Sunday, 13 June 2010

Worlds 2

It had been my intent, in this post, to show examples of different types of pen and brush work, but I came across some more visuals that I did as background to the world of The Shadow King and thought it sensible to post these first.
My task, outlined by Dave Morris, was from his original scenario, to [roughly] visualise images to represent London at the turn of the 19th Century, not of our timeline, but one where the world had been changed by a series of events resulting in a city not as written about by such as Dickens, or Verne, or seen by that master of line Dore but a darker world one where our legends and myths have some credence. This ultra-Gothic world, as envisaged by Dave, is a place of death and dread, its background one where a vampire blight had hit the world with it's 'centre' in London - this was to be the world of the Shadow King.
Most of my visuals are fairly crude, drawn in felt pen with added wash, my intent was to give atmosphere as much as 'show' different aspects of the place. 

But as I became immersed in the idea of this London, I began to imagine the world beyond, what methods of transport, by rail; by river; by sea; and by air would apply - what differences would have come about, especially as a result of vampire domination?

Where possible, it was my intent to rationalise this world, and to make links through scientific and engineering progress that had their historically similar antecedents mirrored in our world. But here, in this timeline, where the date is roughly 1896, things had, in some areas, progressed faster and in a grander scale. I suppose it's really a variation on steam-punk, thus we 'see' the development of airships, which stuttered to a halt in our own world. It's hard to read [sorry] but the airship docked in the picture below is named the 'Santos Dumont' an early enthusiast of airships.

Of course their had to be costumes: next - a couple of example 'pages'.
 Those of you who love gaming might wonder why you've never seen this game, especially as it was conceived nearly twenty years ago [how time flies], though I've seen similar ideas since. Dave Morris, is the man to ask, and if I've got anything wrong Dave, such as when we worked on this, I apologise.


  1. Lovely work yet again! You have really created a visual world within your quite well rendered and finished concept pieces.The washes really flesh out the scenery,adds shadows and a three dimentional quality.Thanks for sharing and enjoy your Sunday! :)


    We all know you're a master at illustrating fantasy themes. But these Steampunk sketches are brilliant.

    I love your battleship and zeppelin designs.

  3. Thanks to you both for your comments. Your interest and praise [gosh, gee, shucks] make me pleased. I have to admit, I enjoyed 'creating' the zeppelin and battle ship designs as well as the usage of travel tubes, docking towers etc. and I'd have loved to have taken them further - but it was a 'spec' job and earning a crust got in the way - but maybe someday?

  4. The line-and-wash process really works for this subject, although it can be a little hard to read in places. I love it; great stuff :)

  5. Have you ever read the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", Russ?


    I think the design of that universe is very similar to yours in some aspects (but your work appeared first). It's a brilliant comic.

  6. Yes I have. At the time, Dave and I both spotted the similarity, but that can be due to a sort of serindipity, 'something in the air'.
    The first two graphic comicbooks in the series were good, although aspects of the film were weaker, I wasn't surprised when I read Alan Moore had withdrawn his 'name' from the film.

  7. The idea isn't new anymore, but those illos are fantastic. What I really like is that you can see how you are trying to establish a background coherency, instead of just throwing cool stuff into the mix. Personally, I'm kind of sick of steam-punk, but I'd play or read soemthing with those pictures.

  8. Thank you Matthew, that had been my intent, and i appreciate your praise.