Sunday, 18 August 2019

The shire

Another piece done for Cubicle 7's 2nd edition of  the core rule book for the 'The One Ring', this time showcasing the shire

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Gravin Maria Ulrike von Liebwitz- Rough Nights & Hard Days

Another pieces for Rough Nights and Hard Days, over at work in Cubicle 7. I dont get to do characters often so this was a real joy. The costume of the period that inspired warhammer fantasy, ielate medieval/early modern/renaissance, is just so elaborate and beautiful, so had plenty of ideas to help me along the way. 

Kemperbad- Rough Nights & Hard Days- Cubicle7

Another image I did for Rough Nights and Hard Days over at my work in Cubicle 7. A bit of back story, Kemperbad is a free town in the Reik, and is built on a cliff, so was alot, I mean ALOT of fun trying to design this one. How could one build onto the side of a cliff, how would the paths between the houses be. Also there was an elevator system, so I had to try to figure out how one would be built with medieval technology, while wrapping these up with nice rhythms. 

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Castle Grauenberg- Rough Nights & Hard Days

Rough Nights & Hard Days is out! So I can start sharing some work I did for that particular book. Rough Nights & Hard Day is one of the books we recently made over at Cubicle 7 Entertainment Its set in the Warhammer Roleplay universe and this particular image is Castle Grauenberg, the seat of House Saponagtheim, and sits on a rock overlooking the river Bogen. More about the book here in todays blog post over at Cubicle7!

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Power Behind the Throne Companion Cover

Its been a real pleasure working on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay over the last 10 months or so for cubicle 7, especially when I get the chance to do a cover, like this one for the companion book to the 'Power behind the Throne', third book in the Enemy within campaign.

Of course one of the great things about working in a company is you arent ever alone doing a piece of art, and this one was no exception, the art direction of Andy Law​, my producer, has been fundamental in making this image work. The to and fro of ideas and constructive criticism has only improved my work exponentially, so hats off to him! More about the upcoming up book here:

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Minas Tirith

One of the recent pieces I have done for the company I work( Cubicle 7) and our upcoming 'The One Ring' core book based in Tolkiens Middle earth. Art direction from Emmet Byrne​, whose encouragement, sharp artistic eye and design philosophy has really pushed the art in directions which it would have never gone without him. Also Francesco Nepitello​ the lead writer, has been a big help throughout this image, and many others I am currently doing for The On Ring, the ideas and absolute bottomless well of information he is has been pivotal to producing the quality work we have been doing, he would make Tolkien proud! More here:

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Victorian Dublin

This could be any Victorian Quay in Ireland or Britain but I was thinking of Dublin specifically while doing this. I have been studying the 19th century alot in the last few months and looking at its artists, especially Grimshaw, while attempting to see if I can capture that mood and feeling, this my latest attempt

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Death on the Reik Companion Cover

Working for cubicle 7 has been a constant blast, but one of the great joys of working there is I am sometimes given covers to do for some of our great books. Here is the cover for Death and the Reik companion book. Before I take credit for all as artists often tend to do, it wouldnt have ended up as good as it did without the great art direction, vigilance and passion of my producer, Andy Law. More info about the book here:

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Luggershall Market Cross

A black and white sketch I did for English Heritage about a year ago. It was to show a market cross in Luggershall, Wiltshire, UK during market day

Monday, 24 June 2019

Victorian Harbour

Another quickish one from the weekend, just playing around really

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Romantic landscape

Just developing a more traditional style of speed painting, while researching the 19th century

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Georgian Costume Sketch

Just keeping the figural practice up while studying Georgian Dress

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Broch of Gurness Boards up!

Some shots of what some of 2 of the final boards look like in Broch of Gurness which I did the illustrations for

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Ballintober Castle

Recently I was commissioned by Roscommon County Council to do a reconstruction of how Ballintober castle may have looked like at its peak. Supported with expert advice from Naill Brady and the latest gradiometry, ground penetrating radar survey, geophysics and resistence surveys of the site, we created a reconstruction of what it may have looked like at around the 14th century.

Ballintober is the ancestral castle and its still owned, by the O'Conors of Connaught, who reside in Clonalis House in Castlerea. It is one of a string of great Anglo Norman castles around Roscommon,  including Rindown and Roscommon. It is what is called a 'keepless castle', one where the emphasis was on accommodation in the curtain walls rather than purely on defence.

