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GALLERY

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About


Hello, I'm a freelance illustrator based in the UK.
I was born in London, and started out in illustration with work for fantasy & horror small press magazines in the '80s, in particular the H.P. Lovecraft-devoted Dagon. My first professional commissions came from Games Workshop for their magazine White Dwarf, and this began a long relationship with the company, illustrating lots of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay publications and the very first Warhammer 40,000 book, as well as many other GW books and boardgames. I've also done game-related material for other publishers, including covers and internal illustrations for twenty-two (I think) of the Fighting Fantasy series from Puffin Books/Wizard Books, and card art for Magic: The Gathering from Wizards of the Coast.

I've also produced artwork for various publishers around the world including Scholastic, Time-Warner, HarperCollins and Oxford University Press, illustrating popular authors such as Anne McCaffrey, Raymond E. Feist and Harry Turtledove, as well as some classics including Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and The Silver Sword. I was fortunate enough to receive the British Fantasy Award for Best Artist.

I illustrated the book accompanying the album release of Misterstourworm & the Kelpie's Gift, an orchestral work based on stories and characters from Scottish legend. My artwork was used as large-scale backdrops for live performances of the work by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, with narration by Lord of the Rings actor Billy Boyd.

As an author, I've written some books about digital art including Digital Fantasy Painting Workshop and Digital Horror Art, and edited Fantasy Art Now published by Collins. In addition to work in publishing, I occasionally do concept and production art for computer games (following two years as an in-house artist at Eidos Interactive), and film and television productions which have included the BAFTA-nominated The Magician of Samarkand for the BBC, and most recently Gulliver's Travels for 20th Century Fox.

Currently: October 2015: My latest picture book The Crocodolly was published in hardback by Scholastic last month, and is available in Australia, New Zealand, and soon to be released throughout Asia in English, also with a translation into Chinese. The Crocodolly is something of a companion to my earlier picture book The Octopuppy which has been doing pretty well internationally -- more info at www.theoctopuppy.com  Right now I'm working on my next picture book; so most of my energies have been directed towards my books for children. But I've also just finished another album cover for Axel Rudi Pell, which is the fifth sleeve I've done for his records.  I've also been doing a little bit of work on the Game of Thrones computer game.

martin@martinmckenna.net 

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    Ancient Images #4


    In response to its appearance on Twitter, here's what I think might be the most ancient of my ancient images in this series so far. It's from about 1985, done for my own amusement. Drawn quite large (as I liked to do most of my artwork at the time) 370 x 245mm, using rapidograph pens on cartridge paper as was usual for me in those days. For some reason I decided to record the creation of this one, and took photos of its progress.  They might be of some slight interest, so I've scanned the photos and I'll stick 'em below.



     

     

                 

    The photos show the reference I was using, propped next to the drawing on my drawing board. I made the group up as I went along, inspired by combining and adapting the ref photos. I used to cut out loads of photos from magazines and keep them on file for reference and inspiration - and in keeping with this '80s trip, one of them here happens to be a photo of UK radio person Janice Long (sister of Cheggers) in youthful mode. In the final photo we're treated to a glimpse of my horrid 1980s bedroom wallpaper.

    I think the drawing got used in Die Rubezahl, the fanzine I helped Pete Blanchard create. And it appeared again a year or two later in a little profile article about my artwork which appeared in White Dwarf magazine #88.

    Earlier ancient images posts are here / hare / here.

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