this northern boy

Illustrations for an imaginary age

Four Flyers

Sometimes, it’s nice to just sketch very loosely, and see what happens. I had no idea what the first of these was going to be before I put pencil to paper, but very quickly it became a little one-man spaceship. I liked it so much I carried on and drew another three. I might do more, they look pretty cool as a set I think.

Drawn on cheap copy paper with a Blacking pencil. Tweaked in photoshop for contrast and levels, and a bit of paper texture added.

Four-Flyers

Four flyers, pencil sketch

Jimi

For a recent commission I was asked to drawn Jimi Hendrix as a Cosmonaut. So I did…

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I drew this using Copic Multiliners, a Pentel Pocket Brush pen and a a big brush with some Sumi ink. The stars were splattered using an old toothbrush, white emulsion paint and some careful masking using tracing paper weighted down with coins.

A Big City Triptych

I love drawing city scenes, which is why it’s always been one of the options I’ve offered for my illustration commissions.

Last year Rob Harris contacted me to commission a medieval/fantasy street scene, and he must have liked the result – because he came back for two more illustrations.

This was the first image…

Big-City-2

I loved putting in as much detail as I could, making it seem like a place that had a story to it (even without the addition of any people). Rob then asked me to do another illustration, continuing the scene to the right…

Big-City-1

It was fun to be able to tell more of the story of the town, adding in the celtic style cross, the strange section of bridge, the silhouette of a figure in a window. Finally, just a couple of weeks ago Rob asked me for a final (I think) illustration to continue the scene to the left of the original image…

Big-City-3

This has been my favourite commission so far, I had a great time producing these for Rob and I’m delighted he liked the first one enough to commission the second and third.

Seen together I think the three illustrations look pretty good…

Big-City-Tryptich

If you would like to commission a street scene, or anything else, from me – have a look at this blog post for more details.

The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen

Daredevil commission.

Daredevil

Horror

A couple of recent sketches, a little different to my usual stuff. A pencil sketch of H.P. Lovecraft – with added tentacle, and a pen drawing of my version of Frankenstein’s monster.

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H.P. Lovecraft

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Frankenstein’s monster

Commissions

Stilted-City

I’m now happily accepting a new round of illustration commissions. If you’ve ever wanted to own some original art – and like my work – now’s your chance.

Commissions

If you would like to buy an original drawing, email me at rob [at] thisnorthernboy [dot] co [dot] uk , and you can request one of the following:

A robot
An Astronaut
A Spaceship
An imagined place
Something else entirely

What you’ll receive will be a black and white pen drawing, on an A4 sheet of good quality, 220gsm cartridge paper. The artwork will be approximately 240mm x 160mm in size, centred on the paper so you can frame it easily if you’d like to. If you would prefer a colour illustration – let me know and we can have a chat.

You can also request for the illustration to be landscape or portrait in orientation.

Any other requests – type of landscape, style of robot etc. can be made, but there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to take this into account. I know this sounds a little strict, but I only want to accept commissions that I’ll enjoy drawing right now, and in return you get a lovely surprise when you open your finished illustration.

What will this cost?

I charge a flat rate of £60 including post and packaging for the UK, and £60 + post and packaging for the rest of the world.

When you email me to request a commission, if you can include the address you’d like it shipped to, I’ll work out the cost of postage and let you know. If you’re happy with the overall cost I can accept payment by PayPal.

When will you get your drawing?

I’ll aim to complete and post all illustrations within three weeks of receiving payment.

What might your commission look like?

Well, it could look a little like these…

A New Dimension in Space…

This is a drawing I did in my Moleskine sketchbook a while ago, it’s the hero’s spaceship from a short story I’m writing that will be part of my Asteroid Belt Blues (ABB) universe. The spaceship is inspired by the modular design of the International Space Station, and by the look of modern submersibles. I love the idea of a big old fish tank style cockpit where the pilot can sit and look out at the stars. In my ABB future, materials science has progressed to a point where these structures can be made from a diamond/glass composite. Strong enough to withstand micrometeorite impacts and the pressures of interplanetary travel.

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I posted this picture on Instagram, where it was seen by Al William, and he kindly modelled the ship in Fusion 360 and Keyshot. I think it looks great, I love the decisions that Al had to make to complete the ship – based solely on the image above. Funnily Al thought it was a submersible – so that influence is obviously pretty strong.

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Al also sent me a 360 fly-around – it’s the first time I’ve seen one of my spaceship drawings come to life like this. I love it.

 

New Commissions

Of Pies and Men

North-V-South-pamphlet-cover-idea

My friend Jon Elliman and I have recently started a podcast – North v South. Episode 2 was recorded and released last night (thank’s to Jon’s amazingly quick edit), and it’ll be a weekly schedule from now on.

Jon and I met while working at the same design agency in St Margarets and got on very well right from the start, particularly the chat that designers enjoy (sometimes endure) across the top of an iMac. As Jon and I both freelance from home now, we realised how much we missed that aspect of working in a studio, so the podcast is an attempt to replicate that feeling. The title of the podcast, North v South is an allusion to the fact that Jon comes from the southern shires of England, and I hail from the north.

The first episode finds me chatting to Jon about how I got my start in design, after a couple of false starts, and about my move in to illustration. We discuss the merits of the iPad Pro and Pencil for drawing, which sketchbooks I use for what purposes. We also talk about pies.

In episode two I turn the tables and quiz Jon about how he went from being a scholar of medieval literature, to running his own design studio. Jon also explains the story behind his epic WWI historical project – Frank Crawshaw. We touch upon Russian prison tattoos, office pets, and we, once again, talk about pies.

Future topics of conversation in the podcast are:

Fighting Fantasy Books

Tools of the designer’s trade

Einstein’s Cross

A history of pies

Pen Talk

The U.S. Ghost Army

Blitz-stricken, London-dockland, epileptic, bipolar depressive

and…

Procrastination.

You can find the North v South podcast on SoundCloud and on iTunes.

 

 

Crenellations!

I’ve been to both York (my home town) and Windsor in the last couple of weeks, both boasting more crenellations than you can shake a sword at. I always try to take plenty of photos when I’m visiting historic places, just to add to my reference folder. You never know when you might need to draw a castle.

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