Monday, November 06, 2006

The Independent

This was for the Jenny Colgan column in last Mondays Independent. The piece was about living in Holland. After if was printed Jenny emailed me and asked to buy a copy of it, which was really nice. I'm busy with two children's projects for Cambridge University Press at the moment, my website is badly in need of an update, but it may be a while before I find time to do it. In the mean time as usual I'll post anything of interest up here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Some boxers for Cover Magazine, I already have some boxers on my main portfolio site so I thought I'd post these here.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Wicker Man

I'm a really big fan of both the (original) film and the soundtrack of the Wicker Man, so it was really great when Plan B magazine asked me to do an illustration for them on this subject. The sound track is one of the reasons why I'm so much into old english folk music at the moment.. beautiful, ancient, scary. It was good to draw all the people as well, looking forward to seeing it in print.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Strong Man

Like most illustrators I send out postcards to prospective clients, but to try stand out in the slush pile I also make up little four page booklets. Every six months or so I change the cover. This is my most recent effort. I decided to go for something simple as previous covers have been quite busy. I've stuck with the green background though, as I recently bought a load of light cyan ink cartridges that this colour just chomps through on the printer.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Every year Carters Steam Fair comes to Clisshold Park, and every year we go and take photo's of the rides, play on the slot machines, and go on the dodgems. I have quite a collection of photos now and wanted to do some images inspired by them. Initially this had a lot of type in it, but after a lot of playing about I settled for a more simple image.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Rev John Bakewell

Not a lot to say about this, other than it's another panel from my 'work in progress' comic about my family history.

Monday, June 12, 2006


The weather has been unbearabley hot, we are on the top floor in an attic flat and the heat just rises. It has been quiet on the work front, and I needed to do something to fight the heat induced apathy that was threatening to set in. I decided to take an illustration I did last week for a postcard mail out into 3ds max. I haven't used the program since I quit the games industry a year and a half ago, I also haven't done a lot of rendering in it (games stuff is all real time) but I think I managed to get the wonky out of focus effect that I was after.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sherwin Comic

Some panels from the comic I'm working on. It has been an interesting process for me, I've had to draw a lot quicker than I usually do, and try and not be so precious about every image. It's likely that I will go back and change some of the colours on this though. I've been trying to focus on the story as a whole rather than the details in the pictures. My other concern is holding the readers attention, as my family history may seem fascinating to me, but the average reader isn't going to be nearly so intrigued if they are not related to the people involved. I need to work hard to make it something other than just an illustrated family tree.

I do have some more of this but I'm not quite sure how I want to present it, I'm thinking of giving it its own web page and updating it fortnightly. I'm not working on it chronologically so I'd need to get the beginning done first if I'm going to do this.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

More Prince Benji

The illustration above is a double page spread from the picture book idea I have been working on. Prince Benji a large spoilt Persian cat falls off his balcony in the suburbs, and ends up getting lost in the city. As you can see in this picture he gets caught, and taken to the cat pound. It is a simple story with very little text, I wanted the pictures to tell the story as much as the words. In fact on some pages (the picture above for instance) there are no words, but details and signs/sign posts with in the picture give clues to what is happening.

I've had a rest from the illustration and spent last week in Derbyshire doing family history research. In the local records office I found a will from my earlist known ancestor John Sherwin who died in 1777. Unfortunately his date of birth is not on the parish records so it seems unlikely that I will get much further back than this. I need now to go back and modify much of the comic book I have been working on.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Son Of Rambo

This is my final illustration for the Son Of Rambo project. For some reason my name isn't up on the title page, but you can see my image if you flick through from the start. I was trying for a more interesting composition with the boy close up and the viewer looking down slightly from above. The film is set in the 1980s and I hope I managed to get the feel across of one of those long hot school holidays - where you stay inside watching TV rather than going out in the sun. I'm old enough not to look back nostalgically on the 1980s really - it was a dreadful time to be honest.

