Gormenghast: Earling Day, and A Death in the Hall of Spiders

Death in the Hall of Spiders

Death in the Hall of Spiders


Earling Day

Earling Day

The final part of the Gormenghast project!

For this last section, I chose two scenes from the book to illustrate, scenes which stood out for me for various reasons. Swelters death in the Hall of Spiders I chose because the language and description of that whole scene resonated with me and with the way I create images. Descriptions of shadow and moonlight, fallen beams and spiderwebs – it seemed perfectly made for me to recreate. In the process of making it, it did become very stripped down, mostly to keep the image readable. And those of you who remember the work I did for the Sten novel, this will be the second time I’ve painted a death scene from a novel. Two is only a coincidence though, right…?

The second scene I chose was Earling Day, because it was just a very powerful scene to me. The image of baby Titus, alone on the lake, watched by all those people as ritual he cannot know or care about is enacted around him, was very strong to me.

And that, as they say, is that. My work on Gormenghast is over. By the time this post comes out, it will actually have been finished for a couple of months (surprising absolutely no-one, I organise this blog and it’s posts very far in advance). It’s been a long and interesting ride, and I think my ideas of my own work have grown and developed along with it. So now we go on to the future. I’m not sure which story I’ll illustrate next. I’ve been meaning to give Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell a read, but then again, I’ve also been reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, which has got some¬†fantastic characters and locations in it (not to mention a movie coming hopefully next year, with the incredible Idris Elba! I’m so excited!)

Either way, I’m excited for whatever I decide to do next.

Death In The Hall of Spiders is available as a print on Society6 and Design By Humans


Wolf Alice Illustrations

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These illustrations were all created to be paired with the Angela Carter short story ‘Wolf Alice’, about a girl raised by wolves. Once again my love for red/black/white comes through, but it worked for the tone of the story. It was an enjoyable difficulty to make these, as there is a lot of visual language in Angela Carters work, and the story has a lot of gorgeous detail in the words it uses. Still, if you’ve read the story then I hope these images make sense to you, and if you haven’t read it, then maybe they will inspire you to.

All are done with ink, and tweaked in photoshop.

The Erl King

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These are the end result of my first 3rd year university brief – a series of four illustrations based around the myth of the ‘Erl King’, a ghostly figure who steals the souls of children (among other things). These illustrations are actually my second pass, as the first ones I created I was really not happy with. But these revisits are much better, and much more suited to the mood I wanted to convey.

All are done with ink washes on hot press watercolour paper, touched up a little in photoshop to better match the colours of the real-life paintings.