Monday
Nov092015

In Space No one can hear you Jingle.

 

Just a quick note to let you know that I got my act together slightly earlier this year and was able to come up with a seasonal design and upload it in time for people to actually buy it to use as a Christmas card. 

I wanted to do something inspired by the Ed Emshwiller (Emsh) cover illos for Galaxy Science Fiction magazine’s December editions of the early 1950’s. 

You can buy it from Fine Art England/Fine Art America here.  Best bet for UK/EU customers as art prints, canvases and greetings cards now also printed and shipped from Glasgow. Other formats still printed and shipped form the US.

Friday
Oct022015

Got knits again, just in time for Xmas.

Another knitting pattern book jacket for Ann Kingstone. A nice little A5 book full of patterns for Christmas gifts, I like the baubels best.  You can buy the physical book or ebook directly from Ann's site or just the ebook version from here.

This time the brief was something that felt more 1940’s (-ish), with a hint of 'Radio Times Christmas Special' about it. Think I’m getting better at painting knitting, although it doesn't get any easier or faster :)

Tuesday
Jun232015

Are "F1s" Electric?

Temporarily embiggened by the success of last year’s unofficial Tyke Sportif project for the Tour de Yorkshire I was looking around for other events to ‘celebrate’ (cash in on) and heard about the forthcoming (27th-28th June 2015) London ePrix.  I wanted to come up with a design that would work on various formats and not risk infringing the various trademarks and wording that only official sponsors are allowed to use on merch relating to mega sporting events. 

As I’ve been having fun with pulp covers recently it seemed logical to try and do it as a retro style magazine cover.  I looked at a lot of mid 60’s British Boy’s comics and magazines as the idea was for the cover feature to be predictions for motor racing 50 years in the future.  I got a bit distracted by lots of annuals and Gerry Anderson stuff…but then settled on a style that was somewhere between the cover art for Ranger (The National Magazine for Boys) and Michael Turner’s mid 60’s posters for the Monaco GP – with a bit of Scalextric box art thrown in.  I wanted this 60s kids idea of an electric Grand Prix car to be part slot car and part dodgem, all sparks and ozone and the track part fairground, part time tunnel.   I made 3d models of the cars and rendered them in a glass tube to give me some reference for the painting.  I’m no Michael Turner but I am fairly pleased that the finished design is pretty close to the thing that was screeching around in my head.

At the time of writing the design is available in various forms from posh framed prints and posters to greetings cards from FineArtEngland

(N.B. there was a temporary glitch earlier in the week where the entire FineArtEngland website got its knickers in a twist about currency exchanges and was displaying the dollar amount in pounds when items were added to the shopping cart, thus suddenly increasing the price by a factor of 150% :( Unsurprisingly this put several hundred people off – I don’t blame them.  Thankfully this has now been sorted out.  By way of an apology and an inducement to anyone who was put off I’ve reduced all the prices at my end so things are now about 15% cheaper than they were supposed to be originally. Huzzah!)

Alternatively Martin is cranking up the Marvellous Mechanical Metal Mangle and should be churning out metal plaque versions in the next day or so.  I’ll update this page as soon as he sends me the ordering links.

Tuesday
Jun092015

Knitting book cover

Back in February I finished a book jacket illustration for Ann Kingstone’s Lace Knits, but had to wait until it was out to brag about it. 

This was a thoroughly enjoyable job to work on.  Not just because the subject is so far removed from what I normally do, but also because I was working directly with the author (which you hardly ever get to do) and it turns out she’s really nice - which made everything so much easier.  She’d seen the image I did for the Tour de Yorkshire last year and wanted something in a similar style.

The brief was to come up with a design that looked like a girl’s annual from somewhere around the 1940s-ish (it drifted a bit).  We decided that the best way to do this was to integrate the illustration and the typography together in one painting mimicking the way it would’ve been done back in the 40’s. 

The idea behind the composition was the 3 models from the book as children ‘transported in time by the magic of knitting’ (I may have added that bit at the end to make me sound like I know what I am doing).  The tricky thing was that they needed to be wearing outfits based on the patterns inside the book.  I dunno how hard lace knitting is, but painting it is way harder than painting/drawing bicycles (and they ‘re a total pain, which is why I didn’t get around to doing a new image for this year’s Tour de Yorks).  I ended up with a painting style similar to Ladybird books in the early 60s it just seem to fit the level of detail required to show the knitting patterns.  A 40s or 50s painting style would’ve been a lot brushier and chunkier lines.

Once everything was painted there was a lot of ‘ageing’, print misalignment, ink fading etc to do in Photoshop.  I was worried that without an art director checking for colour correction there was a danger of it printing a bit ‘muddy’ but it’s come out pretty good and I’m well chuffed with the results.  It’s a nice object to hold, it’s got a good weight and quality feel to it which always helps sales from actual bookshops where people can handle the real thing before buying.  Ann seems v happy and that’s what matters.  She’s just returned from a book tour in the US so doubtless it’ll be “available in all good book stores” imminently.  At the moment the only link I have to buy it online is here.  I’ll add any more links as I get them.

Sunday
Nov232014

Pulp Covers #2 Santa vs the Yeti

Not originally intended for the pulp covers project, but I realised I needed a Christmas card and the Yeti I’d done for Fortean Times issue #298 was the snowiest thing to hand.  The idea was to come up with something in the style of a late 1950s ‘Men’s Adventure magazine’.

Although originally intended as a christmas card I'll upload it to the usual print on Demand sites so you can buy it a posters etc.

You can buy it from Fine Art England/Fine Art America here.

You can buy it from Redbubble here.

You can buy it from Society6 here.