Sunday, 23 May 2010

A bigger picture.

In response to the comment by Limpey; below is a larger post of the illustration of the 'man in the firelight'.
Hope that shows better detail. I'm still learning about 'posting' so please bear with me.


  1. I've been a fan of you work since I were a wee bairn. Could you please tell me what kind of pen or pens do you usually use, on what paper, and at what scale? Also, a work like this one is immensely dense in its detail, how long would something like this take you to execute?

    Thanks for sharing your imagination with us.

  2. Impressive, I like it a lot -- especially now that I can see what's going on :)

  3. I was going to ask you about your art processes too.You must have pretty good eyesight to do all that small detailing Russ.I really dig illustrations with lots of detailing, these pieces must have taken you ages!

    Great pieces, the larger version shows off all you wonderful detailing all the better.

    Thanks for sharing you great artwork with us.

    Do you generally work to a formula of paper type,page size specific type of ink pen, etc?

    Thanks again,

    Andy T.

  4. Greetings, Mr. Nichols!!

    I really enjoyed your artwork in the Fiend Folio those oh-so-many-years ago and I'm glad to see that you are on the internet. I really look forward to seeing the many new pieces of art and the illustrations that many of us on the other side of The Pond have never seen!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    John Seibel
    Milwaukee, WI USA

  5. Yes, I love the detail. I've always loved your line work. It's very inspirational.

    It would be nice to see some posts on your tools and techniques even your drawing space!

  6. The bigger picture is appreciated! I like getting in for a closer look, especially on the folds of cloth in this man's garments... which, along with human proportions and pose, are some of the areas I feel my own skills are deficient.

    I was using a set of technical 'Koh-I-Noor' pens for quite some time until I laid my favorite one aside without cleaning it and fear I may have ruined it. One of my problems was that if I worked too big, when reduced down to reproduction size my hatching tended to look too busy... whereas if I worked too small, the hatching looked either too bland or it looked like the object had a pattern on the surface (rather than looking like tone). Your drawings seem to hit that 'sweet spot' in between, so examining them is helpful to me; many thanks.

  7. Pens and paper? Well, over the years I've used a variety of pens and even brushes [though the brush work tended to be for comic work - that was when I worked as a comic artist in the UK]. When I first started to illustrate, I used dip pens such as mapping pens and Gillot 303's. I also used a variety of technical pens, such as Rotring [various types], Faber-Castell, Marsmatic and Micro-norma [not sure of spelling of this type, even though it was, for a long time my favourite work pen as it tended to not 'dry out'].
    As Limpey remarks, laying a favourite pen down without cleaning it can lead to disaster - don't I know it! You'd think that after all these years I'd have learned my lesson, but no, I can still be careless with my equipment. Sigh.
    Paper? Can I leave that till a later post - just remind me. As for having good eyesight - thanks for the compliment, Atom. But you'll realise, I like to show detail, and I like to 'add' little bits to my pictures to emphasis the 'world reality' I'm trying to create. Sounds a bit pretentious, but that's how I 'draw'. Sadly my eyesight worsens a little every year; when I was a teacher this was something I warned my students of, but they often, like my listening to my partners worry about my posture from being bent over a computer, listened but did not 'hear'.

    I'll finish for now but will rabbit on more about tools and elephants and stuff at another time. Remind me.

  8. Just wanted to add my words to the many others who grew up loving your work.

    As a child, many happy hours were spent pouring over Fighting Fantasy books and getting lost in your illustrations. A little older and I was still inspired by the stuff you drew for White Dwarf. Your illustrations for adventures like The Ritual and Night of Blood were part of the reason I picked up WFRP as a teenager. The books were filled with great art from the likes of Ian Miller and Martin Mckenna, as well as yourself.

    It was, and is, always a particular joy to see your work, however. It has a confidence in its line, a crispness to the piece that makes it stand out. Looking at your work can remind one of Beardsley, of Rackham and even of the engravings of Durer.

    Keep up the good work.

  9. Thank you Hal too for your praise. Your choice of artists is good, as all are favourites, but there are so many more. I love illustration art as a medium, and shake my head at the treatment of many who have produced such work in the world of Fine Art, though there is evidence of slow 'change' in its perception. Of course Durer has always been a master of the German [Northern] Renassiance, and both Beardsley, and now Rackham have made that 'crossover'. It can be honestly said, because of its commercial nature, that not all Illustrative work can be considered the best of a particular artist/illustrators work, but there are those who create a quality that is so recognisable, and worthy of such esteem that their work should be recognisable as 'Art'.
    It is high praise indeed to have my name mentioned in the same sentence as Durer, Beardsley and Rackham. I do not consider myself to be in their league but, I appreciate the praise.