who wrote Meerkats Marathon that i worked on last year, so great to be working with Damian and Franklin Watts again, this should be out in November this year https://www.waterstones.com/book/farmer-finns-silly-sheep/damian-harvey/steve-brown/9781445145747 heres a link if you want to pre order it.

Ive got a few more projects coming up so i hope i can get some free time to do some more portfolio work and ill keep you all updated.

 

Well i haven't updated my Website for a little while as I've been quite busy since just after christmas.

I totally changed my Painting style around christmas time as i wasn't happy with where i was, and since then I've had loads of work, so i'm assuming I've done something right?

I've gone to a very painty style of colouring which i'm really enjoying. Like my pig pirates, dragon and cave boy images on my portfolio page.

So... the Meerkat's Marathon book is now out to buy, written by the great Damian Harvey http://www.damianharvey.co.uk and published by Franklin Watts https://www.hachettechildrens.co.uk/homepage_franklinwatts.page and there is a link to the book from my "Books" page on here.

And i am very happy to say that i am now illustrating another book written by Damian and published by Franklin Watts, which is great as they are so lovely to work for and Damian is great and love this story its very fun to illustrate.

I am also in the process of illustrating another 5 books which is a little stress fun as 4 of those are all quite similar deadlines so sleep may be a thing of the past for me for a while!

It was World book day yesterday and i was lucky enough to visit Brenzett Primary School to talk about illustrating children's books and then in the afternoon i went round all the classes and helped them with illustrating books that they had all written, it was lovely to see all the imagination flowing onto the pages and the enthusiasm they all had for it.

Anyway i will try to update as much as i can and add new images as much as possible.

New style issues

New Style   Well, I think its time for a change of style. I’ve been having a crisis of confidence with my work recently, especially with my colouring style. I’ve had lots of different opinions on this from various people and got to the stage where I didn’t know if I was coming or going anymore.   So I ended up going back to the sketchbook, pencil and nothing else to play about with different drawing styles, not that I want to change the style of drawing much. Mostly I want to change the line work and try a sketchy lined approach or a non outline, so I’m playing around with both styles. My Colouring is being taken back to basics, less detail in the shading… less is more…   I’ll show you an example… this is where I had got to…  
this has a more gradual shading approach, more blending of colours to make a more natural looking colour. I don’t mind this sort of colouring but I have not felt comfortable since trying it, so I’ve tried some new stuff.   I came away from black outlines a good 6 months or so ago, but was adviced to do some with black outlines again, and a more sketchy line, which was something I was thinking about..  so I went back to a more basic shading look..  

This has a slightly sketchier outline in black , basic colour shading and I sketched a very rough background.. this is how I generally rough stuff out but I really liked the mixed look of coloured image and rough together so I left it as is, I also moved the bubble colour slightly out of the lines, quite liked that effect.

Here are a couple of other examples from the same day of doodling.. used some pattern overlays also to have a bit of texture in the images… 

 

then I went really Sketchy with line and colour with this dog washing image….

next I’ll be experimenting with a NON OUTLINE approach….

So after a few weeks of not sleeping much and not knowing where I was going I did a load of images like the above illustrations, I got good feedback from other illustrators and my agent, but I still wasn’t sure if I was happy, after a night out with a load of other illustrators and a bit too much to drink, I came back refreshed and decided to try the non outline illustration… yes I had turned to the dark side!!!!

But to my surprise I loved it… I brought a big megapack of new photoshop brushes that had been recommended to my on the night out and they had some lovely brushes. It was strange not having an outline but I really enjoyed it…. Here was my first attempt..

 

 

I found that it came together really well, well at least I think it did. I had some lovely feedback from other illustrators and creative on twitter and facebook and from my agent. I then did another full illustration which was ok… but wasn’t right, I don’t think it was just because of the painting, I just don’t think the image and drawing itself was particularly great.. so I wont share that one haha.  I then tried again and scanned in a pencil doodle of a little Peter Pan illustration I had roughed out a month or so ago and tried again with that to see what I got.. Here was the pencil sketch..
I then started colouring under this without the lines, making separate groups for each character and separate layers within those groups for skin, top, hat, hair etc… and this was the final piece.

I don’t know what you guys think? But I think its ok, there is still so much more I can do and develop it more but I think it took me 2 maybe 3 hours to do so not that long really, and for only my second day of attempting this new style of painting I think I did ok. 

I’ll keep you updated as I progress.

Thanks for reading and speak soon.

 

Well here is my new website, new and improved, hopefully slightly easier to navigate through and easier to view my images.

I'll be trying to keep up with blogging as much as possible, there is a book page that will be updated as the books are released and i can share more, i will also share some rough sketches etc from the processes of illustrating the books.

please feel free to contact me for work queries or my agent at www.sylviepoggio.com and my links are all over for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube so feel free to follow etc.

 

Also if you want contacts details of the website builder please get in touch.

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