A selection of the small black & white spot illustrations recently created for my Tales of Quahnarren gamebook. These small pieces are known as ‘spacers’ as they are used to fill or create space when formatting the pages of a gamebook. They are frequently utilised to prevent widows and orphans from appearing in the text layout, and also to help with the placement of written sections that are accompanied by a full-page illustration and therefore must fall at a particular point in the document.
Early last year I worked on a home-made music video for local artist Gone Troppo, drawing four bird animations for the clip Make This Thing Fly. Unfortunately I couldn’t animate them as well as I desired due to limitations with the editing software that I had available, so I’ve now created these animated GIFs to show them off as intended.
They’re all hand illustrations, with the seagull drawn with a brush pen on paper and the remaining three all drawn on my Wacom tablet directly into Photoshop.
Rarely seen, these large and impressive birds are known as the ‘life giver.’ The arrival of a Firebird is always extremely welcome, as they only ever appear in moments of great personal need, when all hope seems lost and death imminently awaits. Featuring a vivid red and gold plumage, and long sapphire-blue tail feathers, Firebirds promptly restore life and vitality to all in peril within their immediate vicinity.
Those who have been bestowed the gift of the Firebird’s recuperative powers, state that they experienced a joyous and heartfelt warmth overrun their entire body, and that they felt affectionately protected and comforted during the restorative process. Many religious orders claim these birds to be arbiters from the heavens: returners of life to anyone about to be mistakenly called before their time. In various styles and uses throughout Quahnarren, the image of the Firebird is symbolically used to denote virtuous qualities and celestial affinity, and is regarded as an emblem of all principled people.
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A new addition to the creatures found in the fantasy land of Quahnarren.
Over the last few months I’ve been working with local songwriter Ray Rains, to produce a video clip for his song Make This Thing Fly. This is a real homemade effort, using my still camera to shoot all the live footage, iMovie to edit the clip, plus Illustrator and Photoshop to create the bird animations featured throughout. We shot a lot of footage – you should see all that has been left on the cutting room floor! – and even though we had no specific script, the final composition was pieced together to maintain an appropriate feel to match the mood and intent of the song.
Below are a few still shots taken from the filming nights, which taught me a lot about working with and directing musicians. A special mention should go to Peggy for her help in providing the angels, assisting with candles, and putting up with endless retakes.
After completing my original Alice Cooper and David Bowie poster designs back in June and July, I was thinking of producing variations of those pieces for use on clothing. So, attached here are new tee shirt designs for both artists.
I then decided to continue the fun, and have also created a few more items featuring recent art that I believed would work well as shirt designs. Just in time for summer…
These expansive grassed plains could not speak – however, they had their own violent tale of misery to tell any who would care to listen. Scattered across this recent battlefield lay the butchered remains of many men, their bodies destroyed by weapons fashioned for savage destruction, brutally wielded by murderous men possessing souls touched by an unfathomable darkness.
Reason, respect and any sense of justification departed in this theatre of war, by the hands of a callous and disreputable horde. Flesh ripped, bones were broken and crushed, and copious blood splattered and pooled over these plains. The air and earth had thundered with the tumultuous immensity of human slaughter and malicious intent, and billowing dust clouds, formed by the struggles of man and beast, had rapidly filtered the light from the bright midday sun.
An overwhelming and uneasy presence of death lingered and haunted this land, a location forever marked by a terrible and significant event, and the final quiet resting place for many souls.
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This is a newly created piece from my ongoing Tales of Quahnarren series of illustrated fantasy stories.
The written concept came firstly to me some time ago, and I had originally intended to show a much wider view featuring many visible human remains amongst the grass. But a chance viewing of an image showing a crow sitting on a soldiers helmet made me realize that a tighter focus would portray the scene in a more impactful way. This illustration came together relatively easily and completion time was somewhere around 15 hours. All the original painting for the vulture-like bird, skull and grasslands was completed in Corel Painter 12 using oil brushes, with final grass detailing and overall editing finalized in Adobe Photoshop CS5.