New to my RedBubble store is 'Badger in the Woods'. He's spotted fox down by the stone circle. I'm not sure if they're friends or not. Tawny owl is aware, awake in the day... perhaps something is about to happen.
Here are some details:
As a one off piece it means I can take my time over the art. I altered parts of the picture again and again until I felt pleased with the mage.
I started by sketching out the idea:
I was going to attempt to paint this straight onto the drawing conventionally, but I mucked it up! Luckily I had scanned the drawing first as a precaution, as I suspected it would be beyond my watercolour skills to pull this off on cartridge paper at such a small size. I had scanned the image at 600 dpi - the larger the better! So... in Photoshop I started to lay down a base layer of colour...
I felt that I had created a problem with the monoliths in the clearing. I made the badger smaller and the monoliths larger. But after a deal of fiddling I decided to push the stones out into the distance and add the fox...
Detail of the altered monoliths, with an added foxy:
This artwork is now available in my shop! You can have a poster, a print or a greeting card, even a mug! There are many gifts with this design go have a look!
I'm a sucker for a pun, and in my eyes, if something rhymes it's a winner. So the title Cats in Hats has inspired much thought in my easily amused noddle and sparked a decent amount of creativity, as you're about to find out.
First off we have Dick Purrkin, the infamous highway cat. This original artwork can be purr-chased from my online store!
Watch out for Captain Cat, the treasure loving pirate puss of the Carribean. He's available to buy in my Redbubble store.
Here's Purrlin the Grey, the magical wizard inside an enchanted cavern. He's also available from my Redbubble store:
Here's a very sleepy boy... Tired Tom, he's just off to bed to snuggle down with his favourite book, 'Puss in Boots'.
Here are some very rough sketches with more hatted catties.
Hey! Feeling very important at the moment.... I have another interview! This time on the fabulous book review blog- 'Celebrate Picture Books'.
Here's my fan-art for Scooby-Doo. As a kid I was ever hopeful that one episode the spooks would turn out to be real, but they always turned out to be some shady dude in a disguise. So I have made some real spooks for Scooby-Doo, Petra style.
Kathy Temean of 'Writing and Illustrating' contacted me the other day asking if I'd like to do an interview for her Illustrator Saturday section.
Read the interview...
This is just part of a bigger picture that I’m working on for a poster for my RedBubble store. The finished picture will show the entire tree and it’s various inhabitants. I really love doing this kind of work, taking my time over a piece.
The British countryside and it’s folklore has always filled me with a feeling of magical intrigue. I could lose myself in an ancient woodland world full of talking owls and pixie tricks.
I’ll get back onto this soon hopefully, life is just so full of things you have to do, I never seem to get enough time!
It's been awhile since I updated this blog... a lot has changed. For several years I was helping to care for my mum. She had dementia. It was a tough time for her and for all the family, especially towards the end. We had a great care team thanks to the British care system. I really appreciated the help and support all those ladies gave us. I lived with my parents at that time and so was on hand to help her through the day and night. Luckily I have the most wonderful sister who lived very close and she would sit with both our parents several times a week so that Iain and I could escape. There was lots of love and support and we all of us managed quite well. The last few days I found terribly difficult, but thanks to Iain, my sister and my dad... I coped. They coped. We got through it. My mum got through it. I'd never seen death before. It messes with your head.
It took a long time to get my real mum back, those old memories... but with the passing of time, she has returned and those last few years have receded.
After mum died Iain and I rented a house, a few miles away, whilst my sister and her husband sold their house and moved in with dad. For the first time, I have my own house, after living with my parents my whole life: fifty four years! They were good parents, friends really, so it was easy most of the time. It's been almost a year and life in our new home has been getting better and better. I feel myself relaxing into the place. My head is back in order at last after that shocking time. Iain and I are both so happy in our own little house... something we've always dreamed about of over the fifteen years we've been together.
This little koala character first appeared in 2006 in my first picture book If Big Can... I Can written by Beth Shoshan and published by Meadowside. The book was shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Awards for Best Emerging Illustrator. I really like the little chap and hope you will too. He needs a lovely home to go to. The size of the paper is 8" x 10" so you could just pop him in a standard size frame. I used watercolour pencils and colour studio pencils plus white gouache on pro artist quality cartridge paper, to create the picture. So if you'd be interested in owning a bit of original art then follow the link below...
I've just added a new original drawing to my shop.
It's a copy from the 'Hush Little Baby' 2007 book published by Tiger Tales.
Hyde Park Squirrels is a series of books devised and written by Nick Croydon and illustrated by yours truly.
It's been such a joy illustrating these books. The story has allowed me to do what I love most... draw anthropomorphic characters having serious adventures, and the traditional vibe suits me down to the ground.
Nicholas Croydon has worked in the Publishing Industry for over 20 years mostly involved in international sales. It was during these long flights that the Hyde Park squirrels were penned.
'I sold many copies of "If Big Can... I Can" and have always admired Petra’s talent, so I was delighted when she chose to team up with me. The series is purposely nostalgic and traditional and I hope will appeal to children who can self-read and parents alike.'
The animal world of the Hyde Park Squirrels is certain to delight adults and children alike. These initial four titles in the series feature the exciting adventures of Luke and Holly Bushytail.
The story begins with Luke. We follow him as he leaves his cosy home in the country and travels to the city of London and then overseas to America. On the way he discovers new friends, and his long lost sister, Holly. Luke and Holly have many exciting adventures usually involving the beautiful and mischievous cat- Sofia and her gang of naughty rats.
'This series carries a lovely message that is certain to inspire confidence and adventure in any child. More simply, the series delivers four magnificently crafted adventures set against rich and detailed artwork, which is on occasion, gentle, warm and intimate, but that, with a page turn, can lead the reader to dramatic panoramas. They are sure to become read and re-read modern classics. A must have for every child’s bookshelf.'
A warm hello to whoever is reading this. Welcome to Petra's blog. I'm an illustrator and writer of children's books and keen amateur photographer. I enjoy living in North Wales with my wonderful partner and fellow adventurer, Iain.
Working as an artist and writer can be extremely challenging financially. If you like my work you can show support and help me to keep on creating children's books by buying my art. For signed originals or prints, cards... all kinds of merchandise. Check out my shop :o)