• Bloodbones
  • Blue Mouse Blacksmith
  • Return to Firetop Mountain
  • Cyborg
  • Mirabilis - Big Ben
  • Vampire Hunter
  • Film visualization stuff
  • Headless Highwayman
  • Diabolist
  • Angry Mob
  • Wizard of Rondo
  • Howl of the Werewolf
  • Talisman of Death
  • Film visualization stuff
  • Unicorn Hunt
  • Legend of Zagor
  • The Tank
  • Orcs
  • Blue Queen
  • Mirabilis - Jack Ember


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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.


  • List of Published Work
  • List of Clients
  • Merchandise at Wardrobe Of Terror
  • The old martinmckenna.net
  • The Octopuppy
  • Prints at ArtPal
  • Artwork Archive at Flickr
  • News

    Planet of the McKennas

    Look to the skies! Minor Planet (Asteroid) 42531 McKenna is orbiting around the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid has been officially named after Martin McKenna, my astronomer namesake, who was awarded 2005 Astronomer of the Year by the Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies.

    Minor Planet (Asteroid) 42531 McKenna

    (Above) Original discovery image of 42531 McKenna from the digital sky survey. The asteroid is the short trail at centre, the long trail is a passing satellite.

    The asteroid is described as having 'a slightly eccentric and chaotic orbit', and over tens of millions of years the random effects could cause anything to happen, including the chance of it falling into the Sun. But the McKenna's minor planet is stable dynamically for another 30,000 years at least, with some chance of surviving for tens of millions of years. So our name will live on long after we're gone, which is a nice feeling. Congratulations to Martin on receiving this prestigious reward, I know it's a dream come true for him, and it's a vicarious delight for me to enjoy a little of the excitement through our shared name.

    More about the naming of the asteroid on Martin's site

    • reddit.com

    New Warlock

    Here's the artwork for the new edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, due to be published by Wizard Books in September.


    Warlock sketch

    • reddit.com

    The Forgotten Spell

    The Forgotten Spell is a book I illustrated a while ago -- thought I'd show a few bits here. It's a game/puzzle-book written by Louisa Dent and published by Wizard Books. You can buy it here.

    Here's a cover rough...

    Cover rough

    ...and a few of the seventy-five internal pics I did. I illustrated lots of artefacts such as writings on parchment, signs, and labels, as well as the spellbook featured within the book, all of which form aspects of the numeric puzzles in the adventure. A few examples of those here.

    Crows City Bookshop puzzle picture Bag o' coins Tavern scene - detail BUNS!  A bakery puzzle picture
    Black rose The cover of the Spellbook within the book One of the Spellbook pages Timetable puzzle Crystal ball with magic numbers

    • reddit.com

    Gulliver's Travels

    At the start of the year I did a little bit of work at Pinewood Studios on the film Gulliver's Travels for 20th Century Fox.  I helped out a wee bit with concept art on the costumes for the Lilliputian population.  The film will be released in 2010, and stars Jack Black as Gulliver, with Emily Blunt, Billy Connolly, and various other familiar faces, directed by Rob Monsters vs Aliens Letterman.

    • reddit.com

    The Kelpie's Gift, a musical adventure

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

    Review on Bachtrack: "Actor Billy Boyd (Pippin in The Lord of the Rings) narrates the tale beautifully, heightening the tension of the fight between good and evil. His words come across clearly, at just the right level to enable listeners to enjoy both the story and the music. The CD first offers the narrative version of the tale, then the music without the words. The book, into which the CD is cleverly fitted, provides the story, beautifully illustrated, so children can read it for themselves while the music is playing." 

    Buy the book and album here.

    • reddit.com

    Fantasy Art Magazine interview in China

    Latest old news! There's an interview with yours truly in China's Fantasy Art Magazine. Specifically their 'Top Artist' Vol.32, which also features Tim & Greg Hildrebrandt, Alex Horley, Ron Miller, and lots of other fine folk. Anyway I'm in there with some artwork, waffle (god knows what I went on about, probably the Hamishes in Bagpuss), and another gurning mugshot. As you can see that poor old werewolf gets yet another outing.

    • reddit.com


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