Cover art for “Ozel the Wizard”

Here’s some recently completed work that I did for Author Jim Hodgson and his latest YA (young adult) series dubbed “Ozel the wizard.” Here’s the blurb from the back of book one- Apprentice Quest.

Cover illustration for book one: Apprentice Quest

A hopeful orphan. An incredible wizard. One boy must do the impossible to change his life forever…

Ozel wonders if he’ll ever escape his angry, fat caretaker. As the orphan hopes for a better future, a mysterious wizard gives him the gift of an apprenticeship and some unbelievable magic. But when Ozel discovers he’s the lone heir to a massive fortune, he’ll need more than a few spells to claim it. 

After learning his portly caretaker plans to steal the money first, Ozel races through a forest of blacksmiths, witches, and even the undead to protect his birthright. If he survives the treacherous Tangul forest, the orphan and his wizard may just have to stop a twisted mage to go from zero to wealthy hero.

Apprentice Quest is a young adult fantasy novel full of action and humor. If you like powerful wizards, twists and turns, and coming-of-age tales, then you’ll love Jim Hodgson’s worthy successor to the magical genre. 

Cover illustration for book two: Journeyman’s Trial

The last book in the series- Wizard’s Resolve– launched just before Christmas. If you’re looking for something that has wizards in it and doesn’t include all that tedious Quidditch nonsense then check it out over on Amazon.

Cover art for book three: Wizard’s resolve

It was a great pleasure to work with Jim, and hopefully the future will see many more opportunities to do so!

“Airlock Love”

Something a little different for me- I heard this song:

An image immediately popped into my head. It’s rare that that happens! It was a fun little distraction from my “proper” work, and a nice excuse to experiment with style and some new brushes in Paintstorm.

Vintage steampunk posters

Here’s a couple of posters I designed for a client some time back, both of them are vintage, Victorian-inspired steampunk styled efforts.

The first is a poster for a fictional airship race over the streets of Paris. “La Grande Course d’air de Paris!” I spent a long time trying to match up google Earth data with old photos of the city to get as realistic impression of the city in 1986. The design even features an old version of the Eiffel tower with it’s original top and it’s briefly-featured yellow ochre paint job.

Below are the thumbnails I presented to the client with the possible options for the finished illustration. I often think that some do a much better job of selling the idea than others and I’m often surprised by what gets chosen.

The second poster is a handbill advertisement for a lecture by the Great Detective himself- Mr Sherlock Holmes. This one features a purely typographical approach, with hand-drawn decoration similar to some period examples.

There’s a whole world of Victorian typography and hand-drawn lettering out there that’s really incredible. Despite it’s imperfections, hand-drawn lettering has a lot more charm than a digital font. It’s definitely something I’d like to explore further in future.

The Museum of Unnatural History

Here’s a picture I finished recently called “The Museum of Unnatural History”. It’s an idea that’s been knocking around in my head for a few years now but I’d been putting off knowing it was going to be a big, time-consuming job. Eventually I decided it wasn’t going to paint itself and got stuck in.

A scene from the museum foyer
Click to see a larger version. I didn’t paint those details for nothing!

Perhaps a little self-indulgent. Even by my standards! I’ve hidden a number of things from my past (and future!) work in there, alongside some popular characters some people may recognise.

The Dragon Dentists

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a dragon in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a dentist.

You see- for all their bluster and burning- roaring and devouring- dragons have yet to invent the electric toothbrush- and consequently have very poor oral hygiene. One point to the humans I say. Indeed it’s a common theory that serious toothache is what makes dragons so narked off all the time. Thus it makes good sense to help them out with their gnashers just to ensure they don’t get all agitated and torch a primary school.

Dragon dentistry however- is not something for the faint of heart, nor the flammable of composition. It takes a special kind of expertise to look death in the mouth- and then fix his teeth with big tweezers. This is the job of Dr Earnest Pimm & Sons professional dragon dentists. Est. 1813

Dragon dentists remove a rotten tooth

Here we see routine operation to remove a rotten tooth.  Dr Pimm directs proceedings while second son Toby dons the asbestos suit (for safety) and operates the no 4 drill. Eldest son Arthur operates the saliva pump while 3rd son Anthony controls the nozzle. Of course the best way to placate a dragon while operating is to use sock puppets- a job which falls to the youngest Pimm- Maggie- who isn’t technically a son but isn’t worth changing all the branded stationary for either.

The Truffle Hunt

A new personal piece for the gallery. This one’s been in limbo for so long now that I thought I better put it out there and move on:

The Truffle Hunt

They’d been travelling for almost a year now, a long journey through fens and swamps, badlands and scrublands, across the cratered plains where the huge trees grew- nervously watching the skies and scanning the tall grasses. At last they had reached the rift basin. They were close.

Signe waded knee deep through the tepid waters. The heat was sweltering- an oppressive, humid, damp that stuck her clothes to her skin and never allowed a single moment of comfort. Ragna sat high up on the back of Torvald- resting atop the truffle baskets and scanning the horizon with her scope. So far from the colony you could never be too careful.

It would soon be time for them to return, back to the distant frontier colony with their precious cargo of meteor truffles- the vast luminous fungi that grew only at the site of fallen meteors. One truffle could keep the colony going for half a year- lighting, utilities, recharging the energy rifles- it was all powered by meteor truffles.  But truffle hunting was dangerous business, there were beasts aplenty, vast and harsh wilderness to traverse, disease , injury and starvation an ever present threat. Many hunters left the colony each year never to be seen alive again.

Back To The Drawing Room

The inimitable folk-punk band Smokey Bastard have a new album out- and I’ve done the artwork for them.

Cover art for Back To The Drawing Room

Baba Yaga

The guys were good enough to do some music and put it on discs and stuff so we had something to wrap the artwork around!

…Just kidding. I’ve heard it, and its very good, and I’m chuffed I got to be involved. Other people seem to think it’s good too.

If you want to hear it you can find links on their site here: http://www.smokeybastard.com/

…or follow them on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/smokeybastard/

The pirate ship “Dryad”

The pirate ship "Dryad"

This photograph of the pirate ship “Dryad” was taken by a travelling photographer in the Northern reaches of the ravine province- confirming reports that pirates have been operating in the area. Dryad- Formerly HMS Swallow- was captured by pirates last Autumn while returning from a routine reconnaissance mission. Our sources in the intelligence service claim there’s rumours that the recent piracy “epidemic” in the Northern provinces are sponsored by foreign nation states.

Military forces have been deployed to the North including anti-airship missile batteries on-route from Edwinton. It is believed to be only a matter of time before Dryad is either sunk or back in Union hands.

The Most Beautiful Girl in the Tribe

I recently discovered the amazing work of photographer Jimmy Nelson and was inspired by his intense and beautiful portraits of tribal cultures around the globe. I heartily recommend seeing his work: http://www.beforethey.com/

Regrettably- I could only approach this new inspiration in my usual manner. So here’s a picture of someone in silly glasses.

A tribal beauty in silly glasses
The most Beautiful Girl in the Tribe