Rudie Nudie

From my very first scribbles to the final colour proofs: see the illustrations in progress for Rudie Nudie


When I look at this page from my sketchbook, I can see the history of the development of my ideas for the bath illustration in Rudie Nudie. I tried a few positions for the little boy, and at first Mum was a bit too static, sitting on the right hand side of the bath. I decide to move her to the left and have her leaning in to splash the children. The various diagonal lines help add more movement to the picture.

Here is the finished double-page spread – the end product of all that thinking and scribbling.


And I went from here...

to here (but it did take a few months!).

In some of my sketches I’m trying to work out where to put everything. This girl has ended up with four arms...



and this one was never given a head!

But despite that, I quite like this drawing. Again, I can see some ‘history’ in it: my drawing process is quite visible. I can see evidence of my thoughts as I worked out where to draw the legs, to express movement and energy in the best way I could. I don’t mind those extra little lines in there – they make the drawing seem more alive, somehow. I left a lot of lines like this in the final illustrations for Rudie Nudie – I didn’t rub them out.

This is a baby blanket a very kind lady crocheted when my elder daughter was born. I used a photo of the blanket to decorate the children’s bedclothes in the final illustrations. I rather like the contrast between the handmade qualities of something like our woollen blanket and the digital processes involved in using Photoshop.

This was an exciting day: the printers had sent the colour proofs for us to check. Here, Chren Byng and Tegan Morrison from ABC Books are looking at all the pages. They look happy, because they were – we all were. The colours were just right!