It has 4 projecting corner towers surrounding a sub-rectangular interior space. Here was see what it may have looked like from within the gate house which was off centre in the bawn. The towers were polygonal and the one in the south west , seen here at the left,was 3 storeys tall and had 2 external projections, one for an exterior stairs and another more accommodation. While the other corner tower seen here is 4 storeys high and eventually become a fortified tower house with still an ornate fireplace there to this day.

The bawn, had a large rectangular courtyard area with three building surrounding it. One in the south was made of wood, may have been a stables or the like, while the other stone house in the north with buttresses may have been a church. They are unsure what the central stone building may have been. There was more structures in the side, including the covered portico of one seen in the right but the others could not be seen in this angle.

The castle has a fascinating history, it is unsure who built it but it was probably the Normans though some do claim it may have been a Gaelic build but certainly later on it became a stronghold of the O'Conors themselves, as like the rest of Gaelic Ireland they slowly reconquered what was once their inheritance. Sadly for the majority of Gaelic Ireland it was not to last, but amazingly the O'Conors of this area were able to hold onto their lands through the various trials and tribulations after the Tudor conquest on beyond.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Distant Worlds

Recently, on my time off I have fallen in love with researching nature (mostly geography). I started to do this to fill in some gaps of my knowledge as while I have spent years studying landscape painting, architecture, archaeology, even some physics etc ... I have only a rudimentary understanding of the universe and how planets are made. I always wanted to do this but unfortunately in archaeology & history you dont really have much need for it. So the good thing about Sci Fi & fantasy, is it allows you look at science and use that fuel your imagination as you try to come up with some interesting designs for alternative worlds. And who doesnt want to explore strange other worlds?

Sunday, 5 May 2019

The Derry Walls

A reconstruction commissioned by Tipperary County Council & Derry Walls of what Derry  could have looked like in 1619 based on pynnars map and with input from various historians & archaeologists. Here it is on display for the 400 year anniversary just launched

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Meet the team Tuesday Cubicle 7

Meet the team Tuesday over at Cubicle 7, featuring myself!

Monday, 1 April 2019

Volcanic Pancake dome Speed Paint

A little speed paint done in about 1 hr and a quarter. Been reading and sketching Volcanoes for the last few weeks, and here is shown a particular volcano type found on Venus, called pancake domes. 

Friday, 29 March 2019

Sci Fi Space Suit concepts

Some after work sketching, been going mad for Sci Fi again recently, might have to do with the new season of Star Trek..... Anyways, here is a couple of sketches I did after reading about Space suits, pretty nifty devices!

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Rough Nights & Hard days

One of the recent pieces I have done for the upcoming Rough Nights & Hard days by Cubicle 7 Entertainment has been featured in this preview article (2nd image down):

The others were done by the very talented Mark Gibbons:

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Colour sketches

Usually while doing archaeological images for clients, I give them some colour & light options to chose from before moving onto final, this is after the initial stages of course, like research & reference gathering, compositional sketches etc. I find doing sketch options a very rewarding process as it takes better advantage of the team effort a commission is, as it allows the client to have a say and also can lead to some unexpected results that I wouldnt do by myself. For me colour & lighting is the icing on the cake really and really presents the site in a strong way, which is often ignored in archaeological work unfortunately. Its a shame as this kind of lighting is not something out of the world, but the wondrous light of our every day lives and moments in those lives.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Tah-Ra Mentuhr- from Starter Set - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition

Original sketch by Sam Manley

A little spot illustration done for the Cubicle 7's Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay starter set book. Over pencils by Sam Manley 

Sunday, 20 January 2019

17th century sketches

Messing around with a more gestural textural way of paint sketching. Been exploring 17th century recently too, here is a Dutch character I have been thinking about

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Jungfreud lands Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying

Jungfreud lands, made for Cubicle 7 for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying game start set book

Recently I started a job working for Cubicle 7, here is one of the pieces I did for their out now Starter set book, even if I only got in at the end of the book, was fun to do some final pieces for it

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Making Hobbit: Entrance to Rivendale

