Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Long Dark Hole

A simple piece here, just experimenting with light and
perspective, all in preparation for reworking my portfolio.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Elfen Sketches

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.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Oui? Joan of Arc

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.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Grimhole designs

Some more recent character designs from the Grimhole project, the story of a surreal wartorn world.
A tale of survival and hopelessness in an endless rapture and the struggle to hold on to humanity. 

Since the start of this project in 2008 I have attmepted to create a jaunty surreal 'human' figure and overall style within Grimhole to contrast with the dark and very brutal nature of the story.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Back in Business

Rather Grim Blog is back in business now that I have aquired new scanning equipment.
A little piece to show my excitment. Little more than an excuse to spatter red inks everywhere I'm afaird...

Saturday, 1 October 2011


I am... sadly... currently without decent scanning equipment... thusly I have been unable to update this blog with the progresses of my various projects, something I hope to soon rectify.

In the mean time some studies that I've scraped from what I have left.

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Horror!

Frankenstein’s Monster


Bram Stokers Dracula

The Strange case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde


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.

Monday, 15 August 2011


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.

Sunday, 14 August 2011


I love fey creature's, they are both beautiful and pure but also terribely dangerous beings.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Blood Politics

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 clich├ęs.
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.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Lost Studio

This was my studio last week... and now it is no more, packed away in boxes and folders, I shall never see this room again... such is life, it'll take me weeks to get my new studio this messy...

Monday, 27 June 2011


A grimhole landscape concept piece I painted years ago...

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Show...

Threw this together for my show at the uni building.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Rather Blarg...

Possible illustration for a business card design...ech. I'm quite restless, there's still so much to be done before I can kiss formal education goodbye.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


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.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Spread 2

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.

Friday, 13 May 2011


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.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Grim Scrape 1

A sketch of grimholes male protagonist, Byors Mhyer. Like most of the characters in grimhole Byors is a hollow man, a shell.

All he knows is that he has to survive...

However events take him on a path of emotional rediscovery when our story begins.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Little Monster

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.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Girls with bad Teeth

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.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Carmilla Cover

Adding textures to flat images can be really effective in giving them some depth... heh aslong as you get it right, most of the time it just looks awful.

This is a quick moc-up for the cover design of Carmilla, I'm quite taken with using the iconic scene of carmilla dripping with Lauras blood, not quite cracked it yet.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Carmilla Sketchy

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.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Franks Monster

Frankenstein's 'monster' never hand a name, nor was he a mindless brute, he read Milton and was quite cunning.

My rendering seeks to picture the creature as was orginally described by Mary Shelley, without any of the hollywood pap that we now think about when we hear the word, Frankenstien.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


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.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Spread 1

Welcome to dirty world that is my sketch book...

Friday, 18 March 2011

Sketchy 3

"Darling I'm sure I don't know what you mean..."

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Sketchy 2

There is something utterly delightful about drawing people with horrible teeth... I don't know how to explain it. Teeth shouldn't be perfect, good teeth should have character.
I also like the idea of putting horrid teeth in images of pretty females, I find the juxpostion quite satisfying.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


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.

Monday, 21 February 2011


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.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Sketchy 1

I have resloved to produce an image every day for this blog. Unless it distracts from my current projects. Which it will... makeing this whole comment a little pointless... hmmmm.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Art is about Expression... Illustration tells you what expression looks like, where it works, where it sleeps and what it's haveing for it's bloody breakfast.

A lot of illustrators draw themselves... not always because they love to stroke their narsasistic ego, but because your own form is the closest referance to hand and makes for a good warm up.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Inken sott.

There is something very statisfying about using a limited pallet.