Monday 8 December 2014

Christmas animated gif - the dog is now in colour

The dog is now in colour and ready to animate.
I changed my mind about the ear position for the first frame and added some colour.

Here is the dog in Photoshop, ready to be made into a series of frames for the animation.

I feel I should give the dog a name... hmmm... Patch? Spot? Or something christmassy like Pudding or Holly?

Sunday 7 December 2014

Christmas animated gif - linework for the first frame

Linework for the first frame
I've been working on the actions for my christmas animation using rough drawings and I think I've got it working well. The movements were a challenge this year and it is very important that I am accurate, you'll see why when it's finished.

So now I am working on the character and creating the linework for the frames. I think I like this little dog, the next stage is to see how he looks in colour.

The animation should be finished by the end of the week.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Pencil drawing of a woman for a medical brochure

Pencil drawing by Amanda Lillywhite
This drawing was part of a set done for a couple of medical brochures. It was a tight deadline and a lot of work so it all went through very quickly but I am quite pleased with the results and enjoyed working on the project.

The drawings were done on paper in a mixture of HB and 6B pencils. The linework was then altered to the Pantone blue the client required in Photoshop.

You can see more of my pencil drawings by clicking here.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

An illustration for the cover of a non-fiction book about risk management

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a freelance illustrator, in my experience, is the variety of the work. Risk management is a new topic for me!

The illustration for the cover of Evgueni Ivantsov's book Heads or Tails combined pencil drawing, digital colour, vector based illustration (the scales) plus coin artwork downloaded from the US mint website. All elements were combined together using a bit of Photoshop magic.

More of my pencil drawings and vector based illustrations are in the Illustration Styles part of this blog.

A webcomic about a YA writer and a picture book author/illustrator - Duck&Bear

Duck&Bear was inspired by my own writing and illustrating experiences and those of fellow members of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. It is a webcomic about a YA writer and a picture book author-illustrator - their efforts to create stories and have them published. Duck&Bear was made for the launch of SCBWI (British Isles) online magazine Words and Pictures. All 5 instalments are posted on my comics page.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Activity pages for Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly, London

The inside spread.
My most recent commission was for Fortnum and Mason: a four page activity booklet for children. I wrote about this project and its tiny role at Judith Kerr's book launch for The Crocodile Under the Bed on my blog Illustrating for Children.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Working with Doctors


I've got to admit that the booklet I illustrated for the Royal College of Anaesthetists - Rees Bear has an Anaesthetic - was one of the most challenging projects I have ever worked on. But it was also one that has meant the most to me on a personal level and is certainly one that has given me an enormous sense of achievement.

Rees Bear has an Anaesthetic is part of a range of booklets for children who are about to have an operation or other procedure requiring them to be anaesthetized. I worked very closely with two Anaesthetists on this project and there were two committees involved in the decision making process. The brief was that Rees's booklet should be in picture book format for children under five years old and should inform them about anaesthesia through telling the story of a childlike character who goes to hospital for an operation. My challenge was to make sure that there would be enough information in the illustrations to answer questions young children might have about anaesthesia but not to overwhelm them with medical detail.

A couple of years before I was chosen to illustrate Rees's story I had had the experience of not knowing what to expect or how to prepare my young daughter for an operation (fortunately she was very calm on the day but I almost fainted when she went under!) so I knew how important this booklet would be, not only for children but for their families as well. 

Before I started drawing Rees there were many discussions about his story, the characters and the illustrations. We wanted to make sure that all children, whatever their background or gender, would see Rees as a character they could relate to. Using a teddy bear to represent Rees seemed perfect but then we had to decide on animals to represent other characters in his story and this was not as easy as you might think. The animals had to been instantly recognisable to children from many different backgrounds, be perceived as friendly and look like they belong together.

I was asked to keep the illustrations very simple and we all felt it important that Rees should always look confident and calm. At the top of this page you can see the front cover of the booklet and a page showing an illustration of Rees in an operating theatre being carefully monitored by an Anaesthetist.

During the course of this project I learned a lot about anaesthesia and about hospitals. I have an enormous amount of respect for any doctor specialising in anaesthesia, it is an important role but they don't always get the recognition they deserve.

Besides producing the illustrations for Rees Bear has an Anaesthetic I also worked on his story line plus the story line for one of the other booklets in the series, Davy the Detective. My involvement in this project lasted more than a year and a half and much of this time was taken up with discussions - it is no exaggeration to say that I exchanged hundreds of emails with the two doctors I worked with. At times we did not agree (for example there were many messages discussing whether a Meerkat would be an appropriate animal to represent a play therapist) but this process helped to refine the story and was certainly worthwhile.

Below is the best feedback I've ever read about something I've worked on (from the RCoA Facebook page):
"This week is the first week I've heard parents saying to their kids "like in the book about the bear". It's great that pre-assessment are handing out copies - and even better that the kids and parents are reading them and referring back to them at the relevant times :-) Thanks folks!" 16 August 2011
You can download Rees Bear and the other booklets in the series from the RCoA website.