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New book captures illustrations by Middlesex tutors and graduates

‘Keeping Sketchbooks’ by illustration lecturer Martin Ursell includes profiles and interviews with 19 artists

Martin Ursell: Keeping SketchbooksMiddlesex University illustration lecturer Martin Ursell launched his latest book Keeping Sketchbooks at the House of Illustration recently.

Martin is Senior Lecturer in Illustration and Programme Leader for the new Master’s in Children’s Book Illustration and Graphic Novels.

The richly detailed guide beautifully explores all the different ways that artists use sketchbooks as tools to help them in their practice.Budapest-Opera-House_Andrew-Baker.jpg“The book covers every aspect of choosing and keeping a sketchbook,” says Martin. “It also offers a rare opportunity to view this usually unseen and unpublished material.”

Published by the Crowood Press, Keeping Sketchbooks features profiles and interviews with 19 illustrators and artists – many of whom are Middlesex University staff or graduates.“The University’s sketchbook stalwarts like Aldous Eveleigh, Andrew Baker, Peter Thomas and Joanna Wilson revealed how they use sketchbooks in a variety of ways in their work,” Martin adds.Syria - George Butler

A practical book full of expert advice, there are profiles from sketchbook legends like veteran illustrator Professor John Vernon Lord, reportage artist and adventurer George Butler and consultant hand surgeon Donald Sammut. Launched in April at The House of Illustration, the evening included talks by a number of the artists featured in the book and a book signing.

To celebrate the event Martin also published a limited edition book called Zootime, a selection from thirty years of drawings made at zoos all over the world. The book was given free to anyone buying Keeping Sketchbooks on the evening.Garages - John Vernon LordKeeping Sketchbooks is the second book that Martin has published with the Crowood Press. He has published over one hundred books to date.

Stuffed Parrots - Martin Ursell

Middlesex graduate and D&AD Best Animation award winner James Northcote has produced a film on the making of the book.

For more information and other works, visit the MDX Illustration blog.


1. Keeping Sketchbooks Cover - Martin Ursell

2. Budapest Opera House/Andrew Baker

3. Syria - George Butler

4. Garages - John Vernon Lord

5. Stuffed Parrots - Martin Ursell

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