this northern boy

Illustrations for an imaginary age

FAQs

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I get quite a lot of comments on my posts on social media, and often people are asking me the same questions, so I thought I may as well answer a few of them here.

“Where can I find more of your work?”

I post regularly on social media, so find more of my illustrations –
Instagram
Facebook
Tumblr
Twitter

“What pen do you use?”

This is the question I get asked more than any other, and I know other illustrators get it a lot too. The first thing to say is – it isn’t about the pen. Yes you might get a bit of a difference in quality of line from pen to pen, obviously a brush pen gets you a different look to a pigment liner, but the pen doesn’t make you any better at drawing. The only way to get better at drawing – is to draw.

However, if you’re interested in the geekery of pens:

Copic Multiliner – 0.03 to 0.7 nibs
Rotring Tikky – 0.3 to 0.7 nibs
Pentel Pocket Brush
Kuretake No8 Brush Pen
Stabilo Point 88

Blackwing 602 pencil
Tombow Mono100 pencil
Steadtler Tradition HB pencil
Rotring Tikky mechanical pencil
Lamy Scribble mechanical pencil

Platinum Carbon fountain pen
Kuretake Zig Manga dip pen

Uni Posca White pen
Sharpies

Other kit…
Minisun A4 Lightbox

Sumi Ink 60
Winsor & Newton Masking Fluid
Daler Rowney A4 Cartridge paper
Moleskine A5 Sketchbook

“Where did you learn to draw?”

I was always the kid that drew, from as far back as I remember I was always drawing. When I was a little kid I used to sit in an armchair at home with a bit of wood across the arms, like a desk. I’d sit there and draw spaceships and monsters and dinosaurs and dragons for hours. Throughout all my school years, despite studying art, I don’t really recall being taught anything at all. Even at college (studying for a graphic design degree) I don’t think I got much in the way of tutoring. After college I barely drew at all for twenty years, since then all my progress has been through practice, and being inspired by all the great artists doing great work out there.

“Where do you get your ideas?”

Where aren’t there ideas? If you read books or comics, if you watch TV or film, if you look out of your window at home or school or work – there are ideas everywhere. You just have to look and let everything soak in. I get inspired by all kinds of things – looking at industrial buildings from the window of my train commute, the weird old oak trees in the park near my house. Films and books are a big influence – I’ve always been a sci-fi nerd so in my work you can see bits of Ralph McQuarrie, Jim Burns, Carlos Ezquerra, Jean Giraud and Enki Bilal.

“Why don’t you do a book?”

I’m working on a book. Slowly. It’ll be written and illustrated by me. Currently it’s about 75% written, but I’ve barely started thinking about the illustrations yet. So, nothing will be out for a while. There will definitely be a book at some point. And it will be about trolls. Currently the only book I have worked on as an illustrator, is Build! A Knight’s Castle. It was lots of fun to illustrate, and I’d love to do more.

You can also find my work in Sketching From The Imagination: Sci-Fi, and Issue 2 of the brilliant Graphite Magazine.

“Where can I buy your work?”

At the moment only original work is available to buy, so drop me a message on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and let me know what you are interested in. There’s a little more information here.
I will have an online shop selling prints up and running soon.

Recent Commissions

 

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:

An isometric building
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 or A5 sheet of good quality, 220gsm cartridge paper. 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?

For an A5 (148 x 210mm) commission I charge £50 + post & packaging.
For an A4 (210 x 297mm) commission I charge £80 + post & packaging.

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.

Fancy some original art?

Egyptian

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:

An isometric building
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 or A5 sheet of good quality, 220gsm cartridge paper. 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?

For an A5 (148 x 210mm) commission I charge £50 + post & packaging.
For an A4 (210 x 297mm) commission I charge £80 + post & packaging.

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.

 

Updates…

It’s been a while since I blogged – work and holidays have both combined to keep me from doing so.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been working on getting some artwork ready to sell online as prints – should be ready to go in April – which is very exciting. I’ll be launching with five or six different illustrations, most of which will be available to buy at a couple of different sizes. When everything is confirmed I’ll post here about it.

I’ve also completed a couple of commissions and worked on some concept art for a couple of clients – I can’t share any of that just yet though.

For now, here are some of the sketches I’ve done over the past couple of months.

 

Tentacles Redux

Recently I’ve been working on a new version of my illustration The Island. I want to offer this as a print, but the original was drawn pretty small in a Moleskine sketchbook so not really good enough quality.

The new version is drawn on good quality smooth cartridge paper. I’ve kept the drawing very close to the original, just tweaking a few things here and there. I’m really pleased with the end result and I think it’ll look great as a print.

I should have prints available, in a selection of sizes, from mid March. I’ll post more information soon.

the-island-redux

Any ideas?

So far on my blog I’ve mostly posted images of my work – in progress and finished – some stuff about my process and bits and pieces about what materials I use.

What have you enjoyed reading? What would you like to see more of? Are there things you’d like to know about me, my work, my methods, or my inspiration?

Let me know in the comments!

 

Best of the Year?

Instagram is full of #2016bestnine posts right now. Everyone uploading a little three by three image of their most popular images of the year – you can do the same by going to https://2016bestnine.com

Mine are mostly from October, or Inktober. That’s fine, it was a month where my follower count went bonkers and I got lots of lovely feedback about the isometric drawings. Not sure any of these would be my favourite illustration of the year though. (This might be, although I can’t post the full image for another week or so.)

Do you have a favourite image I’ve posted in 2016?

New Year’s Eve sets like an appropriate time to thank you all for continuing to support my blog, to comment and like here and on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I can’t really work in a vacuum, so your feedback and encouragement is incredibly important, and I am very grateful. Thank you all, I hope to create some great stuff in 2017 and I hope you’ll be with me all the way.

Christmas Commissions

If you fancy one of my illustrations in time for Christmas you only have a couple more days to get in touch. If you can order by Thursday 15th December you’ll get your commission as a festive treat.

Drop me an email at rob [at] thisnorthernboy [dot] co [dot] uk and let me know what kind of thing you’re looking for. As a rough guide – A5 is £50, A4 is £80, including UK postage (overseas a little extra).

Isometricness III

It’s been a couple of weeks since the end of Inktober and, despite my computer’s hard drive failing, I’ve finally got all the images scanned and cleaned up.

The month was rewarding for me in terms of my drawing, I definitely think I improved from week to week. It was also great in terms of marketing me as an illustrator. Over the course of the month my Instagram followers increased from a little under ten thousand, to over twenty thousand – I haven’t been able to work out quite how that happened. Every one of the isometric drawings sold, and I got another 15 illustration commissions on the back of that.

My next blog post will be about social media, so I’ll discuss a little more then about Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Here are all 31 of my isometric Inktober drawings. Do you have a favourite?

1_clean

Day 1.

 

 

31

Day 31. All done.

Thanks very much to everyone who liked, commented, shared and retweeted my posts throughout October – and a special thanks everybody that bought one of my inktober illustrations.

Isometricness II

A little update on this year’s Inktober project. 

As I mentioned in my last post I’m drawing a month’s worth of little isometric buildings for this year’s Inktober project. I’ve started off with some medieval / fantasy type buildings, and I’m planning to delve in to sci-fi, WWII, and perhaps Victorian eras too.

Here are the first 13. All my Inktober illustrations go on sale as soon as they are posted on Instagram (a couple of these first few are still available) for the price of £31 (including UK postage. Overseas will be a little extra).

I’ll be drawing each building on Daler Rowney cartridge paper, using Rotring Tikky and Copic Multiliner pens.

Follow me on Instagram if you fancy owning one of these.