this northern boy

Illustrations for an imaginary age

Instagram Competition!

If you are a user of Instagram I’m running a little competition over there at the moment. Head over to my profile for a chance to win the print of your choice and an original sketch.

Please note this is Instagram only, so please don’t comment here.

Instagram Comp

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The All Father

Odin-final-inks

I was recently asked to draw Odin, the Norse god, for a commission. After a few tweets back and forth, between myself and the buyer, it was decided that a head shot of Odin, featuring his raven familiars – Huginn and Muninn – would work best.

I decided I’d try and make this illustration a little more graphic in composition, so right from the beginning I wanted to try and incorporate some Norse carving.

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I’m really pleased with how the final illustration came out. I think the details, shadows and textures work really well. Tim, the chap who commissioned the illustration, was pretty pleased too – which is great, and always a relief.

Drawn, as usual, on A5 Daler Rowney Smooth – Heavyweight cartridge paper, using Copic SP Multiliners and a Rotring Tikky.

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An Ent of Fangorn Forest

Ent-Final

I’ve just started re-reading Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings again – partly just because it’s brilliant and I always enjoy it, but also because myself and Jon Elliman are making a feature of it on our weekly (mostly) podcast – North v South.

The moment I started thinking about reading the book again, I had the urge to start drawing some of the creatures from it. I started with one of my favourite Tolkien creations – an Ent.

Described in the books as…

A large Man-like, almost Troll-like, figure, at least fourteen foot high, very sturdy, with a tall head, and hardly any neck. Whether it was clad in stuff like green and grey bark, or whether that was its hide, was difficult to say. At any rate the arms, at a short distance from the trunk, were not wrinkled, but covered with a brown smooth skin. The large feet had seven toes each. The lower part of the long face was covered with a sweeping grey beard, bushy, almost twiggy at the roots, thin and mossy at the ends. But at the moment the hobbits noted little but the eyes. These deep eyes were now surveying them, slow and solemn, but very penetrating.

They are lots of fun to draw. Trying to convey all that texture and age is a really nice challenge.

 

 

Which Tolkien creature should I draw next?

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Available for Commissions

Instagram-Commission-Poster

I’m currently available for commissions, so if you’ve always wanted some original art now’s a great time to get in touch. Commissions start at £60 + postage, and I ship world wide. Whether you want a robot, a spaceship, a creature, an isometric building, a floating island, or something completely different, I’d love to work with you on a commission.

You can leave a comment here on my blog, or drop me an email – rob [at] thisnorthernboy [dot] co [dot] uk

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Creatures

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all had a good festive break. 

I’m starting 2018 with something a little different for me. Most of the time I draw inanimate objects, whether those are buildings or spaceships, and very rarely anything organic or living. So this year, in an effort to improve my drawing skills, I’m going to draw a series of creatures from fiction or myths.

I’ve started with a creature that I’ve started to draw a few times in the past, but which has always turned out terrible. This time, while doodling with no real end purpose in mind, it came out pretty well.

Cthulhu is a God from the books of H.P. Lovecraft. Described by Lovecraft as “A monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind.”  I’ve skipped the body completely with my drawing, and just shown the head and wings, this is the approach I’ll take with all (most?) of the creatures I’m going to draw.

Cthulhu-Final

 

The second creature is the Faun from Guillermo Del Toro‘s film Pan’s Labyrinth. I love this creature design and it was a lot of fun to draw.

Faun-Final

 

The third is a Wendigo, a cannibalistic monster from the folklore of the Algonquian speaking peoples of North America.

Wendigo-Final

All of these were drawn on A5 Daler Rowney Smooth – Heavyweight cartridge paper, using Copic SP Multiliners and a Rotring Tikky.

Any suggestions for what creatures should be next?

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A new fleet of Spaceships

Recently I’ve been filling pages and pages of my Moleskine sketchbook with lots of tiny spaceships. I’ve drawn them, mostly, on my lunch hours while working in Shoreditch. Often just scribbling away with a Copic Multiliner pen, and then using markers to add some colour later. I spent a couple of hours scanning two dozen of the pages and cleaning up the sketches for a new poster and a set of postcards that you can buy over at Ellipress

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Deep-Space-Fleet-Mock-Up

PRINT SALE!!!

My prints are on sale until midnight tonight! Head over to Ellipress and get 25% off using the code EP25 at checkout. Valid until midnight tonight (Sunday 12th November).

Inktober 2017

If you don’t know what Inktober is, read this. Got it? OK.

For this year’s Inktober initiative I’ve decided to create a comic in 31 panels – one a day for the month of October. The comic is a shortened, abridged, version of a story I’ve had in my head for a while. I’ve never done a comic before, or even tried to tell much of a story through illustration – so this is all new to me.

Once finished I’m planning to put the panels together (along with some additional art) in a book. I’ll also sell all the original artwork from the comic.

I’m up to panel eight so far (running a couple of days behind).

Inktober-1Inktober-2Inktober-3Inktober-4Inktober-5Inktober-6Inktober-7Inktober-8

PRINTS!

Prints are now available of a selection of my illustrations. My good friend Jon Elliman has created a site – Ellipress – to produce and sell prints for artists and designers. I’m delighted to be the first illustrator to be involved.

Jon prints using Ultrachrome HD inks and archival quality, 100% cotton papers. The prints he produces look absolutely stunning – just as good as my originals!

We’ve launched with just over a dozen illustrations to choose from, at a few different sizes. There’s also a signed and numbered, limited edition of one of my favourites.

Head over to Ellipress and have a look. If there’s an illustration of mine that you like that we haven’t yet made available, just let us know.

Prints – coming soon.

Test prints.

Checking prints.

In the next week or two I’ll have prints of my work available to buy online. The plan is to have perhaps a dozen illustrations available at a couple of different sizes, shipping worldwide. My good friend Jon Elliman is in charge of printing and despatching – and this week I’ve been checking the first batch of test prints and they look awesome.

As soon as the shop is online I’ll post the link on the blog.

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