Sunday, 18 December 2011

Minack III

The plate has been finished! Below are some photos of a dummy version of the book and some details from the print...

Friday, 25 November 2011

New Resurrectionist books

This week, I finally got round to making some digital versions of one of my earlier books (The Resurrectionists) and are going on sale at £5 each.

Email me at if you’d like to buy one

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Minack II

Enter Mariners wet...

Above and below are a little preview of some new work I'm doing for an etched book. Next week aquatints will be made from the plate. And then the bookmaking begins...

Monday, 7 November 2011

A day in the life...

These were inspired by some of the letters of Lord John Hervey. I've put up some of the better panels here:

Saturday, 15 October 2011

It's just not cricket

Below are a selection of commissioned illustrations I did for a Cornish family archive.

One of the family ancestors played cricket for England in the mid 1800s. The outfits may look a bit like something from A Clockwork Orange, but cricket players once dressed like this:

Another family ancestor was taken to court by her own son in the late 1700s -

...and another was a successful businessman and merchant in the 1600s. This character has been the most challenging and awkward of all of them to draw.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Over the next couple of months, I’ll be working on a new project set at the Minack Theatre, Cornwall.

Built in to the cliffs just outside of the Cornish village of Porthcurno, the Minack Theatre was created in the 1930s by Rowena Cade to stage her own theatrical productions. The site is as unusual as it is beautiful, with a stage built above cliffs, and hundreds of carved stone seats for its audience. What attracted me most to the site was the way that features of the theatre blended in to the granite cliffs. A stone archway, inscribed with celtic carvings, may lead on to a stair-case built in to the stone cliffs, for example.

Below are some quick sketches I made of the theatre when I visited last week. More work to follow later...

Monday, 22 August 2011

The trial of Sarah Malcolm

In 1733, a 22 year old Irish laundress was found guilty of theft and three murders, and hung at Fleet Street for her crime. Her name was Sarah Malcolm and she makes a small appearance in the graphic novel I'm doing. Here are some images from her scenes, which are still work in progress.

Sarah put up a remarkable defence in court, and is one of the three cases examined in last week’s Voices From the Old Bailey on BBC Radio 4. She admitted to the theft of 45 guineas (equivalent to a year’s salary) after being found with the money, but denied the three murders until the end. The transcript from her trial in the Old Bailey’s online archives shows her as a fiery character - she even conducted her own defence.

Two days before she was hung, William Hogarth and his father-in-law James Thornhill visited her in her cell to make sketches for her portrait.

(work in progress)

I wanted to include this scene because it shows Hogarth in a cynical light (the pages following this scene will explain why). The dialogue for the prison scene was difficult and in the end I settled for very little speech, because anything else felt too forced.

Her painted portrait hangs in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Hogarth made a print of this painting (see below), which looks a bit demonic by comparison. He had little sympathy for her, and was alleged to have said that

"this woman by her features is capable of anything".

"A Lady Macbeth in low-life." - John Ireland

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Illustrator of the month interview

Thanks goes to Christopher Jones for this one…

The Box Zine is ran by a small group of artists based in Worcester. Visit for more info.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Beautiful and the Damned

The English Pleasure Garden was a phenomena which started in the 1600s and carried on through until Victorian times. One of the most well-known of the early Pleasure Gardens was Vauxhall Gardens.

Originally Vauxhall had something of a reputation for being a rendevous point for prostitutes and their clinets, until it was taken over by the 26 year old Jonathan Tyers in 1732. Legend has it that Tyers was in suicidal despair over the gardens before William Hogarth gave him the idea for a lavish reopening the gardens.

A place like Vauxhall was a place to see and be seen in. It also would have provided a kind of relief from the over-crowded London centre by giving its patrons a spacious, attractive area to eat, drink and socialise.

Part of the experience of spending an evening at Vauxhall would have been the trip by wherry across the Thames.

(illustration for page 3)

(unfinished panel)

This is probably one of the most sedate scenes I’ve done so far. The next part I’m working on has a court case and a hanging in it, which is proving difficult to do without it looking tasteless... Here are some sketches for it:

(Guess who?)

(On the wagon)

I'll upload some of them on completion. Someone I'm working for at the moment has expressed more interest in the sketches I do than the finished pictures, so I'll try to keep uploading some of these early drawings too.