Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays

Is what terrorists say; Merry Christmas from me!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A night among polar bears

As previously mentioned here are some of the illustrations for the last book I did for the striped books series. As the series progresses along with the readers this book was for kids of about ten. So the story is slightly more mature than the one I did last year. Instead of a guinea pig saving some kidnapped kids this one is about an Inuit boy who winds up marooned for a night on an iceberg where he's forced to shoot a mother polar bear (!).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New book!

This arrived today, all the way from the Netherlands. It's the last striped book I illustrated. In fact I only completed it late october, I was rather later than I should have been because I was trying to finish another assignment and then I was very busy because I moved to the United States in october as well.
Then I was late another week because I had to spend a week in the hospital. It was rather a nuisance. But despite not having eaten for days and with numerous tubes going in and coming out of me I managed to finish it.

I'll do a blog post tomorrow about the actual illustrations.

From the archives again.

Just a fat pinguin I did for my friend Marije's site

From the archives

And by archives I mean giant pile of paper sitting in an old suitcase of course.
This is a drawing I made for an illustration I never finished a couple of years ago. It was for a news paper in the Netherlands. They were doing a weekly feature on their children's page where they had an illustrator making pictures for poems. I was actually the first to do it, and it was quite a fun job.
This one however got the better of me, I couldn't get the colours to work and a day before the deadline I had a different idea that worked out much better than my initial drawing ever would have.
This is one that was published.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Boekie boekie -Catching up part 7 (!)

The secret of the ice cellar

Here's an illustration I did over the summer for Boekie boekie magazine. It's for a story by Anna Woltz called The secret of the Ice cellar. It was part of Boekie boekie's special 'Castle Groeneveld' number. Everything in it had something to do with the castle.
Like this comic by Jeroen Funke from Lamelos:

This drawing was quite a pain. I never got the foliage to look right (it still isn't quite what it should be), and it turned out my screen wasn't calibrated properly so it took forever to get the colours and the contrasts looking acceptable.
Then they told me that the size wasn't entirely right and I needed to shift everything around.
By the time I was finished I could have illustrated a small book. Twice.

As you can see the top version looks somewhat different from the one below. These two are still the original versions, before the size had to be altered. But between the messing with contrast and colour profiles, I really lost track of which version I prefer.
Probably it's the one that's inside my head and which the ones on my screen will never quite match.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

My name is Hare - Catching up part 6

I drew the brush, the paint can and the daubs of paint here. Oh my!

Over the summer and start of this autumn I worked as assistant illustrator on a computer game for children. Something I'd never done before.
The game was called Mijn naam is Haas (My name is Hare). There were already several games about Haas on the market, all of them about an inquisitive Hare and his animal friends. They're designed to help young children increase their vocabularies, and they were making a new game.

I was asked because of the similarity between my work and that of their original illustrator: Wouter Tulp. He had already designed the characters, defined the style for the most part and loads of objects used in the game. However he wanted to devote more time to other projects, so I was asked to take over some of his duties.
And since this was something I'd never done before I thought it might be worth a try.

I worked three days a week in Amsterdam at the studio, where I had the pleasure of seeing my drawings immediately handed over to the animators who set to work on getting it in motion.
In the three months I worked there I drew an incredible amount of things, some of them trivial, but most of them rather fun. I've always enjoyed drawing plants, and that was a large part of what I got to do.
In the game the player gets to shape the landscape the story is taking place in, so many objects and props were required for that. Under the guidance of the Art director Daan Velsink I set to work on those.
Below is a large collection of those things.

As much as this was a job of subsuming my ego and adapting my style and work to the requirements of the game, it was made more than worth it by the pleasure of working with a group of wonderful and dedicated people and of course by seeing my own drawings come to life in the actual game!

ps. Needless to say the copyright of this lies firmly with me and Mijn naam is Haas.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Little Leaf ~ Catching up part 5

These are some of the illustrations for a new book in the 'Little Striped Book' series. As opposed to the books I've previously illustrated in the series, which were for kids who were starting to learn to read, this one was for (even) younger children. So I had to adopt a style that was suitable for that. I'm not sure I really changed that much, the requirements of the story put these illustrations firmly in a child friendly-zone, what with the talking leafs and all.

