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I was recently asked to draw Odin, the Norse god, for a commission. After a few tweets back and forth, between myself and the buyer, it was decided that a head shot of Odin, featuring his raven familiars – Huginn and Muninn – would work best.
I decided I’d try and make this illustration a little more graphic in composition, so right from the beginning I wanted to try and incorporate some Norse carving.
I’m really pleased with how the final illustration came out. I think the details, shadows and textures work really well. Tim, the chap who commissioned the illustration, was pretty pleased too – which is great, and always a relief.
Drawn, as usual, on A5 Daler Rowney Smooth – Heavyweight cartridge paper, using Copic SP Multiliners and a Rotring Tikky.
I’ve just started re-reading Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings again – partly just because it’s brilliant and I always enjoy it, but also because myself and Jon Elliman are making a feature of it on our weekly (mostly) podcast – North v South.
The moment I started thinking about reading the book again, I had the urge to start drawing some of the creatures from it. I started with one of my favourite Tolkien creations – an Ent.
Described in the books as…
A large Man-like, almost Troll-like, figure, at least fourteen foot high, very sturdy, with a tall head, and hardly any neck. Whether it was clad in stuff like green and grey bark, or whether that was its hide, was difficult to say. At any rate the arms, at a short distance from the trunk, were not wrinkled, but covered with a brown smooth skin. The large feet had seven toes each. The lower part of the long face was covered with a sweeping grey beard, bushy, almost twiggy at the roots, thin and mossy at the ends. But at the moment the hobbits noted little but the eyes. These deep eyes were now surveying them, slow and solemn, but very penetrating.
They are lots of fun to draw. Trying to convey all that texture and age is a really nice challenge.
Which Tolkien creature should I draw next?
I’m currently available for commissions, so if you’ve always wanted some original art now’s a great time to get in touch. Commissions start at £60 + postage, and I ship world wide. Whether you want a robot, a spaceship, a creature, an isometric building, a floating island, or something completely different, I’d love to work with you on a commission.
You can leave a comment here on my blog, or drop me an email – rob [at] thisnorthernboy [dot] co [dot] uk
Recently I’ve been filling pages and pages of my Moleskine sketchbook with lots of tiny spaceships. I’ve drawn them, mostly, on my lunch hours while working in Shoreditch. Often just scribbling away with a Copic Multiliner pen, and then using markers to add some colour later. I spent a couple of hours scanning two dozen of the pages and cleaning up the sketches for a new poster and a set of postcards that you can buy over at Ellipress.
Prints are now available of a selection of my illustrations. My good friend Jon Elliman has created a site – Ellipress – to produce and sell prints for artists and designers. I’m delighted to be the first illustrator to be involved.
Jon prints using Ultrachrome HD inks and archival quality, 100% cotton papers. The prints he produces look absolutely stunning – just as good as my originals!
We’ve launched with just over a dozen illustrations to choose from, at a few different sizes. There’s also a signed and numbered, limited edition of one of my favourites.
Head over to Ellipress and have a look. If there’s an illustration of mine that you like that we haven’t yet made available, just let us know.
In the next week or two I’ll have prints of my work available to buy online. The plan is to have perhaps a dozen illustrations available at a couple of different sizes, shipping worldwide. My good friend Jon Elliman is in charge of printing and despatching – and this week I’ve been checking the first batch of test prints and they look awesome.
As soon as the shop is online I’ll post the link on the blog.
I don’t often draw creatures. In fact I very rarely draw anything organic at all. Sometimes though, when I start scribbling it becomes a creature, or a person, or in this case – a dinosaur. I’m pretty sure it’s a dinosaur rather than a dragon, but don’t quote me on that.
I’m now happily accepting a new round of illustration commissions. If you’ve ever wanted to own some original art – and like my work – now’s your chance.
If you would like to buy an original drawing, email me at rob [at] thisnorthernboy [dot] co [dot] uk , and you can request one of the following:
An isometric building
An imagined place
Something else entirely
What you’ll receive will be a black and white pen drawing, on an A4 or A5 sheet of good quality, 220gsm cartridge paper. If you would prefer a colour illustration – let me know and we can have a chat.
You can also request for the illustration to be landscape or portrait in orientation.
Any other requests – type of landscape, style of robot etc. can be made, but there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to take this into account. I know this sounds a little strict, but I only want to accept commissions that I’ll enjoy drawing right now, and in return you get a lovely surprise when you open your finished illustration.
What will this cost?
For an A5 (148 x 210mm) commission I charge £50 + post & packaging.
For an A4 (210 x 297mm) commission I charge £80 + post & packaging.
When you email me to request a commission, if you can include the address you’d like it shipped to, I’ll work out the cost of postage and let you know. If you’re happy with the overall cost I can accept payment by PayPal.
When will you get your drawing?
I’ll aim to complete and post all illustrations within three weeks of receiving payment.