Thursday, 26 April 2018

Skulls, skulls, more skulls......oh and bats !

As Whitby fills up with goths for our biannual weekend of velvet clad silliness, it seems like a good time to sit down and share what's being going on around here. Because I also have a blog over on my own website Drawing In Dark I don't always post here too so we have some catching up to do. Sitting comfy ? Good, then I shall begin :)

Skull t-shirt by Drawing In Dark

Most recently (read - just landed lol) is my new merchandise range based on two of my latest drawings, the human skull and my little hanging bat.

Skull tote by Drawing In Dark

This is the first time I've tried having any of my work screen printed and was frankly delighted with the results - I hadn't expected such a close representation, even down to tiny details.

Skull mirror by Drawing In Dark

I have also added to my range of accessories for the discerning goth by expanding my collections of mirrors and bookmarks. All of the products here are of course available in both skull and bat designs.

Bat bookmark by Drawing In Dark

I'm hoping to be adding cards and notebooks very soon. Asides from being very gorgeous, the merch serves another purpose - most of my time this year is being spent creating full page illustrations for a new horror anthology with author Sean Walter. The new lines keep my shops full while I'm bound to the drawing desk and are also letting me test out new product ideas for when we take the book on tour.

What a tour it will be - we didn't want the usual art show 'glass of fizzy and a nibbly thing' boring goings on so we're creating a fully immersive experience complete with animation, readings, 3d creations and an opening night party that's actually a party :) That's more than enough for a post all on its own so I'll get further into that in my next one. In the meantime, all of the above goodies are available via my website or my Drawing In Dark Etsy shop.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

It's alive !

So, in case you're wondering where I've been, I did finally manage to kill my beloved xp machine. Happily, that didn't impact my business too much as I have a tablet but since that didn't want to talk to Blogger, not even a little bit, I've been locked out. This means we have quite a bit to catch up on but let's start with this years most fun news.

Murder exhibition crow display

 After a mistake filming the drawing of one of my crows, I wound up with a matched pair following take 2. This got me thinking and I decided to see what a whole flock would look like. One Kickstarter later, 20 crows had pre sold and the game was on.

Limited edition Murder crow with certificate

The lovely chaps at Dillons of Whitby offered me the use of their beautiful breakfast room for a pop up show earlier this month. Supplied with wine and canapes we entertained a happy room of people also curious to see what a murder of the same crow looked like. Three crows from the exhibition were chosen for limited edition prints and sketchbooks.

Limited edition prints and sketchbooks
Those crows sponsored by the purchase of printed rewards are to be auctioned for Whitby Wildife Sanctuary. There are a very limited number of originals and printed specials still available to buy - you can bag one on my UK website or in my Etsy shop. When all the pieces sold have been shipped out, I'm building a virtual version of the exhibition on my website, more on that to follow.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Back In Black

Well, hello :) It's been a while - lots going on behind the scenes here so we have some catching up to do. How are you doing ? Good I hope.

Probably the biggest single thing that's changed is my UK website, I started over with Wix and have been able to add lots more features so the site is now a proper studio tour.

 From the beginning I wanted to make more of a connection between you the viewer seeing the artwork and me making it so that's one of my front paws right there on the home page :)

Stephen now has his own corner of the website - as his file continues to grow with contributions from other talented creatives and fans, I wanted somewhere to share and showcase new elements as they are added. If you'd like to play along, go see.

I've built up a complete collection of my crow drawings and added a new line in printed loveliness. Pocket mirrors, notebooks and prints are now available to buy here. I have more designs and products coming over the next few months.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Black box

 I've discovered a new toy :) Or rather, a new technique. If you read my last post you'll remember that I photographed something in a black mirror before drawing it. The results were fantastic so I've pretty much spent all my free time since stuffing things into the felt lined box I created to go with it and snapping away.

 There is a bit of an art to it - to photograph a reflection, you have to adjust your focus to cover the distance from your lens to the mirror - and back again. Then of course there's the issue of lighting the object without shining light on the mirror or towards the camera.

 The results are worth it though - I started with a deer skull and took two photographs of its reflection using different lighting. That completely transformed it as you can see from the resulting drawings here - they don't look like the same object in both at all.

I then drew the images out on Fabriano Artistico paper using charcoal pencil for the details and pure carbon stick to get that gorgeous velvety black background. You can buy the drawings framed and ready to go over in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

In the bag

Following on from my last post, I did finally finish my illustration for Sean Walters story 'An Invited Guest'. It's now available to buy printed with the tale in my Etsy shop

This was an interesting piece to work on - featuring a non traditional representation of death as a dark figure, his features hidden beneath a sack. I wanted the image to have an overall recognisably human shape but with a touch of otherness so I built a foam skull, working from a deer skull I had. I added suitably pointed teeth and covered it with the sack.

 To create a dark image, I photographed the piece in a black mirror so only the highlights would show. A lamp picked out the fine details such as the wispy beard I had given him.

 The drawing itself was done in charcoal and carbon on watercolour paper. I got through a lot of carbon on that background :) The finer details were picked out with a knife blade.

Now framed, I'm quite pleased with the overall effect - I've also gone on to do a lot more photography using that mirror. More on that in my next post. The image itself reveals more the longer you look at it. I exhibited it at this years Dark Arts show as part of the Bram Stoker International Film Festival.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

A non traditional death

Proof that social media can be fun came along the other day when I bumped into the splendid Sean Walter online who was looking for a 'non-traditional death'. Once I'd been persuaded to put the egg whisk and balloons safely away again, I established that what he actually wanted was an illustration to go with a new short story he was working on. 

Sean himself
Now as this is a new project I have nothing to show yet besides an interesting google search history but I'm so excited to be working with Sean that I thought you should meet him too :) You can follow Seans work as it develops through his Patreon page or grab a copy of his current collection on Amazon.

Seans current short story collection.
Our first collaboration will be available online and if I get copies printed fast enough, will be coming with me to this years Dark Arts exhibition in October. Exciting stuff ! Naturally, we've already got bigger plans and I hope to be bringing you more news of what we've been up to very shortly. No balloons...

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Monsters everywhere !

Total chaos here this week as I launched a new Kickstarter campaign for the monsters. I'm going to be showing them at Dark Arts again this year here in Whitby and after thinking how interested people were in their individual stories, decided to make something of it. In this case, more monsters and, if we do well enough, a book about them.

We wanted to the project to reflect what it's like to live with these things so made our own short video black and white movie style, complete with wibbly stop motion. You can see that here.

We also used the time to create an entire folder for our favourite monster, Stephen, including a map of the asylum where he lurks, newspaper cuttings and patient files.

We've also tried to explain what it's like dealing with these things day in, day out ( hence Rich in full monster wrangling outfit). We love what we do but it can be hard work, they come and go when they please and make working with children and animals look like a breeze. So, if you have a minute to do something fun, pop over to our page and if you can, support us - either by pledging or sharing on social media. It all helps :)