Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Spook's Apprentice

I've been working on some book illustrations for a portfolio update, so I picked a few scenes from The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney, which is a book I really enjoyed. Originally I planned to do these in gel pen, but I realised I'm still very happy with the illustrations from The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray that I did in that style, so I tried something a bit different and went for thicker cross-hatching done entirely in dip pen. I also tried a few insets instead of sticking with only full-page illustrations, and experimented a bit with new compositions.

Of course, any kind of horror illustration is still firmly within my comfort zone. Up next, something a bit lighter and more child-friendly.


I only made one new comic (so far) this year, so I thought I'd try something different and do all the comics in graphite. It's made in the same way as Flight, with four short comics based on one-word prompts. In order, these are Line, Place, Compulsion and Kleptomania.

The hardest was the last comic, Kleptomania, because I accidentally scripted a comic that was nothing but a long chain of things I can't really draw. Oh well, these are the ways we improve.

Sunday, 3 May 2015


Another piece from the dark days of computer issues.

This is an example double-page spread from a children's book concept, in which a girl descends through different levels of the ocean in a bathysphere. The full book would have a double page per ocean region, and probably some extra pages in the back with facts about the real sea life that appears and the development of the bathysphere and such.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

More Civil War

The last of the non-fiction drawings from when I had computer troubles.

This was really common when I was in primary school - comparisons of clothing styles between puritans and catholic royalists. One thing I noticed though is that they tended to show upper-class royalists, and middle or lower-class puritans, so I drew a standard upper-class royalist pair (although they ended up looking too much like the actual king and queen...) and tried to find information on what upper-class puritans would wear.

It turns out puritans were very much in favour of the social hierarchy, and upper-class puritans would have worn richer fabrics and embellishments like ribbons and lace edging to visually indicate their social standing. The open-fronted skirt was apparently a more conservative style at the time, because it required less of the more expensive outer fabric.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Civil war soldiers

In today's episode of 'things from when I had no computer', some different types of soldiers from the English Civil War.

Researching these turned out to be very hard, there was a lot of conflicting information. For example, would a pikeman have a sword? I found books saying both yes and no. In the end I thought that being in the front line with only a heavy, 3-4 metre spear would practically be suicide, and I couldn't see anyone agreeing to do it unless they also had a close-range weapon.

Anyway, I did my best with the sources I could find, but I won't be surprised if a historian pops up and points out lots of problems!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Cells, bacterium, virus

Today in ‘things I couldn’t post during computer trouble’, cell diagrams.

I was working on the sort of diagrams I remember from school, so I tried plant and animal cells at the two levels of detail you’d see at GCSE and A Level here in the UK, and a virus and bacterium for good measure.

I’d like to also try a more 3D approach, as they’re getting more popular in textbooks.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Plants etc.

I realised I never posted these diagrams I drew last year! I've been working on some non-fiction illustrations to expand my portfolio.