• Summer Update

    Along with half the planet, I’m officially melting here at O’Connell HQ – even typing seems to be a huge effort! However, here are some bits of recent news…

    • I had some library posters made after receiving a number of requests. If your school or public library would like one then let me know. They’re size A3 and there’s a space for a message/autograph too.

    • In the Autumn, Archie Budge transmogrifies into Arthur McBell in the Dutch version of The Chocolate Factory Ghost (The Secret of the Sweet Factory) – here’s the cover! I’m guessing McBell rhymes with karamel, as there’s no Dutch version of fudge! It’s been translated by Sandra Hessels who also translated Monster & Chips, so I know it’s in safe hands.

    That’s all! I’m thinking of having August away from the internet as best I can – I expect I won’t be able to resist popping up on Instagram and Twitter occasionally, and my next newsletter comes out at the end of the month too, but otherwise I’m going to focus on some writing and brushing up my illustration skills. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

  • Croc Paintings


    I went on a painting course recently which has encouraged me to be a bit braver about splashing real colour around rather than the virtual stuff. Here are some watery doodles.


  • Out and About


    I’m kicking off a new work project today. Here’s a sneaky peek at one of the characters! I’m using a Cintiq 21UX for this job, which I recently bought second-hand. I’m hoping it will make the process faster. Unfortunately it doesn’t make me a better artist!


    This is a Cintiq – it’s a touch screen device that plugs into your computer and acts as a second screen (you can click on the photo to see it a bit bigger). With a stylus you can draw on it just like paper.

    On the screen you can see a two page spread from the book I’m illustrating, with the text all ready in place.

    The grey box is where the book designer¬†wants the illustration to go. She’s also high-lighted some text in blue that is relevant to the picture.¬†Using the Cintiq I can draw the illustration straight into the page, rather than using paper, pencils and ink and then having to scan the whole thing.

    I always get a bit nervous about new projects and have to take a couple of days to get my head around the task and try not to panic about what I’m being asked to do. Sometimes you just have to go for a walk to get your thoughts together.

    Treacle and I found some gigantic fungi growing in the local park on our walk yesterday. Bigger than cabbages and twice as ugly!


    And on a trip to Sainsbury’s I was very pleased to see they were stocking the re-packaged Monster & Chips for their Reading Scheme. It looks very nice next to all the other books and they’re doing a buy-one-get-one-free offer, if you’re interested!