People were asking to show my process when making an image, and while getting rid of files I saw I still had some of my sketches from this piece so decided to show this part of the process.
I usually start most of my pieces with traditional pen & ink, exploring the idea in its most basic, broken down to line. Here you can see me exploring different shapes & compositions in line form.Traditional is great in this stage as it forces you to just put ideas down without the ability to undo, this can lead to unexpected results.
I then scanned these in and explore some of my favourites more in digital. First with digital line drawings, which in this case didnt get me much. So instead I started to explore more the shapes in the scene with black & white and then with greyscale. You can even see some simple black shapes at the top for bridge designs I was playing with. I spent alot of time in this one exploring different graphic shape designs and settled on a bridge that looked like a parabolic arch, the perfect arch, actually discovered by the Sassanid Persians but not really explored properly till the 20th century. Since the arch is mathematical perfection I thought it perfect for Tolkiens Elves.
Digital is great here in these later sketches, as you can edit easily like flip things, add or substract from them without any damage etc, which would be impossible traditional and so in this case it would limit what you can achieve. Overall, these kind of exercises are great, breaking everything down its simple lines & shapes, before developing further with form, texture, colour & light etc

Friday, 7 December 2018

Pierowall 17th century church

Pierowall 17th century Presbyterian church, Westray, Orkney Islands, 'Commissioned by Historic Environment Scotland'
Another piece of mine done for Historic Environment Scotland. This time a 17th Century Presbyterian church on the island of Westray, in the Orkney islands. It was an interesting challenge, especially for the researchers over in Historic Environment Scotland, as 17th century churches arent often reconstructed, so they had to do some heavy lifting in the research. The church itself had some lovely tombstones, like the one shown in the chancel here. We missed out on the tombstones in the graveyard, which many did have rich engravings on their fronts but the angle chosen for the image was nicer for the overall site. One would think that such a secluded community would be quite poor but it was actually a major shipping route from the prehistory till now, so members would have been reaped the benefits. That wealth is not shown alot in the church though, as Presbyterians believed in simplicity in the decoration and so walls were left unadorned.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Shamrock House Reconstruction

Shamrock House  Reconstruction, GurnessOrkney; commissioned by HES’
Another illustration commissioned recently by Historic Environment Scotland. This is also set in the Brochs of Gurness history, though at the end of it. This is during the Pict period, somewhat near the end of the Roman era/start of the early middle ages. The Broch had fallen into disuse at this stage and a habitation layer above the Iron Age Broch had this house. It is called Shamrock because of its lobes, a feature of some Pictish houses in the region. As you can see it is only a small house, enough for a family/extended family. The game board is actually a find from the house, how this game would have been played is hard to say but there are a good few of these Pict gaming boards found,

Friday, 9 November 2018

St. Patrick's Medieval church, Moybologue Reconstruction

Recently I was commissioned by Moybologue Historical Society to do a reconstruction St. Patrick's church, at Moybologue, co. Cavan during the middle ages. It shows the church at the height of its use, with its unusual features like an attached Belfry, the several Bullaun stones, and a few early medieval stones. This church was part of a larger community, hinted at here with the motte & bailey silhouetted on the left. You can also see the inclusion of yew trees and an embankment crowned by a fence here, which is was common place in churches during the middle ages and features of the site suggested the same may be true here.

For a hint at the process in making this, Im going to copy and paste Moybologue Historical Society's post here since they did such a fine introduction:

We used historic antiquarian and archaeological articles and reports, descriptions in the national monuments service, historic and modern maps, drone photos and footage, 3D Photogrammetry models as well as data from earth resistance surveys and electrical resistivity tomography to create as close a reconstruction as possible of how the church looked for a modern audience.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Warhammer Pen & ink sketches

While most of my work these days is digital, I do keep up sketching in pen and ink. Here is some sketches of a random character I was messing with on my down time last night, set in the warhammer universe ( you will have to excuse the background text seen, as I dont usually use sketchbooks, I usually just use letters and the like to draw on, sketches are meant to be thrown away :))

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Broch of Gurness Entrance Reconstruction

Broch of Gurness Reconstruction, Orkney; commissioned by HES’

Another of the images done for Historic Environment Scotland recently. It shows the Broch later in its history than the previous one I showed, at this stage the Broch had been lowered quite substantially and a sizable village had grown up around it. The entrance to the broch itself is what we wanted to focus on here and the series of lintelled doorways along a path leading to the final doorway at the Broch. One of the theories about Brochs is that they may had some ritual purpose and this framing of the path and the final doorway may have been part of it.