• Mirabilis - Big Ben
  • Film visualization stuff
  • Film visualization stuff
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  • Frankenstein's Legions - French Grenadier
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GALLERY

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About


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: September 2013: I'm busy developing another picture book, something in a similar vein to The Octopuppy which has just been published in hardback by Scholastic/Omnibus Books. There are also ideas floating around for a sequel to The Octopuppy. All this follows on from The Gift, my first children's book which was published last Christmas and received great reviews. The Gift is due out in paperback in October this year. I've just finished the wraparound cover for You Are The Hero, a book documenting the history of Fighting Fantasy. Right now I'm working on a cover for Axel Rudi Pell's next album release, Into the Storm.

martin@martinmckenna.net 

  • List of Published Work
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  • News

    Spectre Press portfolio


    I've now received a copy of The Weird and the Wonderful portfolio from publisher Jon Harvey. It's published by Jon's imprint Spectre Press, and is available to buy from Cold Tonnage Books. All profits made from the sale of this portfolio will be shared by two charities, Help for Heroes and St Dunstans.




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    Happy Halloween!








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    Night of the Necromancer


    In response to some wonderfully enthusiastic and supportive fans in France, and ahead of a new French edition from Gallimard Jeunesse, here are some of the interior pics I did for Night of the Necromancer.



    For some reason or other I didn't get around to posting stuff from the book when it was first published in 2010, but anyway here's a selection. The complete set of thirty-one illustrations can be viewed, and purchased as high quality prints, here.


     

     

     

    And here's a promotional video featuring the artwork, put together by the book's author Jon Green:



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    XB-1!


    My gurning red demon fella gets another outing, as the cover of the October issue of the Czech sf, fantasy & horror magazine XB-1.



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    The Gift - published today


    The Gift
    is released today, published by Scholastic in hardback. As I've mentioned in previous posts here and here, The Gift is my first proper picture book for children. It's a delightful, sad story about an unwanted teddy bear at Christmas, written by award-winning author Penny Matthews. Illustrating it was lots of fun, as it was such a departure from my usual attempts at spooky and grisly, and it was a challenge to convey complex emotions in the faces of soft toys! Below are some sketches I did along the way. The book is now available to buy in various online stores.



    Some sketches of Bear when I was still working on his appearance:




    A rough sketch from an early storyboard:




    Another storyboard sketch. This little scene didn't make it into the book:




    My first defined colour sketch of Bear:



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    The Weird and the Wonderful portfolio


    Talking of ancient images lately, a properly old one of mine appears in a new portfolio from Spectre Press. It's a presentation of artwork from the collection of publisher Jon Harvey. My drawing is one that Jon bought at the World Fantasy Convention in 1988, and I can hardly remember what it looked like. It was my attempt at a Black Rider from
    The Lord of the Rings, sniffing out a Hobbit or two in the undergrowth. I don't remember if it was any good. Anyway, there's a bit more about the portfolio - which is available as prints, or on a state-of-the-art CD-ROM! - here.



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