Originals For Sale

I’ve put a couple more originals from the archives up for sale on Etsy.
Archives sounds rather grand – they’re actually from random piles of stuff
distributed around the house; in lofts, under beds and in drawers. When I
grow up I hope to have a room full of plan chests with everything
categorized and cross-referenced, but I still work sat on the carpet like a
giant toddler so that’s not going to happen very soon…

This week, there’s also a new website for Frogspell up, with all sorts of
magic-related shenanigans and a video of me drawing said Frog. Bizarrely,
there’s also a video of me drawing a strange man in a hat, which was a test
to see if my camera worked and has nothing to do with the book so I don’t
know what that’s doing there. To add to the strangeness you can also hear
Hildegard Von Bingen in the background because I hadn’t realised it recorded
sound. http://www.frogspell.co.uk



In The Word Wood

I needed to take a break from illustrating Joseph Delaney’s next book
(Spook’s Blood), so I took the opportunity to make another ‘Local
Characters’ portrait.
Like Comfort in Quilting, the subject is a real person (and a real dog)
going about their normal business; in this case a multi-award winning writer
who likes to start the day pretty much in the fashion depicted.
I conceived the idea a few months ago, but waited until now to paint it, in
order to catch the autumnal (best time of year without doubt) atmosphere.
Below are a few of the stages. Unfortunately, I made a bit of a mess of the
bottom segment and had to paint some extra leaves separately which were
stuck on in Photoshop. When I have the patience I’ll cut them out and stick
them on for real.
Now I’ve had my leafy fun, it’s back to the Boggarts and Lamias and Fiends
of the Wardstone Chronicles…


Selling Stuff

I have launched an Etsy site.



Here I will be selling prints and cards of my Local Characters series, as well as the occasional original piece of art.

To start with, there’s a napping dragon. This was done a few years ago as part of the abandoned Flights of Fantasy book, and is one of a number of completed illustrations for the first chapter. Below are a few of the other pictures, about a girl who discovers she has an unusual heritage…




Last winter, along with Art Director Nghiem Ta, I designed the cover of
Templar’s new ‘Ology’ book, Illusionology.
Photographs don’t do it justice – the central image is a freaky thing called
a lenticular, which makes everything three dimensional. Not only that, the
white rabbit changes into a brass mechanical version of itself when the book
is tilted.
After the cover was finished, I started work on the insides; a mixture of
pen and ink and colour illustrations. The book is not due out until next
spring (these Ologies are very complicated to produce) but I’ll probably
reveal a few of the interior pictures over the next couple of months.


Vampires On Top

Recently, Palace of the Damned hit the shelves (see cover image in previous
post) and already Mr Shan has another book for me to illustrate!
This one is called Brothers to the Death, and features the continuing capers
of Larten Crepsley.

I sat in front of Peter Jackson’s King Kong with a sketchbook to get some
1930’s New York reference, helped along with some alarming photographs of
skyscraper construction workers perched on impossibly high girders. They
might have been eating sandwiches on a park bench, such was their
nonchalance of the vomit-inducing distance between them and the ground.
I drew me standing on a box for the main character, but had to make the suit
up as I don’t own anything quite so snappy.

The original version was very red, but it was decided Larten didn’t stand
out enough (along with the liberal splashes of blood) so the sky was
changed. It could be described as ‘bruised’ which is in keeping with the
visceral nature of the tale…