Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Really Weird Removals.com by Daniela Sacerdoti Cover Illustration

Monsters (!) creatures and magical mythological critters are all things I hold very dear, and absolutely love to draw, particularly when commissioned by one of my favourite clients and for an author whose work I admire greatly, so it is with excitement that I can finally show off my cover illustration for Really Weird Removals.com written by the hugely talented Daniela Sacerdoti and published by the fabulous Floris Books. Behold it's brightness!
Really Weird Removals.com by Daniela Sacerdoti, Cover Illustration
From the Back Cover - 
'Mischievous fairies? Smelly troll? Werewolf snatching your sheep? Email the Really Weird Removals Company! Luca and Valentina’s Uncle Alistair runs a pest control business. But he’s not getting rid of rats. The Really Weird Removals Company catches supernatural creatures! When the children join Alistair’s team they befriend a lonely ghost, rescue a stranded sea serpent, and trap a cat-eating troll. But the paranormal world is also packed with danger and secrets. There are kelpies, vampires and dragons. Will Luca and Valentina discover more than they can handle?'

Dragon's, sea monsters, kelpies (it is a Scottish tale after all) mermaids, some nasty little fairies and a whole host of beautifully realised human characters are waiting for you. I always love reading the manuscript for any book I am doing the cover art for and thoroughly enjoyed reading this one! I will be rereading it very soon...

The full wraparound cover for Really Weird Removals.com by Daniela Sacerdoti (illustration by Nicola L Robinson)

I love wraparound covers, they offer so much more space to play with, and I think this one is particularly striking, it has been great working with Helena Waldron (Design and Production Manager at Floris books) and to have helped produce this book. Look at the spine as it appears on one of my bookcases-
Really Weird Removals.com at home on my bookcase
Some of my nasty little fairies have escaped into the pages of the book!
Nasty little fairies on inside pages of Really Weird Removals.com
And again from the inside, in black and white-
Some black and white monsters inside the book!
I hope this helps show how lovely this book is. (Excuse my talons, I didn't want to break the spine to take photo's!)

Really Weird Removals.com on the Kelpies Website -Really Weird Removals

There is also a website for ReallyWeirdRemovals (obviously) www.reallyweirdremovals.com

Really Weird Removals.com was a runner up for the Kelpies Prize last year.

You can check out Daniela Sacerdoti's author website here-Daniela Sacerdoti's Website
(Daniela Sacerdoti's first adult novel 'Watch Over Me' and YA novel 'Dreams' are currently storming up the charts, so do check them out!) 

I'd also like to thank Daniela very much for mentioning me in the dedication for Really Weird Removals.com it was a lovely suprise! Thank you Dani :)

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Beauty and the Beast... fairytale illustration. Now in colour!

Beauty and the Beast Illustration - © 2012 Nicola L Robinson all rights reserved
Those who have visited my blog before may recall my recent sketch of Beauty and the (very hairy) Beast, and now I'm happy to add the colour version.

I've added a background since the sketch of a dark evergreen forest and rose bushes in the mid ground, if you're familiar with the original story you'll will remember roses are a significant element. I've gone for a muted palate here, having had a recent overdose of bright colours with other recent work, so lots of greens and earthy browns for the Beast. There isn't really any other colour for the Beast. I've painted the roses red, again there really isn't any other colour for them in my opinion despite what you might see on gardener's world.

Beast is a little more sinister looking than the sketch with some dark shadows around the eyes, but I assure everyone he is a big softie really and Beauty is quite safe. (Beauty is quite streetwise and can look after herself anyway, look at her boots...)

A little bird watches on.

As always, you can see a larger version (at a massive 800px wide) on my main site here

Previous post with the sketch here

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

My feature on Business Boom Collective

One of my featured Illustrations. All rights reserved.

