This one's a more detailed pencil rough. The picture changed a lot from the original thumbnail doodle; I thought I could make the composition more sweeping and dramatic, since it's the first time Oliver sees his new house.
Here's the inked version. It's not a complete drawing; I scanned this, then added more elements in Photoshop.
And here's the final version! Do you like it? I'm rather pleased with how it came out.
I tried to put in lots of fun little details to spot. And off on the right, by the house, there's a pile of rocks, known on Dartmoor as a 'tor'. There are loads of tors around where the Seawigs writer Philip Reeve lives, and they're the most amazing natural sculptures. Here's a photo from a day when we were out oh the moor, being explorers.
You might recognise the Harley-campervan mash-up from an earlier blog post about designing the Explorermobile.
I based the house on my aunt and uncle's family fishing cottage in Seldovia, Alaska. The houses on stilts there are so fun to draw:
You can see more photos and drawings from Seldovia here, it's such an amazing place.
Here's another question. Feel free to chip in yours among the comments, and I can try to answer them as I write these posts! Here's one from illustrator Alex Paterson:
Hi, Alex! When I drew the thumbnails, I just used standard A3 printer paper. But when I did the pencil sketch, I used cartridge paper from Brighton-based Seawhite. It's pretty much the cheapest drawing paper you can buy that's still good quality, and my old art college (Camberwell) sells sketchbooks of its paper in the college shop, which I still use. When I was drawing the black lines for Vern and Lettuce, I used cheap printer paper, which was thinner and therefore easier to trace on the light box. But I can just about see through this Seawhite paper. I buy it in big packs from John Purcell Paper. (They're based in Stockwell and they deliver! I didn't know this for awhile, and hauling it from Brixton on two buses was a nightmare. Especially in a high wind, it would flap like a sail.)
Here's how I store the big packs of paper, next to my messy desk. I designed that slotted red box to fit the packs of paper exactly, and my friend Eddie Smith built it for me. (I hope the paper mills don't ever change the paper size!)
Stay tuned for more Oliver and the Seawigs blog posts!
One more thing: congratulations to my friend Caroline Smith, who appeared with a bunch of doctors and surgeons and things from Lewisham NHS Trust in last night's episode of The Choir on BBC2. Fingers crossed as her choir battles it out with the Post Office singers and two other workplace choirs!