Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find many samples of my finished art, conceptual work, unpublished material, and other miscellaneous jobs. You can find a complete list of my published books at this link.

I currently have signed copies of THE GREAT MONTEFIACO, WHACKO THE CHOOK, THE PUMPKIN EATER FROM PONDICHERRY, and THE SHIKKER COLA COWS available for purchase. For more info, please contact me at whackothechook@internode.on.net

Thursday, July 22, 2010


As I mentioned, I watched a lot of cartoons at the time of working on this project. The Tortoise and Hare story was a popular fable for parody in cartoons, notably Avery's 'Tortoise Beats Hare' and Clampett's 'Tortoise Wins By A Hare'. I saw this as my small homage to those cartoons, so I took an overtly cartoony approach.

This is the first book I've tried my hand at creating different textures using sea-sponge. All the rock, bark and gravel textures were done this way.

This was a common technique with background artists and a lot of Golden Book artists like Al White and Hawley Pratt.

Like I said I don't like straight blue skies, but I felt it worked here to maintain a cool palette. In retrospect I'd probably lose that pink cloud though, blurgh! There's a lot of primary colour throughout this book, and ordinarily I try to avoid all three primary colours together, but this is in keeping with the text, which states Hare is in red and Tortoise is in blue...

The posters and signs throughout, or anything else that has text on it (like the Hare's and Tortoise's logos) needed to be done in photoshop. Reason being subsequent foreign translations of the book require all text to be changed.
Crowd scenes are difficult and time-consuming, so I try to make them fun. Most of it is planned, but other small silly details are improvised. "Chicken Fat" is what Will Elder called it.

This was one of the more enjoyable books I've done, though it does bring back memories of being stressed planning my wedding last year! I completed this a week before the big day.

Books by Preston:

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