this northern boy

Illustrations for an imaginary age

Tag: drawing

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 17

A busy one.

I’m still working on sketches and final inked illustrations for the client in California, feedback has meant a few changes – and the addition of helicopters! Not something I’m used to drawing, Google coming in very handy.

I’m also working on the branding project, again feedback has come in so I have a few amends to make before I get stage two over to the client.

Good to be busy though.

As I haven’t had time to write a more interesting blogpost today, I’ll just leave you with my favourite painting, if you’re ever in London drop in to the National Gallery and stand in front of it for a few minutes. It’s a treat for the eyeballs.

 

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Whistlejacket, painted in 1762, by George Stubbs.

August blogfest – day 13

“Drawing is taking a line for a walk”, Paul Klee.

 

August blogfest – day 11

I’ve just decided that my stack of identically black, and identically plain Moleskines needed a little organising. Only a little. I wrote vague contents description on the covers and spines, so that’ll help a bit when I’m trying to remember where I drew something.

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Vaguely organised Moleskines.

I also made a little video of a leaf through one of those Moleskines…

The music is Drawn to the Blood, by Sufjan Stevens.

August blogfest – day 9

If you follow me on Instagram, or are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I have a thing for weird tentacled islands. There’s just something very cool about a seemingly idyllic little place – but underneath the ordinary facade there’s horror!

I did this sketch last night in my Moleskine using Rotring Tikky, Copic Multiliners and Kuretake No 8 brush pen, and there’s definitely a bit of influence from Notes from the Shadowed City – it’s a bit blacker and more angular than my typical stuff. As always, something like this is a lot of fun to draw.

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The Thorn Tree.

August blogfest – day 7

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Reinforcements arrive in the nick of time

I’ve been drawing with Palomino Blackwing pencils for most of this year. I’d thought they were just posh, over-priced, designery nonsense, but actually having tried them I bloody love using them. They are just great quality, simple as that. A much smoother graphite than I’ve found in any other pencils, and the wood sharpens beautifully. They are expensive, but for me they are worth it.

Today, I did order a couple of other high-end pencils to compare them with – a couple of Mitsubishi Hi-Uni HBs, and some of Tombow Mono 100s. I’ll post my thoughts when they arrive and I have chance to give them a go.

I used to always use a Swann Morton scalpel, with a 10A blade to sharpen my pencils, but as I’ve got busier I just use a sharpener as they’re so much quicker. When I was in London recently I went to L. Cornelissen & Son, a truly wonderful art shop in Bloomsbury, where I picked up a long point sharpener – and I love it.

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Just a smidgen of the loveliness that lay behind the doors of L. Cornelissen & Son.

August blogfest – day 5

Some process videos of recent illustration work. It’s always strange watching these back, like watching someone else draw. I never know where the pen or brush is going next.

 

 

 

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.

Rocks

Drawing lots of weird little floating rocks at the moment. Not sure what I’m doing, or where I’m going, with them. But I’m having fun.

Drawn with Blackwing or Lamy pencils in a Moleskine sketchbook.

 

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…

Final-Ink

Completed illustration