Wednesday, 30 September 2015
To celebrate the release of Philip Reeve's new novel, Railhead, OUP asked a few illustrators to come up with their own interpretations of scenes and characters from the book. It's hard to sum up the book in a few lines (it's filled to the brim with incredible concepts and ideas).Here's a quote from the back of the book -
"Come with me, Zen Starling, she had said. The girl in the red coat. But how did she know his name?
The Great Network is a place of drones and androids, maintenance spiders and Station Angels. The place of the thousand gates, where sentient trains criss-cross the galaxy in a heartbeat.
Zen Starling is a petty thief, a street urchin from Thunder City.
So when mysterious stranger Raven sends Zen and his new friend Nova on a mission to infiltrate the Emperor's train, he jumps at the chance to traverse the Great Network, to cross the galaxy in a heartbeat, to meet interesting people - and to steal their stuff.
But the Great Network is a dangerous place, and Zen has no idea where his journey will take him"
I chose to draw an escape across the rooftops and Uncle Bugs, a Hive Monk ("a creature made up of thousands and thousands of insects, which come together to form a being with consciousness. Hive Monks choose to form themselves into a human shape, including making themselves a kind of paper mask for a face."). So much to choose from in the book. I'm sure it's going to be another massive success for Philip.
Also be sure to check out Ian McQue and Robert Ball's interpretations of the Railhead world. Amazing. I'm not worthy!
Friday, 11 September 2015
Here's my piece for the Guillermo Del Toro tribute show "In Service of Monsters" at Gallery 1988. Despite there being plenty to choose from I couldn't resist painting Hellboy. My piece is based on the Troll Market scene from Hellboy 2. It's watercolour and 297 x 420mm (approx). Available to buy online (or in person) from the gallery from this evening (September 11th). The show runs until October 3rd at Gallery 1988 (West), 7308 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles.
Thursday, 27 August 2015
Two recent portrait experiments. Both in pencil (the trusty Palomino Blackwing!) and watercolour. I've been trying to experiment with crossing my usual stylised approach to portraits with more realistic shadowing. I saw an incredible Janniot sculpture in Lisbon last year and it got me thinking. It was beautifully stylised but with it being a real 3D object reacted to light and shade in an interesting way. The same goes for the stone heads created by Modigliani (a long time influence). This is what I've tried to achieve with both of these drawings. I think I may have lost track with the Murakami drawing and veered a bit too close to realism for my tastes but sometimes it's fun to interpret rather than reinterpret.
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
A sketchbook portrait of Tove Jansson to celebrate her 101st birthday. She was an incredible artist from an early age and her career was far more diverse than I'd original thought (watch this superb BBC documentary to find out more about her life and career). I think she's more influential now than ever.
Monday, 27 July 2015
Here's my contribution to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival's "Wish You Were Here" project. It was an honour to be featured alongside such a stellar group of artists - Bill Morrison, Sean Phillips, Dave Gibbons, Bryan Talbot,Steven Appleby and Sarah McIntyre & Philip Reeve.
You can read more about the project and see all the postcards HERE.
I was determined that I wouldn't draw Castlerigg until I'd visited. What a place! Here's some preliminary sketches.
Monday, 13 July 2015
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival commissioned a short film which follows the process of my Aira Force watercolour painting from initial location sketches to final painting. I spent 7 hours in a dark room in Kendal while a camera took a photo every 5 seconds (I was completely unaware of it after the first 6 hours!). Thanks to Julie Tait, Leigh Beavis and Matt Burke. Thanks too to the brilliant Sion Glyn (Santiago) for allowing me to use 2 of his tracks on the video. Diolch yn fawr, Sion! You can buy Sion's album HERE.
My Aira Force painting is available as a print HERE.