About Tom McGrath

Despite being repeatedly told that all artists drink too much absinthe, cut their own ears off and only make money after they're dead- I have always wanted to be one. In fact, this has only encouraged me. Based in the North West of England I've been working as freelance illustrator and designer since I graduated in 2012. ...I still have both my ears.

Face Sketches- April 2014

A selection of assorted face sketches scanned from my current sketchbook. I tend to do an awful lot of these:

face sketches

Most are from imagination but some are taken from my little sketchbook I always take with me whenever I have to travel by train- it’s a great opportunity to draw people “in the wild”. I find that if you don’t take the time to keep looking at new reference you just end up drawing the same thing over and over again- going through the motions- it’s therapeutic but it doesn’t help you learn! A lot of learning to draw from imagination seems to be fighting your own habits and assumptions.

Laying out all your drawings next to one another like this allows you to easily see what mistakes and habits you most often replicate. I seem to draw a lot of white males of indeterminate age looking uncomfortably to the right. Hmm.

“Half Forgotten”

Half Forgotten

Here’s another collaborative piece done with my good friend H0lyhandgrenade.

As usual we took turns adding to the picture and passing it back and forth until it looked finished. It’s a lot of fun- though it tends to slow down toward the end (we started this in August 2013). I’d definitely recommend it- you both learn and benefit from one another’s skill.

Surf Knight

A Knight on a surfboard

Dear Olympic Comitee,

I watched your last show at London on my telivision and thought it was quite good. However I have some ideas that I think may help you get more people interested in your programme, after all, nobody likes sports these days do they? They’re all inside eatin jaffa cakes and playing mario warriors. That’s why all the kids are so fat isn’t it!

People say that kids these days play too many voilent video games and it isn’t good for thier intellectual and moral development and they shpuld be outside in the fresh air (unless you live in London or somewhere big, where there isn’t any!) playing sports and engaging in physcal activities and stuff like that. I dont mean to boast but Im a very clever and got several Bs at school in subjects that are not dance, drama or cooking. Therefore you should listen to my idea which is this:

More fat children will go outside and play sports and like your olympic advertising shows if you make them more like video games. That is to say- more violent.
Here is one such suggestion i have drawn for you on my computer it is called “Surf Jousting”. It could also be named Joust surfing or Water pole. The object of the sport is for two men riding the sea waves on surf boards to go towards each other very fast with big poles and smack each other right in the melon. The last one to drown wins. it will be more popular with sharks added.

Please let me know if you think this is a good plan and if I can have some money for suggesting it. i have got more suggestion to offer soon
Yours Sincerly

Tom McGrath
Professhunal Artist

P.S This work is copyright 2013 to me. So don’t nick it eh!

The Great Race

Here’s a little step-through of a new image I’ve just completed and added to my gallery- I like to save little jpg versions of my work every time I finish a painting session so that when it’s finally complete I can look back and have the pleasure of seeing the image develop in front of me.
Looks like I didn’t change my mind too much with this one.

You can see a (ever so slightly) larger version here in my gallery: www.spikedmcgrath.com/gallery/great_race.html

Dieselpunk Mech

It’s a Dieselpunk mech!*

It’s based off an image I made back in college that was haunting me with its spirit of inadequacy. Consequently I had to remake it. Better.

dieselpunk mech

You can see the a few snapshots of the process behind this one in the gallery below, along with the old design I did back in college that served as the inspiration.

*1 some people would say it was “atompunk” but I didn’t know that particular subgenre of speculative fiction even existed until I checked Wikipedia after uploading it. The main thing is it isn’t Steampunk this time!