Sunday, 30 December 2012

Horse Portrait- "Midnight"

A final post of the year- here's a horse portrait commission I recently completed.

Hope everyone's having a great Christmas (or just a great December), and very best wishes for the new year!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Illustration for SCHOTT Glass Manufacturers

An advertising illustration I did a while back for SCHOTT North America.  The illustration formed an advertisement for the company's industry-leading green tech home glass appliances. The client had a pretty clear idea of how they wanted the image to look. Ad agency Doe Anderson shot the photography, and I painted in the rest of the image.

I was told that the animals must not look too 'Disney', as the advertisement was going to be used at an event held at Disneyland.

Monday, 3 December 2012


Had to pull some cat sketches together for a client. Thought I'd deposit them here too.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Illustrations for 'Silentnight'

I'm finally now able to show some illustrations I've been doing on-and-off throughout the year for Silentnight beds. I was asked to produce some new images of their familiar hippo and duck mascots in various scenarios, for use in brochures and print material. I'm not sure whether there are more of these to do or not.

Monday, 26 November 2012

'The Republican Party Isn't Dead' Illustration for the Boston Globe

This illustration appeared in the Opinion section of Sunday's Boston Globe. There was a very short deadline for this one- I received the job at 5.30 in the evening and (partly due to other commitments) had to have it finished by 8.30 the next morning.

The editorial piece discusses how the Republican party will move on after Mitt Romney's defeat, their need to attract a broader demographic base, and how the 2016 election will likely see a Republican presidential candidate far younger than the Democrat.

The art director was keen to use some kind of deconstruction of the Republican's famous elephant icon. I came up with a few ideas, and we settled on this, an elephant being rebuilt from lego-style building blocks- alluding to this more youthful future.

At the time it hadn't been decided whether the illustration would run in colour or B&W, so I had to make sure it worked well in both.

A tough night, but very pleased with the outcome of this one.

The complete piece can be read (alongside the illustration) online here

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

'Secret London'- Serco Prize for Illustration 2012

The 2012 Association of Illustrators Serco Prize exhibition is currently on at the London Transport Museum. This year's theme was Secret London, with entries tasked with exploring hidden and lesser-known aspects of the capital's history, culture and geography. My illustration, London's Ancient Trees, can be seen there along with the other selected entries until December 10th.

Many thanks to the AOI, Serco and the LTM for putting a great show together, and a brilliant opening night. Congratulations to the winners, and look out for Finn Clark's winning design on posters throughout the tube network.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Images 36: Best of British Illustration 2012

A couple of snaps of my picture 'Aquacat' in Images 36: Best of British Illustration 2012. This is the book produced to showcase selected entries to the Association of Illustrators' annual competition.

A great evening was had at the book launch & opening night of the accompanying exhibition, at Somerset House, the impressive new home of the AOI. 

The book, complete with stylishly minimal slipcase, is available to buy now, and the exhibition is enjoying its last couple of days. (I'm not in the exhibition, by the way, but it's well worth a visit this weekend.)

Fantastic to see my work printed in here! 

Next year's edition of the competition is being revamped in as-yet unannounced way- it'll be very interesting to see where they take it.

Many congratulations to all of this year's winners

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Been framing up my print for the AOI Serco Prize exhibition at the London Transport Museum, opening next month.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Website Polish-Up

I've given my portfolio website an overdue spit 'n' polish, kicked out a lot of older work and added some new bits and pieces. Please take a look!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Boston Globe Sketches

Thought I'd pop up some of the sketches I did for the Boston Globe illustration I posted a couple of weeks ago.

Here's the final sketch: 

Monday, 10 September 2012

St Paul's

She wasn't really bothered about the Olympics. Seen it all before.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Boston Globe Illustration

Last week I was asked to produce an illustration for the Opinion pages of the Boston Globe. In the editorial, the writer reminisces about her life before and after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, where her husband was an investment banker. The story hangs around a recollected holiday afternoon in the summer of 2001. The art director was particularly keen on capturing the evocative atmosphere of the piece.

The editorial, by Judy Abel, can be read online, but is subscribers only. It's a great piece though!

The illustration ran pretty large- it was printed at about 10 inches high, I believe, which is very cool. I'll try to post up some of my sketches for this too.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Jurassic Park

I've been reading Jurassic Park, having picked up this pre-Spielberg paperback in Oxfam. I recall hearing stories about the novel's nasty happenings as a Jurassic Park-obsessed 6 or 7 year-old when the film came out. It's taken me a decade and a half or so to actually come to read it myself. 

The dramatic cover was painted by John Brettoner. After many years as an airbrush-wielding illustrator, he now runs, a stock library site specialising in photographs of fruit.

Having read my way to the two-thirds point, I'd actually say that the novel is far less convincing than the film, though many seem to disagree.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Thursday, 24 May 2012


Another gouache sketch. Plants on the bathroom window sill.


My girlfriend Pat and I spent the New Year period in Beijing and Hong Kong with her family. Had an amazing, sub-zero time in a fascinating country. Just wanted to share a few photos of the trip.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Park Sketches

Springtime gouache sketches, Alexandra Park. 

Been enjoying gouache for sketching outside this year. Ease of use, vibrant and quick-drying, and the opacity massively helps when working quickly. 

Trying to capture quick glimpses of places.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Serco Prize for Illustration 2012- London's Ancient Trees

My entry to the AOI's  Serco Prize for Illustration has been chosen to exhibit at the London Transport Museum again this year.

This year's theme was 'Secret London'- exploring a hidden side to the capital. My subject is the great ancient trees that populate London's parks, streets and gardens. I sought to convey the strength and grandeur of these elder residents of the city. As they grow to many hundreds of years old, each tree seems to take on a unique personality of its own. They grow to huge size, twist into bizarre forms, support ecosystems and watch patiently as the world goes on around them, tiny humans scuttling to and fro cocking things up.

At risk of sounding overtly hippyish... trees are pretty damn awesome.

The tree sketch I posted previously, drawn from life in Kensington Gardens, formed the basis of the finished image. I exaggerated and simplified the form and size of the tree, gave it a sprinkling of new buds to make sure it didn't look dead, and added a few awe-struck Londoners. Penciled, inked mostly with a brush, and Photoshopped.

It was a cracking exhibition last year and I'm greatly looking forward to the 2012 show.

Full info on the competition and the exhibiting illustrators can be found on the AOI.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Ancient Sweet Chestnut Tree

An ancient sweet chestnut tree in Kensington Gardens.

The Woodland Trust has constructed an ambitious database mapping the UK's 'ancient' trees. Users can type in their postcode and locate the wise old statesmen in their area.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Garden Sunshine

Another sunny-day sketch.

Resurrection Sketches

I thought it about time I began updating the blog again. Here are a couple of gouache sketches from one of those sunny days, sitting in the woods.