Some very colourful ladies.

Wednesday was a studio day and I had the most fun! Ever.

I coloured a couple of the ladies from my sketchbook and then I coloured a sketch I had done for Daily__Doodle the night before.

The best decision I have made lately was to NOT take my computer upstairs to the studio. It means I’m not tempted in the slightest to scan a sketch and quickly colour it in photoshop, these are all by hand! Gouache and colour pencil.



Daily__Doodle ‘Crazy Scientist’ came from…KellyCanby5


…this sketch.KellyCanby6


Finally, I wil have some VERY exciting news to tell you soon. VERY. Like, really really exciting…but I just can’t tell yet and its killing me!!!

But soon 🙂

Happy Friday, everyone!


From my sketchbook : May

Well that month went quick!

Here’s some bits and bobs from  my sketchbook this month (two are from today though, June 2nd, but ssshhh, no one needs to know!)










And there you have it, a little bit of what happened this month, inside my sketchbook.


Here’s an example of Photoshop being completely awesome!

I’ve been playing around and painting a few new portfolio pieces lately and one of them was a fancy cocktail party lady holding a glass of champagne.

I loved the way it turned out and was about to email it to my agents at Bright to put on my folio page, when it occurred to me that perhaps a tipsy woman with a glass of booze wasn’t the most “kid lit” friendly subject, I mean, we’re talking picture books for five year olds here! SO, on a separate piece of paper I painted a teddy bear and a small child, opened up Photoshop, joined the two together and VOILA!

Kid lit friendly!

(And I still really like it, in fact, I may even like it better).

Thank you, Photoshop, old buddy, old pal, thank you.




Happy friday!

From my Sketchbook – April 2014

I thought I might start a new monthly sketchbook show & tell type thing as I do A LOT of sketching in that ol’ book of mine. Everyday, really.

So, lets show some stuff!

I have been making an effort to work on character design lately so I seem to be drawing a lot of faces – lots of faces, different expressions, loads of fun! It’s amazing that since I started doing this, my drawing has really improved, I can certainly see that practice is a good thing.

A small sample of the faces I have been doodling…
characters 1KellyCanby

And some character doodles (you can see here where my photographer came from here)…
characters 2

characters 3KellyCanby

I have also been participating in @Daily__Doodle on Twitter. Everyday Daily__Doodle posts a new #theme and well, you doodle it and post your doodle back! Its great for when I can’t come up with an idea for a doodle on my own and also makes me doodle things I wouldn’t ordinarily doodle.

I feel like I’ve just said ‘doodle’ a lot.

Anyhow, some of my @Daily__Doodle’s…



#GirlInFancyDressgirl in fancy dressKellyCanby


3 pigsKellyCanby

Batman dog Robin catKellyCanby

Girl with pet MonsterKellyCanby

I actually really look forward to the new theme each day…I’m hooked!!

If you’re a doodler, give it a go!
(And one last time, here’s their link 🙂 @Daily__Doodle)

Finally, from my sketchbook, is Olive.
Finally, I think I have just about finished my first ever manuscript.
Finally, I can get to work on what it might look like.
Finally, I am drawing stuff for it!

I thought I had finished this manuscript a couple of months ago but when I re-read it last week I found so many words that just didn’t need to be there! So, it’s now only half the size but I think it’s twice as good.

It’s about a girl called Olive and this is what Olive looks like…today…

I’m really loving working on a project of my own and ideally I’d like to develop the story and the character and the look of the book to a point where I feel good about showing people, and by people I mean my agents and publishers and anyone who might want to help make my book into a real thing 🙂

Thats the dream!

And that’s it from my sketchbook this month.
It was just a small sample, I tweet way more doodles and sketches so if you want to see them, come follow me @kelcanby

Happy first day of the week! x


Would you like to see how I create a quick digital illustration?

It’s not always done this way, sometimes I sketch the whole thing out as a picture then scan it and colour it, like the last two, and sometimes I paint the entire thing by hand on beautiful paper, but sometimes, if I have an idea in my head of how I’d like the illustration to look and what to get stuck straight into it and get it done quickly, I’ll do it like this…

First I’ll draw all the basic bits I think I’ll need for my illustration (In my head I know how all this is going to come together) and scan it…

Then, in photoshop, I’ll start loosely laying out my composition…
Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.29.27 PM

Then I’ll start applying some colour…
Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.30.45 PM

A bit more colour…
Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.40.44 PM

And a bit more colour…
Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 1.06.21 PM

Until all the basic elements are coloured. Then I’ll start adding extra bits and pieces like backgrounds (I stole these trees from the last illustration!), and shadows and textures and text…
Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 1.27.00 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 1.33.13 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 1.52.40 PM

Until I end up with (click to enlarge)…

Et voilà! The finished illustration! which all up, took about an hour and a half.

Much faster than painting!!


Another spooky Halloween picture…

That I coloured from a sketch.

This sketch was done last night though.
On the sofa, socks on, fire firing, cup of tea at hand.

Just how I like it.

Here’s the coloured version:
Halloween2 - KellyCanby

Which came from this sketch (click to enlarge):

Beware the red eyed moon dancing people!

Starting to feel a little Halloweenie, already.

Still some days to go but drawing Halloween pictures is too fun!

I doodled this little pencil sketch this morning over a cup of tea and some toast and thought it might look quite good coloured, so, I coloured it quickly while Will was outside enjoying this stunning day.

And now, we’re off for a walk to the park (via the coffee shop!) (staying away from the bookshop!)

OOoooohhh, scary.Halloween_Col_KellyCanby

And here’s the pencil doodle from this morning:

Happy Monday!