from the sketchbook

TBurke_girl copy
Sometimes you doodle
and it turns into a sketch
and it turns into a little character that you want to know a bit better
because you're sure they have a story to tell you.

CBCA fundraiser

The Queensland branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia have published a range of greeting cards as a fundraiser for the flood victims. To support the cause, you can find them here.


I did the dancing monkey :)

sneak peek - a funky fairy

Aside from my busy year personally (see last post), I've also been working on a couple of fun new projects. They're still in the children's book line, but something a bit different for me.

Here's a sneak peek at one of the main characters ...


... but that's as much as I can show for now — more details soon, as we get closer to the publication date (it's soon)!

I had fun designing her little outfit :) And she also has a fabulously girly castle. I can't wait to see the finished product!

I *heart* bird art

I was just updating my portfolio, and came across some more images from
Rosie and Ned and the Creepy Cave.


Part of what I loved about illustrating this book (aside from what I have already mentioned), was the fact that one of the main characters was a bird artist! Like me!

I have been fascinated with birds — particularly parrots — since my late teens and have been drawing and painting them ever since. I find them wonderful subjects, so elegant and interesting, and they give me infinite inspiration for what I call my "grown up art" (if you're interested you can see some of them

So it was fun to mix things up a bit, and create these little artworks for the character's wall in this book ...


(The little parrot with the big eyes and beak is from my first book "Fly, little bird" :)

Rosie and Ned and the Creepy Cave

deadline met and feelin' fine

I now have a freshly cleaned drawing board (*happy sigh* . . . a clean workspace feels so full of potential), after sending off final artwork for Rosie and Ned and the Creepy Cave, the third in a series by award-winning author Meredith Costain, to be published by Puffin in July this year. (I also blogged about this project here.)

This adventure allowed me to draw a spooky old cottage with a witchy inhabitant, a creepy cave and satisfyingly suspenseful situations — all those kinds of things I LOVED in books (and tv :) when I was young. It's so fun to get to illustrate the type of book I loved to read.

Here's a teeny sneak peek . . .





images © 2010 Tina Burke
from "Rosie and Ned and the Creepy Cave" written by Meredith Costain
Published by Penguin Books 2010

I'm a little teapot

I'm a little teapot, short and stout

Another little sketch done as I watched the Olympics. Now it's all over I'll have to find another show that has a lot of breaks or boring bits.

I've been enjoying my time on the couch with my sketchbook. It's not something I often do — just doodle and see what comes out the end of the pencil. Usually I have a specific project I'm working on, which guides me with characters and subject matter, mood and action. But doodling is a great exercise, it gets the brain ticking and takes me back to where it all started — drawing for no particular reason, just simply for the fun of it.

This sketch started with a pose; a girl, with her weight shifted to one hip, a hand resting on her tilted waist. And of course no-one wants to sing
"I'm a little teapot" on their own, so the situation called for a little sister, her weight balanced equally on both feet as she eagerly attempts to imitate the actions. To me, her straight-up-and-down stance feels more enthusiastic and energised, while the shifted pose of the older girl feels more relaxed — perhaps she's done this little song and dance routine a hundred times already.