Say hello to this weeks Diary illustration. In some ways I think its a little bit of a return to form for me, one of the parts I like most is actually how the illustration responds to the article, I especially enjoyed doing the hidden moose horns. Slightly annoying though is that I think I chose a colour for the sky that was a bit to similar to the colour of the paper, seems I fall for that trap every-time. Thankfully its a small part of the image and still adds another layer to the illustration as its just different enough to stand out. A part that doesn’t have any trouble standing out is the mountains, they really do set up the image nicely. The backgrounds are certainly an area I have improved a lot in, even since last year.
Please do have a read of the article, click HERE
A slight change for this weeks FT Illustration, it’s a lady!! I always worry I’m going to over complicate the drawing when my subject is a female. Often it’s difficult to recreate the softness with my particular mark making techniques, so instead of blemish free cheeks, I do wizened old witch lady. Which as you can imagine is not desirable when drawing a female model in a her mid 20′s. So I was very conscious of this when drawing Meredith Whitney, a pretty, elegant, powerful woman not an old hessian potato sack. I found the key to getting this right was the line direction, thus making the lines part of a shape rather than literal wrinkles or gashes in the skin. On a separate note, I am very much enjoying mixing Mono-Print with pencil in my portraiture. I think it gives a detailed yet organic finish to the pieces that I’m going to explore further.
See the whole article HERE
A few months ago a very nice fella by the name of Timba Smits asked me if I wanted to take a part in a ‘little’ exhibition he was putting together. As you can imagine I was incredibly flattered to be asked and certainly did not waste time in saying yes. The event is in aid of two charities, Art Against Knives and the cancer support charity Macmillan. Both these two charities have a personal connection to the events organisers Timba Smits and ‘Flash’ Gordon Shaw with a couple of pretty inspiring stories to go with them.
My brief was to illustrate however I saw fit, a film of my choice. There was however a twist, it had to be displayed inside the sleeve of a classic VHS case which would then go into the exhibition with around 200 other artists creations. Then after 9 days on show the many different film inspired pieces will be sold off with 100% of the profits going to the two charities. Notice I said ‘will’ not ‘have’. If you are reading this before the 13th July 2013 there is the very real possibility that you could own one of the many excellent creations on show. I popped along on saturday 6th to see it all looking glorious, with so, so many beautiful illustrations, it really is quite something to see.
After a lot of thought I decided I would illustrate the 1979 classic ‘The Warriors‘. Not because it’s my favourite film of all time (although it’s up there) but because I wanted to choose one I thought no one else would. I looked at it as real opportunity to do a composition I dont often get to do. The storyline focuses on the many different gangs that litter the streets of 1970′s New York. Each one tries to be as different as the last creating, what would look like to me and you, a sort of fancy dress party. I wanted to keep the design relatively simple by focusing on my favourite characters that make the film what it is. With the bold colours I wanted to loosely gather some of the gang members together creating a bit of order to the more organic layout.
If you have been to the show or if you’re maybe planning to buy a VHS case, I would love to know what you think. For more information please click HERE
I know what you’re thinking, “huh, Luke’s work has got better almost over night!” … Well you’re wrong! Allow me to introduce Scarlett Tierney. I have been a massive fan of Scarlett’s lino print work for a while now. I first caught a glimpse of this image when it was a work in progress and straight away knew I
wanted needed to have it! It has such strong organic qualities that give it so much character and a wonderful edge that turns it from a piece of art, into a masterpiece.
You to can admire Scarlett’s work HERE
The pure and simple beauty of illustration is that it can be used in so many different areas. A few weeks ago I turned my hand to a fashion brief in a short but welcome break from the world of editorial illustration. Cloth. is an independent mens clothing store based in Lurgan, Northern Ireland. They have a range of quality brands such as YMC, Lyle and Scott, Levis, Olivier Spencer and many more. This summer they wanted a centre fold illustration to crown their S/S lookbook. Although I was provided with a very well put together brief I did have a fair old amount of freedom to take it where I wanted. The resulting work is something I am pretty chuffed with and I’m sure it’ll be the centre piece of my portfolio.
It’s a great feeling when I get a job where I feel as if I have been able to push my work in a new direction, rather than just churning out the same work every week. One thing that helps this is when the art director gives very specific guidelines for what they want, it creates a much bigger challenge and inevitably induces change. In the case of this job, it was the blue colour on the boys T-shirts that are worn by the ‘To Be Continued’ crew. It’s definitely not a colour I would have chosen on my own right, so finding colours to compliment and still work in the image was my challenge. By forcing yourself to work with different elements, in this case the colour, I think it also helps you think about the image as a whole in a different way, which in turn helps you bring new and in my case improved ideas.
See the Full article HERE
A few weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to lend my illustrative skills to a little project called Slanted Mansion. I tend to be selective about accepting unpaid work, however I was so impressed by Slanted Mansion’s website that I couldn’t turn them down. What S.M do is take a peak into the world of various creatives such as writers, producers, artists, musicians and alike; with interviews and photographs of their work spaces it gives us a window into their world. My part in this was to create a portrait of one of these creatives that will feature in their first promotional newspaper, I had the pleasure of illustrating the Australian journalist and writer Nigel O’Connor. However I wasn’t alone, a number of other illustrators joined in on the fun, which included Harriet Gray and Laura Manfre. The end product was so well put together it’s sure to be a hit and I look forward to seeing more of Slanted Mansion in the future.
I have really missed doing work for panorama as they have such great briefs, so it was great to get this job a few weeks ago! The direction they gave me was “Black and Red, when I asked if the had any direction in terms of concept they said “black and red”. My favourite part of constructing this image has to be the ‘Dantes Inferno’ inspired people to the left, the Mono print and bold red colouring really did it justice.
