this northern boy

Illustrations for an imaginary age

Category: commissions

August blogfest – day 18

In, and out of, my comfort zone.

I’m really still pretty new to illustration, I’ve been trying to make a living at it for just over a year, and been drawing seriously again for about three. There are lots of things I can’t draw – at least, there are lots of difficult things I avoid drawing. Like helicopters, or armoured Humvees. Today I’ve had to draw both of those, which was pretty challenging. I also had to draw some mountains, lots of mountains. Still quite challenging, but much more enjoyable.

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Armoured Humvee.

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Mountain range.

August blogfest – day 3

A productive day.

The tattoo commission was finished and posted off to California (not Connecticut like I said yesterday).

I worked on some logo designs for the branding project, put together a presentation and emailed that to the client.

On Twitter I ran a quick giveaway for some of my badges and stickers. Three, very quick-off-the-mark, people should have their goodies tomorrow. It was a nice, fun little thing to do. I’ll probably run something similar again soon when I get some postcards printed.

Tomorrow I’m helping Steph out on a wedding in the morning. If you don’t know, Steph (my wife) is an amazing wedding florist, and I sometimes help her setting up weddings if I’m not out working at a client’s. Once the wedding is sorted I’ll ink the sketch for the Californian client – I’m looking forward to that.

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Commission ready to post

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Badges and stickers giveaway

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Detail of a logo design

August blogfest – day 2

Yesterday’s work went pretty well. The sketch I was working on for the company in California has been approved, so that can get drawn up a little neater and inked. The tattoo commission is coming along nicely, although I put that to one side for a while  – it’s sometimes good to take a look at your work with a fresh pair of eyes after a few hours away from it. I’ll finish the inking of that today and it can go in the mail tomorrow to Connecticut.

Once the tattoo is out of the way I’ll work on some ideas for the branding project. I’ve already jotted down some stuff in my notebook, so I’m not starting from scratch on that.

While I’m working on all those things, I’ll be trying to think about my website. Currently I don’t have one, or I do, but it’s a holding page that hasn’t been updated in six or seven years. I’m planning on designing something simple, that just links to my social media instead of having a gallery I’d have to update regularly. I’ve asked Jon, who I work on the North v South podcast with, to build it for me.

And finally, I’ve just been commissioned by a new illustration magazine to work on a step-by-step tutorial article for them. Nervous and excited about that in equal measure. It’ll probably end up being similar, visually, to this post. It’s a sci-fi themed illustration, so it’s right up my alley. I’ll probably start work on that later in the week.

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Illustration sketch.

August blogfest

I might be making a rod for my own back with that title but – I’m going to try and blog every day in August. They might not be long and involved posts, and they might not always be image heavy, but I’ll try to blog each day for the month.

I’ll start with a quick post about what my day involves.

I’m working on finishing a tattoo design commission – of Sisyphus pushing his boulder up a hill, in my style. I’ve done lots of sketches, and tweaked after some feedback and I’m now in the final stages of inking.

I have some concept sketches to do for a company in California. I can’t say any more than that at the moment, other than there will be castles.

If I get those two things out of the way then I’ll start working on some designs for a branding project for a community sports project in East London.

Right now as I type, I’m listening to the latest North v South podcast. A podcast about, but not about design that I produce with my friend Jon Elliman. This week we talk about tennis balls, scrambled egg sandwiches, recycling, and we review pies as always.

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Sisyphus sketches

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Inking

All families need a little space.

Here is a recent commission I worked on for a friend. He wanted an illustration of him and his family as astronauts – I was delighted to help out!

Once again I used my (patent pending) coin and tracing paper masking technique. There must be a better way…

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Completed illustration

The Lighthouse

This is one of the most enjoyable illustrations I’ve done. Mark, who commissioned me, wanted a drawing of a lighthouse – with his daughter at the top – for a tattoo. The final illustration, now winging its way to Tewksbury (Massachusetts not Gloucestershire), will be framed for Mark’s daughter’s room. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this looks when Mark gets it inked.

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Final illustration.

 

If you’d like to commission an illustration (or a tattoo design) from me, have a look at this blog post and get in touch.

 

 

Inky happenings…

A quick blog post to share a couple of recent ‘horrific’ illustrations.

The first, a commission for my good friend Leon (check out his band – The Day of Locusts), is a tattoo design based on the make-up of the Danish rocker King Diamond. I love drawing skulls, and this was a nice twist on the usual. Leon’s going to be having this inked on to his calf. Brave man.

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King Diamond, tattoo design.

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Detail.

 

The second illustration was just something I did for myself. I sat down to draw a creature, no more of a plan than that, and something tentacled and Lovecraftian emerged. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while you’ll know I like drawing tentacles – even though they’re bloody tricky – and I think these are some of my favourites yet.

This illustration is for sale. Message me if you’d be interested in buying it.

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Creature from the Deep

 

Both of these illustrations were drawn with Palomino Blackwing Pencils, Copic Multiliners, and Rotring Tikky pens. I use a smooth, heavy cartridge paper from Daler Rowney.

 

What’s been going on…

I’ve been reasonably quiet on the blog recently, and I’m determined to post more regularly for the rest of the year.

As a bit of a catch-up post, here are some pictures – illustrations and photographs – from the last couple of months.

Jimi

For a recent commission I was asked to drawn Jimi Hendrix as a Cosmonaut. So I did…

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I drew this using Copic Multiliners, a Pentel Pocket Brush pen and a a big brush with some Sumi ink. The stars were splattered using an old toothbrush, white emulsion paint and some careful masking using tracing paper weighted down with coins.

A Big City Triptych

I love drawing city scenes, which is why it’s always been one of the options I’ve offered for my illustration commissions.

Last year Rob Harris contacted me to commission a medieval/fantasy street scene, and he must have liked the result – because he came back for two more illustrations.

This was the first image…

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I loved putting in as much detail as I could, making it seem like a place that had a story to it (even without the addition of any people). Rob then asked me to do another illustration, continuing the scene to the right…

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It was fun to be able to tell more of the story of the town, adding in the celtic style cross, the strange section of bridge, the silhouette of a figure in a window. Finally, just a couple of weeks ago Rob asked me for a final (I think) illustration to continue the scene to the left of the original image…

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This has been my favourite commission so far, I had a great time producing these for Rob and I’m delighted he liked the first one enough to commission the second and third.

Seen together I think the three illustrations look pretty good…

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If you would like to commission a street scene, or anything else, from me – have a look at this blog post for more details.