As I’ve already mentioned before on this blog I’m a very fond of fey creatures and they often worm their way into my various projects, these sketches however are from the fantasy epic that my brother and I have been collaborating on for the last several years without pause.
It's our baby and the fey feature very prominently in the project, it is in fact the wellspring from which they escape and intrude on my other works.
This page is mostly about one of our main characters, the ranger Dorya.
The Story of Joan of Arc is a wonderful but tragic saga in Europe’s rich history, it was the first time we English came into our own as the villains we apparently are so good at playing.
But that’s not what interests me.
She, like other female leaders in history such as Boudica fascinate me to no end, Joan more so perhaps because of the incredible sexism that existed within Europe in her time.
She was a symbol of hope for the French when the war was going badly and their kingdom was in desperation, but she was not wholly appreciated by her country men who shunned her and did little to help her when she was finally caught by the English who appreciated her even less.
The tragedy is not just that she was burned alive, but was executed under the pretences of heresy against a faith that she so fervently believed she actually thought that her god was speaking to her, and that very church however slyly used her own faith to destroy her. It was a cruel and tragic death that used the scruples of theology to deny this incredible young woman the remainder of her life.
It disgusts me to think that even today in some parts of the world people are still killed because of theological injustice. It’s totally unnecessary, the faith groups of Europe managed to move on, so can the rest of the world.
These where some final cover designs for classic horror novels.
I wasn’t particularly happy with the end result though some parts have a certain charm, the brutal deadline didn’t help but I may revisit these in my own time at some point.
A rough drawing but I wanted something to colour. This is a character design for a large narrative project Jake and I have been working on since 2003, it's come a long way since then but still has a long way to go before we can show it to any publishers.
Derek and Victoria are vampires, they stalk the streets of London gorging on human blood and socialising with their fellow children of the night… and they bloody love it.
I have a love hate relationship with vampire films/media, the mythos is fantastic but over the last several decades they seem to have lost all dignity and integrity…. No longer viable as a piece of real story telling, always falling victim to ‘innovations’ and ‘improvements’ which have themselves become mere clichés. Every time I watch or read anything about vampires, rather than enjoy the damn thing I am overcome with the burning desire to do something better.
Blood Politics is a project that my brother and I began so we could attempt to remedy the damage done to the vampire as a creature, to give them some dignity back. Our story is set from the vampires point of view… our protagonists do not spend every sentence lamenting what they have become or worrying about ‘the thirst’. The meat of the plot is still underdevelopment currently but we hope to create something that is both entertaining and redeeming to vampire fans and people enjoy fantastical story telling with more than an inch of depth.
This piece is actually a year old now, but it continues the gritty theme. In fact the human form is pretty badly renderd here looking at it now. I still like the concept though, something I might rework at some point. The concept was actually for a new project me and jake are working on, very early stages though so not much to talk about.
The Lady pain, character concept I came up with last month, was in mood for colouring something grubby and gritty. Not sure if I'll take the design any further... I'll already have plenty to be getting on with once uni has finished. Serious projects are in need of serious attention.
Sometimes in my creative walks I feel the desire to draw caricatures, not of famous people, just of my friends and family, people who I actually know enough about to infuse the image with a sense of life or truth.
This drunken lout for instance was the last caricature I did recently. My dear friend and fellow illustrator Mizz Hannah Wallace. Something of a mutly grin about her that I wanted to capture. It's not something that I do often, or by request since the end result always feels forced in those instances. I just do it for fun, often as a gift.
A little blast from the past, it's very rare that I look back on any of my work thats more than a year old and don't dispair. This little guys atleast 4 years old now, and though far from perfect, I still look back at his design when drawing other such monsters.... in fact I miss drawing monster... alot. I've been so busy with uni work and personal crisis, that I just havent had the time. Well this summer I'm going to make the time cook up some really nasty ones. You wait and see.
Girls with bad Teeth has been my latest and perhaps most simple project, it is a collection of female portraits. The one thing all these ladys will have in commen, is a set of ghasty gnashers, terrible teeth. The orginal idea was that these would all be very pretty wimmin as a great contrast, but unlike in real life where people with slightly wonky teeth have a certain charm, even sexual apeal. When you draw them it's very hard to get the 'pretty' to work.
Carmilla, one of the great gothic tales of 1800's, this lesbian vampire novel predates Bram Stokers Dracula by 25 years and is a great account of a vampire who falls for a her prey. The mistakes she makes ultimately costing her life.
Concept piece from a collection of cover art for Classic Horror novels, this was a for 'Melmoth the Wanderer' a man who sells his soul to the devil for 150 years of extra life... he wanders the world seeking to pass on the deal to another human being.
This is Lilium, she sees monsters. She was the star of a pseudo childrens story I've worked on and off on since 2007. The tale was intended to be the most horrific telling of the good'ol moster under the bed story. This image is actually from 2009 and is quite poorly renderd, but it best captures the mood of the concept in it's current form. I am considering reworking it for a new uni project but there's nothing concrete at the momment.
Any Illustraitor or writer who is trutlly devoted to his/her proffesion will have a few very personal projects that are as children to them... and the very idea of anyone disliking or finding fault with them is so abhorent that one feels phyically ill... or at least I do. So they are shut away untill we think they are ready for the world. Grimhole is one such project... and no it is not even close to being ready, but I don't mind sharing a few concept sketches.
Our little friend here is just a quick ink and wash, a medium that even as I attempt to perfect and expand my skill with it... already bore's my peers to tears. Oh well... I never got into illustration because I wanted to please everyone.