To make up for it I promise that the illustrations I did for the next striped book are appropriately more butch and gruesome. But seeing as how I finished the last book in april and it didn't come out until just now, I won't be able to show much for a while at least.

As always you can purchase the Little Striped Books from their site:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

bits of 8 bit

A while ago I got a rather fun request, Diego Garcia wanted to redraw one of the monsters I sketched for my last contribution to Picturebook report.
Now I can't find that drawing at this point, it's out there somewhere on the internet. But you can see Diego's work here:, and here:
and here:
(along with doodles by such talented folk as Jordie Bellaire and Reed Bond).
It was there that he drew this:
And I thought it might be fun if I in turn were to redraw that.
So here we are, that's my roundabout way of explaining this post.

EDIT - here's Diego's version of my doodle.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Boekie boekie diary continued ~ catching up part 4

As promised, here's the back cover illustration for the Dutch children's literary magazine Boekie boekie date planner/diary for 2011.

Here are some of the sketches I made for the front cover.

Fox and Hare ~ Catching up part 3

Fox and Hare, originally uploaded by groene_inkt.

This is more work for the boekie boekie diary. These were drawings that you can cut out and then use to create a little diorama. There were more characters, so you can also use them to make your own little puppet theatre of sorts.

The Neverending Story sketches or: Catching up part 2

These have been up on for a while, but this was my last contribution there. Since then I've been frantically busy, hopefully I'll have some time in the near future to finish my next drawing.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Querido poems ~ or: Catching up (part 1!)

Okay so this has been a while. But then I've been rather busy. More on that later.
But here are the illustrations I made for a poetry anthology for children published by Querido. It's the follow up to the anthology I contributed to last year. That one is actually in reprint, since it did very well and won a small award.

Also check out some of the illustrations my friend Pyhai made for the book as well:

Oh and you can buy it here!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Three Gates

The Three Gates

New post on !

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Boekie Boekie diary

Boekie Boekie 2011 diary - front

More about this soon!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Neverending Story, part II

After their meeting in the forest the will o’ the wisp, the rock biter and the other creatures resume their journey to the Ivory tower. Where they find countless other beings from every corner of Fantastica. Everywhere the Nothing is consuming the land, and ominously the childlike empress herself has fallen ill.

She has chosen a champion to find a cure for herself and Fantastica, someone who will have to undertake the Great searching. She has given him her sign, a golden necklace of two snakes biting each other’s tails, called AURYN.
The hero she has chosen is the boy Atreyu.

So here we have Atreyu on his little horse Artax. He’s still at the beginning of his quest and he’s now reached the glass towers of Eribo. I wanted to show something of Fantastica before the Nothing swallows all of it. Though the little creatures in the bottom left have been displaced by it already.

As you can see I’ve decided on a slightly different style after the somewhat improvised drawing last month. The colours I’ve chosen are the colours the book is printed in: red and blue.
So I’ve changed the first one accordingly, I hope you still like it.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Something I made for my grandmother who turned 92(!) last week.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yokai Party

Recently I made this drawing for the Fieperdepiep magazine, who I have to thank for giving me almost complete carte blanche. Which basically is illustrator's dream, isn't it? I had been wanting to draw some Japanese fairy tale monsters for ages, so of course this assignment was a real gift. I went through whole lists of descriptions and pictures of traditional creatures from Japanese folklore, and later had a lot of fun with putting them all in there.

I was also hugely pleased to find out there's a very old tradition in Japanese art of depicting monsters' parades, called Hyakki Yako. So what I made is essentially a continuing of that.

Here's a version of the drawing with every creature named and numbered.

