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'Joshua Jones' - a look behind the scenes: the sets.

Here below is one of the the main sets: the lock. The grey doors at the back should give you an idea of the size of the models.

F scale in Lock.jpg

Here above is the Lock set  before painting.

jj miniture wharfe unpainted.jpg
jj mini wharfe unpainted.jpg
JJ miniture set.jpg

Three views of the miniature set. This set was used for long shots of the narrow boat travelling between the lock and the wharf.The buildings are deliberately distorted to give the impression of perspective receding into the distance.


JOSH lock set +Josh & boat JPEG.jpeg
JOSH  boat  wake JPEG.jpg

Perspective trickery again. It looks realistic but 

the model boat could never get under the model bridge.  

At the stern of the narrowboat cellophane is

crinkled up between each shot thus giving the impression of a bubbling wake.

72 lock.jpg

The basic requirements of the set were dictated by my storyline proposals. For example - for the 'Plum Crazy' episode I needed the lock cottage to have a garden with

a tree in it. There needed to be a barn adjoining Joe Lasky's farm house for 'Spook' - but I had nothing to do with the actual design or layout of the sets.

JJ-Wharfe set layout.jpg

But to make sure that my plot lines worked I did need to know how the different locations linked together. For example:,would Ravi be able get to point B without crossing the canal, would Mr Cashmore be able to see point A from from his balcony? To help with this I was sent a map, and photos such as the ones above indicating possible access routes.

There will be more to come about Joshua Jones: Next time - 'About the characters'.

Stanley Bagshaw: bums on seats

The Stanley Bagshaw stories are set in the 1950s. In those days football stadiums didn't have seats. So when I drew the crowd in 'Stanley Bagshaw and the short-sighted football trainer' I just bodged them in wherever there was space. But the people in the theatre Royal watching Stanley doing tricks on stage in 'Stanley Bagshaw and the mad magic mix-up' were a seated audience not a crowd. The people might be of differing sizes and shapes, leaning this way or that - but their bums were fixed on seats and the seats were fixed in rows I needed to plan more carefully.

I started by making a number of drawings to see how the audience would be seen from different angles. I chose the one below. As if from he MC's point of view..

MagicAudience skewed_edited.jpg

Then on an an overlay  the top of the seating plan drawing I sat the people in their places. 

FOOTBALL p8 copy.jpg

Then I drew the seats 


I put in all the characters who had already appeared in the previous books in the series.


And here's the artwork; the picture that you see in the book

name audience
'Seeing and Doing' - a 15 minute tv documentary film for schools.

In 1989 Thames TV sent a camera crew  & production team up to our small-holding in the Staffordshire moorlands to film me at work. They stayed for a week. The result was this 15 minute documentary film for schools in which I aimed to give an insight into how I went about illustrating

'Stanley Bagshaw and the 22 ton Whale'

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From time to time I will be adding items to this Workshop page.

There's lots more in the pipe line. If there is something in particular that you would like to see or know about you can let me know here.

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