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The Idea
This book began with a situation - I knew if all the friends were out flying a kite that Duck would try to take over and yet would not have the know how or patience to actually fly it. Then I had the image of Frog being carried away on the string and, like the kite, the story took off from there.

Super Duck Sketch

How do I write the book?
I see the story in my mind like a movie - then I have to capture the key images on paper in sketches. As I’m doing this I sometimes get rhymes coming to me which sound nice – like ‘battered and tattered ‘ to describe the beaten up kite. If I’m lucky three rhymes will show up together like ‘lump, bump and thump’. I am always searching for these great sounding descriptive words which will fit into the story I want to tell.

Super Duck - Plot Sketch

Getting the Plot

Next I write down the plot points of the story, these have to flow very logically from one to the next  otherwise the reader would be too busy trying to work out what is happening to enjoy the story. Then I try to fit these plot points into thumbnail sketches representing each page of a book.


Getting the Drawings Right

When this starts feeling right I will draw them to the actual size and make a dummy book. Here is a page from the SUPERDUCK dummy book. I never get the drawings right at first go, there are always some bits which are perfect and others which look all wrong.

I have my own system for getting the drawings to look right - I redraw the bit that’s wrong on another bit of paper and then stick that on top of the first drawing with sellotape. I end up with a real patchwork of paper but gradually the drawing starts to look correct.

Super Duck Sketch 2
Super Duck Finished Artwork The Finished Artwork

Once the drawing is correct I have to make sure I know what colours I want so I try colours out on a rough and then colour it in with marker pen. In SUPERDUCK I used a different technique to the other Duck books for the backgrounds, usually they are drawn in marker pen and ink line but here I used coloured paper for lovely clean, flat colours. On top of this I sometimes used a marker pen for texture (look at the shadow on the grass).