Alpha Natural Resources web headers

A series of web page headers for Alpha Natural Resources. Each image representing a different aspect of the company; the miners, safety, the environment, performance and the role of coal.

A number of concept drawings were submitted from which the finished illustrations were chosen, as below. Stylistically a simple graphic foreground image was requested with background details rounding out the theme. I was asked to use a colour palette that was sympathetic with the corporate green used by Alpha.

Below are a couple of unused ideas; homepage focussing on the company business, joining together over safety issues and mining safety equipment.

Alpha Natural Resources


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NYU Physician illustrations

Just completed this opener and a couple of spots for NYU Physician magazine. Essentially an overview of recent medical news. They liked earlier medical pieces of mine and wanted something in a similar vein (no pun intended!).
References in the copy to breast cancer, genetics, epilepsy, dirty clouds and research were all included in the illustration. Here's the finished piece dropped into the dummy layout.

Below is a closer look at a section of the finished art together with my initial pencil sketch.


Here is one of the two spots for the same issue of NYU Physician. The news item was about breast cancer. An 'elegant' treatment of the subject was requested together with a pastel coloured palette. I have a tendency to veer towards strong vibrant colours and it was felt that would not be an appropriate treatment for this piece.

The pattern on the dress is made up of X chromosomes showing the tips (telomeres) which can decay causing DNA issues as seen in cancers. The DNA is referenced in the earring.


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This was an interesting piece. Prog magazine contacted me to illustrate the debut album review for noted band Headspace. Their new album 'I Am Anonymous' is strong on concepts, specifically;
"It is about you and your relationship with humanity, ultimately the battles fought within the mind from child to man. Through Kubler Ross’ model of impending death, with reference to war, the turmoil leads us to peace and acceptance, only then to swing straight back around to chaos.” !

I was given a free hand on the image, the only stipulation being that the band needed to be included somewhere. They had strong album art of a girl walking towards a war zone and my approach was to try and keep to the same aesthetic which suited the way I like to work.

I focused on the theme of war and the development of child to man - life breaking through in a war-torn environment. The band were included within a cracked picture frame. Although the sketch was liked there was some concern that it may appear too medical so I added a gas mask which re-inforced the war theme whilst also suggesting survival.




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Personal Work

For the majority of commissioned works clients are usually after something similar to what they have seen before. Whether that be a particular style or technique or perhaps a certain approach that can be applied to their current project. A rough is usually provided as a guide to content and layout and that, together with the artists portfolio, provides a pretty clear idea to what the end result will be. This is something we understand as illustrators and indeed something we have been taught from day one, to develop a recognisable signature style.

I do like working in black and white. There is something very direct in the absence of colour, it allows you to focus more clearly on shape, tone and texture. These days black and white work is very rarely commissioned commercially unless for a special purpose.

However from the artists perspective too formulaic an approach can spell creative death over the longer term if not careful. Tastes in illustration are also subject to change and what was popular one year may not be so the next so it is important to keep moving forward. Personal work therefore is essential for extending boundaries and exploring new terrain. One way or another the results feed back into professional work, often in the most unexpected ways, and this helps to keep things fresh and interesting.


These were a conscious attempt to move away from techniques most used in my commercial work, specifically the avoidance of gradations of tone and the effects of light and shade. Instead using simple line and blocks of related colour to define shape.

Continuing with the same approach but limiting the palette choices. The lines were first drawn on paper (often derived from doodles) and colour shapes were then overlaid.

All the examples on this page are images I make when not working on commissioned pieces. Even though I try to avoid formulas as much as possible, I do like to create small series or groups. I've recently started making large prints of some of these images which I'm selling via my Shop and perhaps at selected print fairs next year.

These are probably closest to my usual working practice but for this type of subject matter I prefer to use more monochromatic colour schemes. I like to take photographs and weave in various drawn elements and textures to create images that fall somewhere between photography and illustration but not overtly one or the other.



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