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 do concept and production art for computer games, 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: I've just finished illustrating my first children's picture book. I worked on this with the wonderful editors at Omnibus Books and it'll be published by Scholastic in time for Christmas. More news about that later in the year. Meanwhile I'm continuing to develop the next picture book, and the one after that. While I'm busy on those I might still be able to fit in some illustration commissions, so get in touch!
My Spellbreaker artwork gets another outing, as the cover of the December issue of the Czech sf, fantasy & horror magazine XB-1.
Artwork on Tour
The cover artwork I did for Axel Rudi Pell's Circle of the Oath album, as featured in a previous post, has been treading the boards during the band's recent European tour. Stage props and backdrops were made from my image, as glimpsed in these photos from one of the shows. Fun! Hardly a diminutive stonehenge in sight.
The Gift - A Timeless Classic?
The Gift hardback has been presented in a special Christmas gift set, accompanied by a teddy bear complete with ribbon.
The Gift, which I illustrated, has been the Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) KIDS' BOOK OF THE WEEK, and I'm delighted to say it's been receiving universally positive reviews. I posted a couple a while back, here are some more.
A rather plain bear sits next to a gorgeous plush crocodile in a toy shop among the special Christmas toys. As each waits to be chosen, Brown Bear makes his own gift to his friend. This is my favourite Christmas book so far this year. It's a lovely story with gorgeous, soft illustrations, and it has the cutest teddy bear on the front cover. It's a story about friendship and hope, and it's one of those stories that's perfect for snuggling up and reading at bedtime. You'll want to take Brown Bear home and give him a big cuddle. I love the illustrations, especially the one right near the end where Brown Bear sits on the counter, gazing up with hope in his eyes. Zac Harding
For those who love stuffed toys, there is nothing more appealing than a traumatised teddy who obviously needs a cuddle. This is what features on the front cover of Penny Matthews' The Gift (Omnibus. 32pp. $24.99), a book whose title and subject matter make it perfect for Christmas giving. Poor Brown Bear is rather plain. How can he compete with all the spectacular Christmas toys in the toy shop when his only decoration is a bright red ribbon? As Christmas approaches, most of the toys find new homes, but Brown Bear and the large and rather expensive crocodile with whom he shares a shelf are going nowhere. To help the crocodile, who thinks his unrelieved greenness is stopping him from being sold, Brown Bear gives up his red, Christmassy bow, and soon crocodile finds a new home, too. Then, on Christmas Eve, kind little Brown Bear discovers that sometimes love is just around the corner. Matthews' heart-warming tale is sensitively illustrated by Martin McKenna. His traditional watercolour-style illustrations, albeit created digitally, perfectly suit the story, and his stuffed toys, whilst imbued with human expressions and body language, always remain true to themselves. This endearing book about sharing and caring is an appropriate Yuletide yarn. The Sydney Morning Herald
Reader reviews online:
It is a delightful story of caring, sharing, sadness and joy. My girl and I love it! ...it is a favourite... Definitely a lovely book to own.
This is a hardback book beautifully presented with a lovely cover. The illustrations are beautiful... This is a lovely Christmas story and perfect for a preschooler. My children love this story and I have had to read it repeatedly every night since we got it. I think it will be well worn out by the time Christmas arrives. The pictures certainly captivate my girls' attention... A lovely book for Christmas that may well become a timeless classic to be read year after year.
You Are The Hero
Another Jonathan Green news item. What am I, his agent? If you fancy seeing a nice big book all about the history of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, then be a hero and get over to Jon's Kickstarter page and pitch in a few farthings. He's got all kinds of things planned for the project, including, God help us, a cover by me.
My illustration of a mad starin' eye from Night of the Necromancer appears on the cover of Dark Heart, a new collection of short stories by Jonathan Green. More info at Jon's site.