If you live in Holland you can pick up the Fieperdepiep magazine at any good bookstore or well stocked Albert Heijn supermarket for 5 euro.
Otherwise you may also purchase it from the Fiep Westendorp webshop.

Once I have a webshop myself prints of this one will of course be available. And as S. Britt suggested perhaps jigsaws as well!

Finally, here's a somewhat embiggened version for your perusal.

Picture book report, part 1

This is my first illustration for The Neverending story. I posted it last week on picture book report, and I'm just going to quite myself for a bit.

The Neverending Story starts with the theft of the book named The Neverending Story by Bastian Balthazar Bux; a fat little boy who was hiding in an antique bookstore from the bullies that chased him home every day. Finding himself fascinated by an old leatherbound book with two serpents entwined on the cover he surprises himself by putting it in his schoolbag when the store’s owner, mr. Koreander isn’t looking.
Realising he is now a thief, he decides he can never go home anymore and hides himself in his school’s giant disused attic. He puts an old musty blanket over his shoulders and starts to read the mysterious book.

Which whisks him away to the land of Fantastica, where a Will o’the Wisp named Blubb is making his way through the vast Howling Forest to the Ivory Tower of the Childlike Empress. In the woods he meets a Rock biter: a giant whose kind eat nothing but stone, a night hob and a tiny. All three have come from different regions of Fantastica with the same mission, to tell the Queen about the Nothing that is eating away at their land, and to ask for help.

Sitting in the forest they share stories of how the Nothing suddenly appeared. Where once there were lakes, trees and hills, there is now absolutely nothing. The eye can’t even see it. Scariest of all is that those who come close to these areas find themselves irrevocably drawn to the Nothing, coming closer and closer until they are swallowed by it.

At first I had meant to make a fully coloured drawing, but obviously that didn't happen. I'll post more about the whole process later. In the meantime I'm looking forward to tackling the next drawing soon.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Book!

These past months have probably been the busiest time I've ever had. But this week I wrapped up work on my current assignments, though the picturebook I'm making is currently sort of on hold.
But I did finish the illustrations for another book this week. It's for the striped books, the series of children's books I've previously illustrated two other books for.

Unfortunately as is usually the case, I can't show you everything I've done yet. I don't know when the book will come out, and the other stuff I've done will have to wait for the summer.
But here's a tiny preview from the striped book. It was the first time I've had to draw for a book for toddlers. Which was somewhat of a challenge.

Still I'm looking forward to the moment where I can show you what I've made, I think some of the pictures for this book are among the best work I've done.

Before I forget, next week I'll be posting my first illustration for Picture Book Report!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Querido poems

Like last year, I was asked to make some illustrations for the children's poetry anthology published by Querido. Here's one of them.

Also take a look at what Sebastiaan and Pyhai made, so you know you have to buy this volume when it comes out later this year!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Sneak Peeks

Here are some parts of things I've been working on that can't really be revealed yet. Well, not entirely.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Stone Giants, Will o' the wisps, Minusculi and Night Alfs

Here are some doodles for the first characters in Fantasia. After Bastian steals the book from mr. Koreander he reads about the meeting of these creatures in the forest. They're all on their way to the Ivory tower to tell the Childlike Empress about the Nothing.
I have a pretty clear idea about the first illustration I'm going to make (the wednesday in the third week of may), but I blame Sam Bosma for making me want to sketch more. He puts so much effort into development, I was actually convinced it might be a good idea to not go with my first gut feeling.
Oh well, I can't say it wasn't a good idea.
So blame might have been a bad choice of words.

Stone Giants, Will o' the wisps, Minusculi and Night Alfs.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yokai party

Yokai party

This is a part out of a quite larger drawing made for the Fieperdepiep magazine.
This one took rather a lot of time to make, though I have to say it was educational. Fortunately I had been wanting to make a drawing with japanese monsters for ages, so it was loads of fun to do as well.

I'll post the entire drawing when the magazine comes out.