this northern boy

Illustrations for an imaginary age

Category: build a knight’s castle

Crenellations!

I’ve been to both York (my home town) and Windsor in the last couple of weeks, both boasting more crenellations than you can shake a sword at. I always try to take plenty of photos when I’m visiting historic places, just to add to my reference folder. You never know when you might need to draw a castle.

2015: By the numbers.

Happy New Year everyone, and thanks for your continued support on this blog, and across Twitter and Instagram, over the last twelve months. Every like and comment is very much appreciated.

2015 was a pretty big year for me. After drawing more and more often for the last few years, I finally made the decision to try and start earning some money from illustration. I didn’t expect to get a book published full of my illustrations – and to be featured in another, or to have produced so many private commissions. While illustration only managed to contribute a fraction of my income for the year, it was a much better start than I could have hoped for.

My challenge for 2016 is to build on that success and hopefully get another book published – this time one that only has my name on the cover.

 

2015 by the numbers

On the blog…

39 blog posts written

40,533 page views

10,126 visitors

621 likes

154 comments (99% of them nice!)

Most popular blog post – Imagined Places – 568 views, 13 likes, 7 comments.

 

On Instagram…

361 posts

103,744 likes

Almost 7,000 followers

My most liked image – Tentacled Island – 1,132 likes

 

My favourite images on the blog for the year…

 

Build! A Knight’s Castle.

Earlier this year I worked on the illustrations for a children’s activity book, published by Ivy Press, all about castles. It was a huge amount of fun, and allowed me to work on a real variety of subjects – skulls, castles, knights, medieval soldiers, siege engines…

A huge thank you to all the staff at Ivy Press that worked on this with me, and of course to the author – Annalie Seaman, and to Charlie Simpson who created an amazing paper craft castle. I’m really pleased with how the book turned out!

The official description…

Think like an archaeologist with this fun paper-craft title! Readers are given information about how archaeologists uncover remains, and use secondary sources. They are then given visual and textual clues about the site of a medieval castle, which was the location of a sieged battle. The final part of the book contains the press-out pieces to recreate a paper model of the castle and the historic battle, complete with siege engines and defending and attacking forces. The reader must use their new-found knowledge of how the castle was laid out, and what siege engines looked like to figure out how to piece the paper scene together.

Build! A Knight’s Castle is available in bookshops and Amazon now.

Here are a few of my illustrations from the book, all drawn by hand.

Cover.

Cover.

Battle.

Battle.

Heraldry.

Heraldry.

Portcullis.

Portcullis.

Siege Tower.

Siege Tower.

Trebuchet.

Trebuchet.

Skull.

Skull.