this northern boy

Have pen, will doodle

Twelve Human Hearts

I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to go in to space, just like Neil Armstrong, or Flash Gordon, or Dan Dare.

I still want to go into space. I always will.

I’ve been working on these posters for a while, they are the first two of a set of four to celebrate the Apollo missions of the late 60s and early 70s.

The first poster names all twelve astronauts to land on the moon, as well as the combined time spent on the moon. The second poster features the F-1 rocket engine, five of which powered the Saturn V rocket.

Apollo Poster 1

Twelve Human Hearts

Apollo Poster 2

Saturn V

A lone spaceship…

It’s been a while since I drew a spaceship, so it was fun to create this little one-man flyer. I think it’ll get some colour in the next few days – probably orange.

One-man flyer.

One-man flyer.

Three days in Paris

I’ve just got back from a few days in Paris. Very hectic, trying to fit in as much of the big Paris stuff, for my two young nieces, as possible. Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Montmartre, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, boat trip down the Seine…

Exhausting, but brilliant.

The architecture completely blew me away. Not just the big, grand museums, palaces and galleries (but blimey were they big and grand!), but the regular streets and residential buildings. It seems that nearly every street in central Paris is an eight storey avenue of astonishing apartments. I fell in love with practically every roof I saw – steeply pitched and leaded, with ornate windows, chimneys, balconies and facades. Beautiful.

I think those rooftops are going to make an appearance in at least a few of my drawings very soon.

Here are a few photos from my trip…

The Stones…

Inspired by Linda Thompson‘s song “Nine Stone Rig”…

I’ve been drawing standing stones. Part neolithic, part Lord of the Rings.

Drawing of standing stones

Nine Stone Rig

Drawing of a rock formation

The Stones

The Island

I finished and coloured The Island, seen in my previous post. Coloured with Copic Ciao Markers.

Colour Illustration of The Island.

The Island, finally coloured

Of secrets beneath the waves

More imaginary places. I’ve blogged before about how I love to draw make-believe places, and in the last few days I’ve been doing more…

The Copse

The Copse

The Island

The Island

The City

The City

I’d like to visit all of these places. I’d like to know their inhabitants, their histories, their futures… I want to know why that rock floats with its little stand of trees. I want to know about those tentacles beneath the island – I want to know if the people who live there know about them. I want to know about that city, who rules it, who that great wall keeps out…

Maybe I’ll write the stories of these imagined places one day.

If you want to see more of my drawings, and some work-in-progress pics, have a look at my Instagram page.

The Lighthouse in the Sky…

Finally finished and coloured an illustration that I started a few weeks ago. Vaguely inspired by the work of John Evelyn, Conrado Almada and Hayao Miyazaki, it’s one of those illustrations, that as I draw, takes on a little life of its own. I can’t help but wonder who lives there, what the lighthouse is for, what kind of ships need warning of rocks in the sky…?

I think there’s definitely a story to be told here. By somebody.


The Lighthouse in the Sky

The Lighthouse in the Sky


Inspired by the lighthouse, I thought I’d add some more…

Village in the Clouds

Village in the Clouds

New projects…

Well, the Droids are done – although I will be updating my Tumblr blog over the next few weeks as I reblog and rework some of my favourite robots – so it’s time for something new.

Today I wrote my first post over at Asteroid Belt Blues, my new Tumblr. I’ll be posting illustrations, sketches and some writing here, expanding on some of the spaceship and science fiction drawings I’ve been doing alongside my droids. I want to create a believable world, a near future where the asteroid belt and outer planets are the new frontier.

I also have another project I’m beginning, not an illustrative one, so I won’t really be posting updates. Today I’ve begun a children’s story, which will hopefully become a book. I’ve had some ideas swirling around my head for a while, so I thought it was time I did something about it. I’m giving myself a year to write and illustrate it, and to submit it to publishers. I have no idea if that’s a realistic time frame, but I’ll give it a go.

Should be fun.


One of the recurring themes of my droids has to be tentacles. I don’t know why but I do love drawing a nice set of tentacles (no sniggering at the back). I quite like drawing octopus and squid too, so it’s not just droids.

There’s definitely a weird hybrid of jellyfish and octopus going on in most of these, with hints of The Matrix and The Empire Strikes Back.


The home straight…

I’m 355 days into my Droid A Day project. Further than, at times, I thought I’d ever get. Close enough to the finish that I’m thinking constantly about what I do when it’s over. Definitely not another daily drawing project that’s for sure (not straight away).

With just a few more droids to go I thought I’d post some of my recent favourite. Warning: there may be colour.


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