Friday, 22 August 2014

Paint Your Dragon!

The clockwork dragon in the book isn't the only one getting a new look. 

One of the books I have coming out next year is The Clockwork Dragon. This is a new version of the story originally published in 2008 as Tom's Clockwork Dragon. Unfortunately the original version didn't sell particularly well and so went out of print quite soon after publication. Fortunately Oxford University Press thought that the story deserved a second chance and are publishing a revamped, redrafted version with new illustrations by Weasels and Nuts in Space creator Elys Dolan.

The original Clockwork Dragon picture book illustrated by Mark Oliver and the new version illustrated by Elys Dolan.

Although I'm still very fond of Mark Oliver's illustrations for the original version, I love the fresh new spin that Elys has put on the story. Her illustrations expand the world that the story's set in and are filled with the engaging comical details that she excels at. Here's a sneak peek of a couple of the spreads. You can see more in this post on Elys's blog.

Shortly after the original version of the book was published local artist Obediar Madziva made a scrap metal sculpture of the clockwork dragon for our back garden. The sculpture was made out of offcuts of galvanised steel and was very shiny when first finished.

The dragon sculpture with its creator Obediar Madziva

However, as the years have gone by the welding has rusted over.

Since the book is to come out with a very different new look I decided it was a good time to give Obediar's sculpture a makeover as well. So, after giving it a good wash and scrub down and a coat of red primer …

… I painted the whole thing, from head to tail, in copper coloured Hammerite paint.

The whole process took about a day, but here's a time lapse video that shows it in just under a minute.

The new version of The Clockwork Dragon is published
by Oxford University Press on 1 February 2015