My work is now up on my agents Arena's website here.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Caroline Sherwin

More personal work for the comic about the search for my family tree. This is my grandfathers aunt, Caroline Sherwin. On the first of January 1928, (in Eastbourne) she wrote down a brief family history -it took up one sheet of paper- and I used it as my starting point. According to Caroline the silver cup on the table was given in exchange for a horse and wagon to my 6th great grand father by The Young Pretenders army (Bonnie Prince Charlie) when they reached Derby in 1745. The army stayed a couple of days in Derby then retreated to Manchester. My relative followed them, and while they were resting in Manchester market place took back his horse and a cart.

All this is written down in quite a lot of detail, and I wonder how she knew it all, for instance the cart he brought back from Manchester belonged to a Mr. Bailey of Breadsall Derbyshire. I have no idea how to prove any of this, though according to the IGI there was a Mr. Bailey in Breadsall at this time.

Not everything she wrote down was correct; she has a couple of fathers and sons mixed up, and a wedding date that is definitely not right.

Caroline Sherwin died way before I was born and there are no photos of her either, so this picture is completely imagined. Caroline and her two sisters never married, and according to my mother lived in Eastbourne becasue they looked after a wealthy American woman.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Benji's House

This is where Prince Benji lives, a sort of castle-style suburban house over looking the city. You might recognize the hill from the animation on my website. I didn't quite get the city how I wanted it. I was trying to get a sort of water colour shimmer to it. I've been looking at a lot of Peter Firmin's work.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Prince Benji

This is "Prince Benji". A few weeks ago when I didn't have much work on I started thinking up ideas for a kids book. John and I were walking along the disused railway track that runs between Finsbury Park and Highgate when we saw a 'lost cat' poster. The cat was an inside cat who had fallen off a balcony while his owner was at work. I thought this might be quite a good idea for a story. The poster said that if you found the cat but didn't want to give him back, please only feed him chicken or turkey cat food - definitely no red meat or liver.

We have a very spoilt Persian cat who has never been outside, so the drawing was based a little on her (although the cat in the story is male). The idea is that "Prince Benji" falls off a balcony and then has lots of adventures in the big wide world until he is eventually found by his (little girl) owner. What kind of adventures he has, and how it all fits together, has proved to be quite hard and something I'm still working on.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Football Casual 1985

A month or so ago I was contacted by a London film company who are try to get funding for a film they are making. The film is about two boys growing up in the 1980's, who become obsessed with making thier own movies. For a small fee they have asked a selection of illustrators to illustrate along the themes of the film; the 1980s, Rambo, childhood, video games, etc . These illustrations will go up on thier website and help them promote the film.

Things started out on the wrong foot for me as their next email ended up in my spam directory on the BT sever and never got to my inbox. ( I have now switched spam gaurd off) By the time I found it there was one day left until the deadline, and I decided to quickly modify an older illustration to fit the 80s theme.

The film is all about an 80s childhood, but in truth I didn't have an 80s childhood but an 80s adolesence. In my rush I presumed that it was a relatively open brief. So drew the guy above. Anyone who was a teenager around 1985 will remember Casuals; wedge haircuts, Fila tracksuits, Kickers, and jumbo Lois cords. A relatively forgotten British youth cult.

A couple of days later I got an email back from the film guys saying that my illustration didn't fit the brief, and asking me if I'd like to redo it. I'm really hoping that I can find time this week, I've been busy with editorial jobs.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


This morning and yesterday I worked on a couple of roughs for editorial jobs. It is the part of an illustration I like doing the least. I'm not a competent sketcher. I labor over things. When I'm working on personal projects, I just imagine, then draw.... sometimes I do some very rough squiggles on paper but usually I find I can just sketch it all out in my head then start on the finished artwork. Not the way we were taught at college I know.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Family History

The images above are the start of a personal project. A comic book about the search for my family history. The row of shops in the first picture are the actual row where my Great Grandfathers chemist shop was. When I went up to Derby I took photos of them as they are now, and then drew this from that. (the chemist shop is now a kebab shop). Its basically an imagined drawing of my Grandfather leaving Derby for London with a portfolio under his arm.