I've been featured over at Business Boom Collective!
Read my feature about my illustration work here Nicola L Robinson on Business Boom

Business Boom is a fantastic platform for the creative industries promoting freelancers and emerging businesses across creative disciplines, Arts, Media, Photography, Fashion and beyond. If you are involved in these industries check them out...

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Captain Ahab's Dream #3 Coloured version. Moby Dick.

Ahab's Dream #3 Moby Dick Illustration All rights reserved.

Captain Ahab and Moby Dick colour version as promised. See the black and white version on my earlier post below...

'All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby-Dick.' 

Herman Melville, Moby Dick.

Slightly larger version on my website here

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Cinderella! Ugly sisters, sinister stepmother and crooked cat sketch

Since I'm in a fairytale state of mind after the previous Beauty and the Beast sketch I've done a little sketch for Cinderella, another popular fairytale -
Sketch of Cinderella, with ugly sisters and sinister stepmother. All rights reserved.
We see poor little Cinders mopping the floor in her domestic slavery while her ugly sisters look on smugly. I've added a few stranded gingerbread men and cupcakes in the powdered wig of the larger sister and a spider on the other. Behind the scene the evil stepmother glares at Cinders with her crooked tailed moggy around her skirt.

I may work this into colour at some point along with Beauty and the Beast.

Cinderella wasn't a favourite of mine as a child, it was a bit too fairy/princess for me, with the vomitous romantic elements of Prince Charming too... Yuck! haha! and worst of all not one dragon or crocodile.

That being said it does have some deliciously evil characters too and a recent revisit has given me cause to rethink. I do like the evil characters... but you may already know that.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Beauty and the Beast - Fairytale sketch

When I was 6 years old I won a poster competition at my infant school held by the mobile bookshop which used to visit our school hall and sell their books. The poster was to promote reading books and from what I remember I had drawn a large rat grinning and holding a book with the command to 'read books' on it, or something similar, regardless, it won, I was very pleased and I was awarded a book as my prize. Any book I wanted from the mobile library. I chose 'The Faber Storybook' full of fairytales and legends, and illustrated with wonderful little black and white drawings by Alan Howard.

I was thinking about the book recently and thought it would be nice to illustrate some fairytales, Grimm or otherwise, and put down this sketch of Beauty and the Beast-

Beauty and the (very hairy) Beast rough character sketch. All rights reserved.
I might work this into colour sometime, but I was quite pleased with the very hairy beast interacting with Beauty. A sweet trusting moment... or is the beast going to rip her arm off at any second? I'll stick with the former for now.

For some reason I don't think of the Beast as a man, or a werewolf esq humanoid  but more of a very hairy yeti/bear. I've never really got on with teddy bears wearing costumes (too pompous for one thing) but also they don't seem quite bearlike anymore, so the Beast is just hairy, with teeth and claws and horns.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Captain Ahab's Dream #3 Moby Dick, Black Ink Illustration.

Earlier this year I re read the fabulous Moby Dick by Herman Melville, and it has sat quietly in my mind ever since, but mentally tagged to be drawn upon at some point!
It is with thoughts of the White Whale and the crazed Captain Ahab intent on avenging himself by sending Moby Dick to his maker that inspired this ink illustration- 

Captain Ahab and Moby Dick, Pen and ink illustration by Nicola L Robinson

Titled 'Captain Ahab's Dream #3' it is obviously not a serious representation of Ahab or the whale, but an image I have enjoyed nonetheless, Ahab triumphantly holding aloft the White Whale in an enormous fish bowl and eyeing his captive while Moby Dick glares back. Ahab smokes his pipe from which rises smoke with tiny whales swimming through it.

I have set it within a scroll like border with compass inspired corners showing seagulls above and shrunken heads and the Pequod whaling ship below.

This is intended to be in colour, but I have paused at the ink drawing stage to see how it looks in black and white, and before I obliterate all the inking on Ahab's woollen coat and other details with paint!

Colour version to follow...

As ever you can see a slightly larger version of this on my website here- Captain Ahab