Category Archives: illustration

Lakes Comic Art Festival Kendal 2013

IN October I had the pleasure of attending the first Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, I went with the intention of writing a piece about it for the newspaper I work for. Then some bright spark came up with the idea of doing it like a comic! Genius, so that’s what I did, and this is the result. I’m pretty pleased with it. (Although I must apologise to Carlos Ezquerra, It appears I forgot to draw his hair, dammit) By the way, you should go next year, it was amazing, friendly people, great talks and a shed load of comic art!Image




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Highland cow print for sale.

Highland cow print for sale.

A4 giclee print, mounted and boarded ready for framing. Limited edition, all prints signed and numbered. £35, see link below for buying details.

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June 3, 2013 · 11:48 am

Highland cow.

LOVE Highland cattle. Pencil/pen. Excuse quality, taken with phone.


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New section: The Library.

WELCOME, come in, come in, take a seat. Tea? Biscuit? Are you sitting comfortably? Welcome to the library, a new section of the blog to show you some of my favourite books, some you’ll have seen or already have, but hopefully I’ll introduce you to new books. There won’t be in-depth reviews or analysis, just a few words on why I like the book. All the book were bought by me and are from my personal library.
The first book is Illustrators Unlimited: The Essence of Contemporary Illustration. If you’ve ever bought any of the Illusive illustration books then you’ll be fairly familiar with the format, they are large hard back books with great print quality and filled with a varied selection of illustration.
This is the same with Illustrators Unlimited. the book is 30.4 x 24.4 x 3 cm, with 288 pages it’s quite a hefty publication. The book contains the work of 102 illustrators from around the world. Each artist is given a few pages to show their work, there’s also a small amount of copy about each illustrator.
If you’re looking for inspiration then look no further, this book is crammed with it, well worth a purchase in my opinion.
I should add that the book is published by Die Gestalten Verlag, one of my favourite publishers of art and design books. You can also view more interior pages at the the Gestalten website.

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Fear of a blank page.


LAST week I treated myself to an A3 Moleskine sketchbook, it wasn’t cheap but the paper quality is second to none, nice and smooth, I love the yellow tint it has. I’m always looking for the perfect book. And pencil for that matter but that’s another story… with a happy ending I might add!
I have a habit of always drawing A4, I think it comes from only having an A4 scanner, but lately I’ve been craving the chance to do bigger work, so the answer was an A3 sketchbook. Now, it’s not the most portable of objects. So I’ll reserve larger sketches for home.
The drawing above was done in my sparkly new sketchbook, and as I’ve already mentioned, I’m scared of new sketchbooks! Terrified! I have at least 10 smaller sketchbooks untouched through fear of spoiling them, mad, I know.
But this one was different, the first stroke of the pencil was a revelation, like being back at art school, the freedom of the larger workspace is fantastic, tomorrow I intend to more drawing in my new, now not so sparkly sketchbook. See, I can do it. I beat the fear, don’t get me wrong, I still hide new sketchbooks in drawers (They can’t see you from there) but I feel I’m finally moving forward, the blank page holds a lesser terror.

Until I buy another new book…


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Fading away.

THIS was to illustrate a short story about a man who dies as he places the final piece in his jigsaw. I like this illustration, it came out exactly as I pictured it. It is incomplete on purpose, as the man gets closer to death his line fades almost to nothing, details are missing, already dead.

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iPad therefore I am.

I KNOW, the title makes no sense, but it’s not easy coming up with a snappy title that contains iPad.

Anyway, I’d like to tell you how good the iPad is for art, it is amazingly versatile, from sketching to complete artworks. There are a wealth of drawing/painting apps out there for the iPad, the one I used for the illustration above was Brushes (£5.49) I believe David Hockney also used Brushes for his iPad paintings in his new show at the Royal Academy. Not that I am comparing myself to Hockney!

Along with the many and varied brushes and styles available, not to mention the ability to use layers, the main reason for me using Brushes is the ability to export the artwork to your Mac and then open it in Brushes Viewer to save at a much larger size, up to about a metre If a recall correctly, making it easily usable for glossy magazine illustrations. You can also create a video of the artwork in process, the video is saved as a Quicktime movie as is of a very good quality. Sadly as far as I know Brushes Viewer isn’t available for PC.

With the inevitable release of the iPad 3, which, apparently, has a retina display, I can only see art on the iPad gaining momentum. I can actually see myself doing more and more illustration jobs with it. 

Another thing I intend to try is sketching outside with the iPad, having watched David Hockney do this recently it has inspired me to try the same. So I intend to take my iPad out for a walk next time I’m in Scotland.
I know I’ve only mentioned the iPad in this article but it is by no means the only tablet out there. There are many available, I have no experience with them so don’t feel I can comment, but I would say get the one that best suits your needs.

So, if you have an iPad, or intend to get one in the future, I implore you to get creative with it. It’s also a lot cleaner that paint!
Below are my favourite iPad art apps.
Brushes (£5.49 iPad £2.99iPhone)
Sketchbook Pro (£2.99 iPad)
Procreate (£2.99)
Zen Brush (£1.99)


February 20, 2012 · 9:13 pm