Author Archive

The Last Stand

It’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been having a really busy year so far. I’m really pleased to be working on a great sci-fi project for author Col Jonathan Brazee. Jonathan in a retired US Marine Colonel who now writes military themed sci-fi novels.

I love sci-fi so was delighted to have the chance to create some hard as nails space marines. The image turned out really well and I can’t wait to see it available to buy.

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Cthulhu rising

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted but it’s been a busy few months. 2017 seems set to be the year things kick up a gear for me work wise and I’ve got some exciting projects in the works. One of my new jobs was secured on the strength of my monster work, so in that spirit here’s my offering to the old god Cthulhu!


The Snake King

I’m coming to the the end of my comic project and it’s been a huge learning experience. I’ve picked up a ton of new tricks and my workflow is a lot smoother.

The author seems pretty pleased with the results and is now in the middle of a rewrite to make sure the art and text blend together seamlessly.

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I’m hoping to get more work in book covers after this, but also have plenty of comic work coming in too. Can’t wait to get to the end of this one and see the finished project. Just two more pages to go!

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Shapeshifting Graphic novel

Towards the end of last year I landed one of my favourite jobs to date. Scott Devon approached me with a really exciting project, a short graphic novel full of mythical beasts, magic and mystery. Some comic creators are afraid to veer away from the standard pen and ink method, but Scott wanted me to go nuts and illustrate the hell out of it! Hopefully this is what he had in mind.

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Ever since I was a little kid copying pictures of Judge Dredd from 2000AD comics, I’d had a dream of one day working in comics. I pretty much abandoned the idea when I left college and found all the artistic idealism had been sucked out of me. I entered the real world, got a job in a bank and proceeded to be miserable for the next few years.

I finally shook off the grey fog and dusted off my long forgotten drawing skills and painstakingly began to work.

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One tiny job doing a book cover for an indie author led to another, this time a slightly bigger author. Then another and another. The ball started to roll and I got better and better. Now I’m starting to attend comic conventions and meet the makers of those same comics that I would copy while lying on the living room floor. Now when people ask me what I do, instead of muttering something about being in banking, I get to say that I’m an artist. When I say that I pretty much pinch myself and think “Holy crap! I AM an artist! How did I manage that?”


Barmouth Church street

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Really exciting to see the amazing reaction to my latest image in the ongoing Barmouth series. After showing the image on facebook, so far I’ve reached 10 thousand people in just a couple of days. That’s by far the best reaction I’ve had so far. The comments I’ve been receiving have been overwhelmingly positive.

“You make our town come alive with these drawings.” 

“I love it.This picture not only captures the look of Barmouth, but also the character and “feel” of the place”

When I first started this series I had no idea if the local people would like my style and the fairytale look for the images so it’s really gratifying to see this reaction.

I’m not sure where to draw next, but I’ve had a few requests for the church and that means I might be able to fit in the famous (C)arousal cafe, complete with its oft stolen letter ‘C’.

 

 

 


Reworking the Guyver

In the 90s there was a pretty cool anime out there called “Guyver. Bioboosted Armor.” There were a couple of terrible live actions movies, but they never came close to nailing the awesomeness of the cartoon. I loved the design of the bio-suit and I was always doodling it while I watched the VHS tapes of the show.

When I first started getting into illustration as more than a hobby I attempted a version of the battered Guyver helmet. At the time I was pretty happy with it, but now it makes me cringe!

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Last night I decided to take another crack at it, and it’s really gratifying to see I’ve made some progress over the last few years.

guyver pose

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Heading to ICE

Next month I’ll be heading the the International Comics Expo and then to Comics Uncovered the next day. I’ve only ever been to one other Comic convention, that time a fun visit with my brother Sean to the London Film and Comic Con where we enjoyed goggling at the bizarre cosplay sights and I got to meet Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica!

This time it’s Comics Uncovered for a day of workshops, talks from comic pros and the nerve wracking portfolio reviews. I’ve decided to submit my work for reviews and I’ve got appointments booked in with DC, Titan and Markosia.

Shazam full sizedConstantine small

I’m pretty nervous, but I’ve been working hard and building up a number of images to show them. Time to get some business cards I think!

This one I’m particularly fond of. I’m a huge fan on Stephen King, especially the Marvel Comics versions drawn by Jae Lee. So here’s my own attempt at a Dark Tower cover. If you’ve read a single King book you’ll probably be familiar with some of the characters as the Dark Tower books seem to touch on pretty much every other King book there is. There’s connections to the Stand, the Shining, Hearts in Atlantis, Rose Madder, and IT to name just a few.

This image was completed really quickly. I already had a design for a cowboy character prepared in Zbrush from another project so I was able to breath new life into it here. This image was completed in just one day.

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Out of Time (again!)

I was recently contacted to do a little job that turned out to be exactly the kind of work I love.

Sarah Mackie has written a great story of time travel set in an apocalyptic future full of natural disasters and personal tragedies. Weirdly it was titled “Out of time” which is the second time I’ve worked on a story with that title.

Sarah had a very specific idea of what the cover should look like and I managed to complete it in record time. I think character based images that are full of atmospheric lighting effects might be my speciality.

When it came to that nervous moment where I have to show the client the first draft Sarah came back right away with the words “WOW! Nailed it!”

Out of Time final cover

I love to draw lighting. Maybe I should do an illustration of Thor! Or even Tesla!


Taking stock…

I thought I’d do a little recap of how things have been going since I left the world of banking and started on my journey to become a professional artist.

Since taking the leap into full time illustration I’ve taken some pretty big strides with my work. I’ve shifted from being solely a photoshop artist to primarily using Zbrush 3D as my main piece of software. Zbrush gives a totally different effect from most other workflows out there, and by using it I can achieve incredible textures and detail including everything from atmospheric lighting to animal fur and chainmail.

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Since going full time I’ve had a lot of great projects to work on including a children’s horror series published by Wayland, a number of fantasy covers, comics, children’s books and even a couple of projects from Hollywood writers and producers. Not a bad start. I’m finding that my best work is usually based around animals and I seem to be attracting a lot of authors who write about adventurous beasties such as this cover for Gila Basalo’s “Bugsintown”.

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Aside from continuing to work on children’s titles, my other target is to work on comics. I’ve put together some pretty decent mock covers that I hope will cause a stir at conventions and land me some work.

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To this end I’ve been lucky enough to find support and encouragement from one of the big names of the comic world, Charlie Adlard. Charlie is the current artist on the incredibly popular Walking Dead series, and he’s been kind enough to help promote, guide and nudge me in the right artistic direction.

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It’s been a great year so far and I can’t wait to see what the next big project might be.


Barmouth commission

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post so it’s time to get back to it.

This month has been all about landscapes since I’ve been commissioned to do a series of fine art images to hang on the walls of a local gallery. It’s been a really good exercise for me as I’ve picked up a few new tricks. I’m a sucker for a good rainy day so I wanted to get this across in a couple of the images.

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The reaction to the images in the gallery has been really amazing. They seem to be the front runner for the gallery best seller this year. This image seemed to be missing something until I added the bobble hat to the fisherman!

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I think each image has been slightly better than the last as I’ve learned new things and refined the technique.

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This was probably my favourite….

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But then I did this one and it’s now my new fave! I’ve got a great fondness for Barmouth harbour and especially Isis Restaurant where I used to work as their pizza guy. Hands down my favourite place for a spicy pizza.

I’ve really enjoyed doing these and may do a few more depending on the demand in the gallery.