this northern boy

Illustrations for an imaginary age

Tag: architecture buildings

Some recent commissions

I recently started taking commissions, on the themes of robots, spaceships or imaginary places. It’s been a pretty good response so far, and it’s been really enjoyable creating work to order – but on subjects that I love.

Here are a few recent illustrations…

Illustration Timelapse

I filmed a few time-lapse videos while I was drawing a recent commission. It’s of a stilted city, similar to a couple I’ve drawn before. I’d already sketched it out in pencil before I started filming, but I’ll try and do the whole process from start to finish at some point.

The first shows me putting in some initial lines with a fine pen. This is how I usually start inking any of my drawings. It’s basically outlining all the main elements at this point.

Illustration timelapse 1/4 from thisnorthernboy on Vimeo.

The second shows how I add a nice thick line to foreground elements, to areas I want to highlight, and in this case a key line around the whole illustration.

Illustration timelapse 2/4 from thisnorthernboy on Vimeo.

In video three I add detail, texture and any odd little bits of grit and noodling I feel it needs. All with a very fine 0.03 pen.

Illustration timelapse 3/4 from thisnorthernboy on Vimeo.

Lastly I add in some clouds and birds in the distance. I love drawing clouds. I actually added a couple more bits of detail after this – drawing in some barnacles and seaweed on the submerged bits of the drawing.

Illustration timelapse 4/4 from thisnorthernboy on Vimeo.

Here’s the final image…

Final illustration

Final illustration

This was drawn on Daler Rowney, Fine Grain, 200gsm cartridge paper. I used Copic Multiliners in thicknesses of 0.03, 0.05, 0.25, and 0.5.

The Towers

I’ve been working on a couple of illustrations of medieval(ish) towers over the last couple of days. I have a little project that I’m thinking about – and these fit in to that in some way.

Drawn on cartridge paper, using Copic Multiliners and Staedtler Pigment Liners. Coloured using Copic Ciao markers.

 

The Towers

The Towers

Sentry in clour

Sentry in clour

Watchtower in colour

Watchtower in colour

The Street

The Street.

Continuing my doodles of odd little medieval/Tudor/olde/fantasy streets and buildings.

Drawn in pencil, inked with a Copic Multiliner and Staedtler Pigment Liners, coloured with Copic Markers. All in a Moleskine sketchbook. I do love Moleskins but I wish the paper was a little whiter. 

Line work

Line work

Final Street

Final Street

The Tower

An illustration based on the Guinigi Tower in Lucca, Italy.

Drawn with a 0.03 Copic Multiliner and a 0.3 Staedtler Pigment Liner in an A5 Moleskine sketchbook.

The Tower

The Tower

Details…

Details…

The Lighthouse in the Sky…

Finally finished and coloured an illustration that I started a few weeks ago. Vaguely inspired by the work of John Evelyn, Conrado Almada and Hayao Miyazaki, it’s one of those illustrations, that as I draw, takes on a little life of its own. I can’t help but wonder who lives there, what the lighthouse is for, what kind of ships need warning of rocks in the sky…?

I think there’s definitely a story to be told here. By somebody.

 

The Lighthouse in the Sky

The Lighthouse in the Sky

 

Inspired by the lighthouse, I thought I’d add some more…

Village in the Clouds

Village in the Clouds

Mountains, moors and make-believe

There is something magical about creating a place or a world that previously only existed inside your own head. It’s impossible to draw (at least it is for me) an imaginary landscape without wondering about the people who inhabit it, or the history of it, or the flora and fauna that fill it.

Some of my landscapes are very much rooted in the real world, the lake district is never far from the tip of my pen, while some have only the loosest foundations here on earth.

Only one of my landscapes exists as is, Slater’s Bridge in Little Langdale in the Lake District. I really must get back there with a sketchbook. It’s an amazingly beautiful place.

Slater's Bridge

Slater’s Bridge

People are very rare in my drawings, partly because I’m pretty terrible at drawing them, but partly because I want to be the person in the picture. I don’t want to share these places with anyone else. Extreme escapism for me would be stepping into one of my illustrations and exploring what’s beyond the edge of the page.

Not a happy place to live…

Sometimes, not very often, a doodle becomes something surprising and cool. I started sketching the other day, with no particular aim in mind, and quickly roughed out the shape of a skull. A few minutes later, again with very little thought, a city began to grow…

I’m really pleased with what this little doodle became…

Skull City

Skull City

Doodle Street

Doodles often end up being much more, which is sometimes a problem if I’ve started doodling on a scrap of paper, or if I’m simply sketching in a corner of another drawing. However, yesterday, my doodle simply evolved to fill the space available.

I began scribbling the beginnings of a house on a folded piece of paper I was using to keep another drawing clean while I worked.

Sketch in pen of a couple of buildings

Initial doodles…

I quite liked where it was going, so I carried on, and on. Eventually filling the space I had with half a street’s worth of buildings.

Sketch in pen of additional buildings

More building work on Doodle Street

I added some background, and extended the street with a little tudor building to the left, worked in a bit more detail and the pen work was finished, just the colouring was left.

Final black and white sketch

Ready for some colour…

I use photoshop to colour my drawings, using multiple layers to build up the colour and detail. The final version of Doodle Street has over 80 of these layers. To show how this builds up into a final illustration I made a process movie…

The final image is shown below…

Finished coloured sketch

The builders have finished, Doodle Street is complete.