What I draw
My career as an illustrator started with a BA (hons) in illustration at the University of the West of England and a good foundation in drawing, inspired by my love for animals and nature. During that time, I developed a great affection for the picturesque Cotswolds, Worcestershire and Herefordshire, which led to my illustrations of local towns and villages.
I also undertake work for clients including BBC Wildlife Magazine, the National Trust, the RSPB and the Radio Times. I recently spent a month in Antarctica as Artist in Residence with the Royal Navy on an ice breaking ship. An unforgettable experience!
Why I draw
I was strongly influenced by contemporary illustrators whilst at university and I began to add to my skill in drawing with new painting techniques and the use of found and made textures. Collage has always been a popular illustrative technique and "digital collage" was particularly fashionable during that time.
However, being a traditionalist at heart, I always want to keep that hand drawn and nurtured look to my images; that organic edge you can only get from a hand drawn line or brush stroke. My style really took off from that desire, to use the best aspects of modern technology in collaboration with traditional techniques.
How I draw
My illustrations are created in a highly unusual way, combining a variety of techniques, both traditional and contemporary. I start working by hand with strong, fluid line drawings, painted textures, water colour washes and found textiles, which I then bring together digitally, layering up all of the hand rendered elements, with the line drawings on top and the colour, textures and washes at varying levels of opacity underneath.
I use as little digital enhancement as possible to create light-play and shadows.
The finished illustration is stored as a detailed computer file, sometimes comprising over 150 layers, meaning that its only output is as a digital print. I print all my illustrations using the giclee technique - a form of archival quality digital printing. My prints are sold in short run limited editions of just 50. The prints are not a copy or scan of an original piece, but an original output for the work in their own right, making them highly unusual and collectible.