On Sunday, I had a wonderful time listening to Alex T Smith, talking about drawing Claude... and Mr Penguin!
Alex told us that he has always loved drawing and that his earliest memories are of drawing. His parents used to make sure they always had a little sketchbook with them so that he could draw whenever they were waiting for something. All that practise obviously paid off!
Alex drew one of his dogs- Betty Lou, the smallest-and told us how much he loves animals and how this inspires him to draw them. He also spoke with huge affection about the time he spent with his grandfather when he was young. Once Alex started school, his grandfather would leave little books for him each day, telling stories of the adventures Alex's toys were having whilst he was at school.
Alex then introduced us to his new character- Mr Penguin- who is a cross between Indiana Jones and Hercule Poirot. Alex read us a couple of chapters of this wonderfully humorous and brilliantly illustrated story and I think the entire audience fell in love with Mr Penguin there and then!
Next, it was time to draw! Children- and adults- all carefully followed Alex's instructions as he took us through how to draw Mr Penguin and Colin, his silent sidekick, step by step! The children in the audience did really well!
Luckily, there is going to be a series about these lovely characters as I've just finished ' Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure' and can't wait for their next adventure!
'The Adventures of the Egg Box Dragon' was another story Alex has recently illustrated. This was written by Richard Adams of 'Watership Down' fame. This was his only picture book and Alex's amazing illustrations really bring the story to life.
Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure Alex T Smith
Hodder Children's Books ISBN: 978-1444932065
The Adventures of the Egg Box Dragon by Richard Adams, illustrated by Alex T Smith
Hodder Children's Books ISBN:978-1444938401