I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut, and even now at 42 years old, I haven’t quite given up hope, so when Jeremy Marshall commissioned an illustration and said “… is there any chance of an astronaut featuring?” I jumped at the chance.
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.
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.
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.
One of the many responses I had to my blog post A Crisis of Confidence was a very thoughtful one from Daniel Benneworth-Gray. One of Daniel’s many insightful points was that one way of getting over my frustration would be to invite people to tweet a micro-story for me to illustrate.
Obviously, the first person I asked was Daniel, and he didn’t disappoint…
Working to someone else’s idea was liberating, and challenging. Luckily for me Mr Benneworth-Gray’s words are always damn fine and well considered, which made my job of illustrating so much easier.
As soon as I read the tweet I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do. I had the idea of a normal family staring up at a huge giant robot, that was, in turn, staring right back at them. There was a definite ‘The Iron Man’ thing going on here (the book, not the film or the superhero).
The point Daniel made, about the fact that I hadn’t been illustrating – just drawing, was right. Interpreting somebody else’s words and ideas is a completely different challenge to just opening a sketchbook and making something up. It’s easier in some ways, and much harder in others. It is very worthwhile, and even if I don’t take this approach with all my future robots (110 to go), I’ll definitely give it a go from time to time, especially if I’m in a rut.
Huge thanks to Daniel for the idea, advice and encouragement. If you aren’t already following him on Twitter, or Instagram, I suggest you rectify that immediately. His blog is always a joy to read too.
Or the Tin Man according to the film. In the books, the Tin Woodman was originally a human called Nick Chopper. He was turned to tin by the Wicked Witch of the East to stop him from marrying his true love.
This is my take on the character from the 1939 film, I wanted to keep the face the same as Jack Haley’s, but give the rest a bit of a twist.
The title of this post will mean next to nothing for almost everyone, unless you happen to be a fan of Japanese Manga/Anime.
As part of my Droid a Day project I’ve asked people to suggest a droid or robot from film or TV, my latest illustration – number 201 – is one of those.
This is Tachikoma…
He was fun, but hard work, to draw, and now I feel I need to watch some of the show.
If you have a droid you’d like to see me draw, feel free to comment.