If you can read Italian and would like to have a peep at Matt Rudd’s interview with Dan Brown click HERE
Quite a fun mix of colours and an equally fun article for this weeks Diary illustration. I think I’m starting to master the art of rolling hills, there have been a few illustrations recently with them in.
After the trials and tribulations of last weeks illustration, this one was incredibly relaxed and actually a lot of fun, the factory part especially. I created this illustration by doing lots of drawings of different factories, then selected my favourite parts to be cut together to make a ‘mega factory’!! This image is also 100% Mono Print, which is probably why it was such a good image to create, it’s a pretty fun medium to use (if a little messy.)
See the full article HERE
It seems like every time I do a blog post about another FT job, I’m always writing about how its was my shortest deadline ever. Well, again it was, but I can confidently say I wont be breaking this record. 6 Hours from start to finish, that includes doing the rough. Normally I always make sure my illustrations are finished the Wednesday night, no matter how long I have to stay up, nice and ready for me to hand in at 8am Thursday morning. This time however, due to a complication with an American writer, they had been let down. So 8am comes around on Thursday but still no copy! Surprisingly I was still pretty relaxed, even though I didn’t get the copy until 12pm. Thankfully they moved my deadline back to 6 instead of its normal place of 3pm. So the race was on, 6 hours to go, now I’m speaking directly to the Editor of the paper as well which did speed things up a lot, although I did have to watch my P’s and Q’s. In the end I would say it worked out well, maybe its a little rough around the edges compared to normal but they were happy with it nonetheless. I would liken this experience to trying to make a decision whilst being really, REALLY desperate for a wee; Tense and awkward, but very pleasurable once you had finished.
See the full article HERE
It’s been quite some time since I last completed some personal work of my own, due to an overload of commissions for 2013. So as a bit of a change from my normal posts I thought I would pop up my latest self initiated image, along with the inspiration behind the idea. At the top of the post you can see a small selection of excellent pieces that helped inform my artwork. Once you have looked at all of the examples you can start to see a bit of a pattern emerging, not in the medium that they were created, but in the focus of the models themselves. “What are they looking at” I hear you ask, well a better tomorrow of course! I suppose the point was that it’s something to aspire to, “this forward thinking, upward looking group of people that look like me, I can do this too”. I can’t help thinking there is something a bit ‘Disney’ about them, they all look real yet at the same time completely unrealistic. Maybe it’s my typically British out look, but somehow I cant help but feel really uneasy and pessimistic about them. However, ever since going to china I have been fascinated by the culture and have always wanted to create artwork about it.
I think my image could be viewed in two ways. The first is from the point of view of the people who created the original Chinese posters. You can see the comparatively ugly, western views and ideologies seeping their way into the Chinese poster style hero. The suspiciously Ai Weiwei looking character appears to be up to no good promoting chaos, disorder and darkness onto the chinese people.
In contrast the image could be looked at in a softer way, seeing this influential figure (Ai Weiwei) taking part in a western game called Chinese Whispers. No irony is lost as you can plainly see that both people are in fact of chinese origin. From his shadowy position in the image you can see that all is not well, he is almost hiding behind the radiant girl in red, who we can only assume signifies china itself. So it starts to become clear, from everything we know of Ai Weiwei with his political views of human rights in china, this is about him and others slowly breaking down the barriers of old china that we see in the posters, by pushing freedom of speech. I suppose you could see the image is a reflection of how I see China changing, with the use of modern technology free speech will inevitably creep it’s way in.
Whichever way you look at the image it evokes a certain amount of mystery and although only loosely based on the Chinese Propaganda posters, it successfully hits on the subject I was aiming for.
There is a cheeky twist relating to the article in the front of this weeks Diary illustration for the FT. It was an exceptionally good article this week, great subject. I have no idea why, but I love drawing oriental people, yes, this is the weirdest thing I have ever written in a blog post. Please enjoy
See the full article and illustration HERE
If I could describe this weeks Diary illustration for the FT as a race, this one would very definitely be a sprint. I had my rough ok’d at 11pm wednesday night with the final piece due in 9am thursday morning. Originally the “Famous British sculptors” name was written in to the article, but when I was told it was going to be removed it really helped with freeing the image up. Which did make it a lot easier to complete the illustration in such a short time. I dont necessarily think that it being a very short deadline diminishes the quality of the image, I think it just makes me a lot faster at thinking of ideas.
This weeks illustration for the FT comes with a pretty good story. On Monday 8th the art director contacted me to ask if i wanted to illustrated the diary for them, no stress there I thought. Then I look up from my phone to realise I am not sat at home, I am in fact 200 miles away sat in a motorway service station with my partner and friends. I read on to learn this isn’t the only reason I should feel the pressure; the article is written by the top dog, chief editor, Lionel Barber. Luckily my holiday didn’t interfere to much as on wednesday morning (24 hours before the deadline) I would be racing back done the M40 to get into the studio and finish off the job. My saving grace is that i have brought my newly brought laptop, which I got for this very reason. I could tell things were going well when I got an email to say Lionel is “Very, very impressed”. Surprisingly I actually felt quite stress free and it was a pretty joyous experience with very few hurdles. Hopefully I wont need to travel 600 miles on my next job but at least I know I can do it to good effect!
My delicately dirty style takes inspiration from current affairs, topical news and humorous situations.
Using striking high contrast colours mixed with pencil, I like to draw upon the royal grandeurs that have been so popular throughout European history.
As well as freelance illustration I like to partake in many other areas within the creative world, organizing exhibitions across the UK and collaborating with inspiring and inventive people.
Open to your thoughts commissions and collaborations