Friday, 16 December 2011


Finally started a book I have been meaning to do for a while...
I have called it Rectortransorbis - "Guide Across Worlds", so far only finished a few pages, here's a quick photo of the first illustrated page, many more to come!

Inks and acrylic on cartridge paper, just under A5 size.
All text in the book will be hand written in a runic language - an Alphabet I created for this purpose. When the whole thing is done I will get a translation written up. Also some Title pages etc hand printed with typewriter keys.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Almost finished...

So, The Tarantula Hawk Wasp vs. Tarantula glass dome is almost done, I wanted the scene to look as life-like as possible so the base is dry pale desert ground, with dead grasses and spindly twigs.
Will post some better photos once it is completely finished.

Eternal Battle... in the making...

I have been planning to make this taxidermy style display for a while, The fight involved is one of the most interesting in the animal kingdom, and yes, I am bias towards animals with more than four legs.

The display is going to be a small (around 9" high) glass dome with a Tarantula Hawk Wasp (Pepsis thisbe) attacking a Tarantula.
The Female Tarantula Hawk wasps track down tarantulas, usually larger than themselves. The Wasp will then sting and paralyse the tarantula, dragging it to a burrow in the ground, where the Wasp will lay eggs inside the tarantula, allowing the young larvae to hatch and consume the body.

Tarantula Hawk Wasps are known to have one of the most painful stings in the animal kingdom, and everything else on them is designed for the hunt, the jaws are huge and scythe-like, the feet are tipped with double grapple hook claws, and the Wasp's exoskeleton is much tougher than the average wasp, protecting it from the fangs of a struggling tarantula, not that they ever really get that close...

So, here is the work in progress,- I set out the Pepsis Wasp and Tarantula in dramatic poses, which was a lot more fiddly than expected, but it seems to have done the trick.

More jar creatures...

Thursday, 1 September 2011


Pigeon Skull, dead,dried and set Beetles and Flies, Amethyst, Acrylic paint - inside old Nautical brass porthole frame.  - 11cm across

Skull and Beetles - before setting in frame.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Purbeck Mason Wasp

Pseudepipona herrichii -  The Purbeck Mason Wasp, a scarce and localised species in the UK. 
drawn as a commission, to go along side my earlier Urocerus gigas illustration.

permanent markers, fine line pen, acrylics on A4 cartridge paper

Something prickly

Eudejeania diabolis, an imagined Giant Tachinid fly, based on the real Eudejeania melanax. Tachinids are parasitic in their larval stage, developing inside the bodies of caterpillars and other insects, usually each Tachinid species has a specific host, or range of hosts. This one is giant, around 60mm long, and develops inside the bodies of small mammals.

permanent markers, fine line pen on A4 cartridge paper.

for this drawing I used some of Chris Raper's fantastic photos of tachinid specimens as reference.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Recent work- uni project and more...

Recently I have been working on a project called 'This is Your Life' and I was given the man Robert Newton Ford, to base the work on. He is the the who shot Jesse James, back in April 3rd 1882. I decided to base the work around this one particular moment in his life because it was the moment that defined him, in my eyes, particularly because he spent his younger days in awe of Jesse James, and admired everything he did. I looked into the reasons for the assassination, and found that Ford was under extreme mental conflict, from the side of him that wanted to make a name and be remembered in legend as he knew Jesse James would be, and the opposing side which admired and loved Jesse James, and almost wanted to become him.

Marker pens, fine line ink pen, coloured pencil and acrylic on white card.

I have also just finished making 2 miniature insect taxidermy domes, in the style of the old Victorian style taxidermy displays. These domes are the small plastic domes with bases that are designed to display gem stones or thimble collections etc. They are around 40mm tall, so the insects inside are quite small. One dome holds three Nomad bees, collected in the UK, and the other holds 2 bright metallic green Chrysomelid beetles.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Angel - Painting for sale

This is one of the few large paintings I have done, and I no longer have any room for it. The painting is 40"x30" Acrylic paint on canvas. (I created a textured surface before painting, and the Halo is real Gold Leaf), painted in May 2009. Take a look at the photos and if anyone is interested in the painting just let me know! (Will take offers)

Friday, 18 March 2011

Those things that devour from the inside.

Just finished a small drawing of an imaginary parasitic wasp, based on various insects but mainly on Chalcid wasps, which use other insects as hosts, often laying eggs inside defenceless caterpillars, some waiting around for the caterpillar to pupate, then laying eggs inside the cocoon, where the chalcid larvae feed on the internal organs. Others are parasites of different wasp species.

0.05 point pen on white card. Most Chalcid wasps are tiny, the largest being around 3 - 6mm long, so I guess this one is around 45X lifesize.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Family Portrait

I have recently been working on a commission for a presenter of a Discovery Channel show.
The photos show the 8 specimens I made, the largest is the biggest I have made yet, the jar is 15cm tall, it is slightly human, but has the abdomen of a wasp and wing buds on the back.

Friday, 11 March 2011

The Insects are returning!

Seems like Winter lasts for ever, but over the last few weeks some insects have started to make a re-appearance, mainly large Queen Bumble bees waking up from hibernation. I Have only collected a few things so far in 2011, here's a small solitary bee I found today basking in the sun in the back garden...

It is about 8mm long, probably quite a common species, but one which I haven't encountered before.
I also found a few insects earlier in the week, which have now been added to the ever growing reference collection.

And here is a brief look at part of my British insects collection:

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Baby's first Coffin

I have just finished painting a small skull I have been making recently. It is mainly in the design of a human foetal / new born skull, but I made some changes to the overall look. Made from air drying clay to get the basic shape, and then once dry I used various small tools to scrape away areas, add the details and hollow out the areas behind the cheek bones and lower jaw. Painted with acrylics and ink. (around 70mm across).

I like the way this guy turned out so I think I might make a few others, maybe more deformed ones, or Siamese twin foetal skulls etc...

Monday, 28 February 2011


I have been working on this illustration for a while, but I still don't feel it is finished...
She is Elus, a character from a story I am writing (The Black Harok) but I have only written a short part of it so far, I just find it easier to really imagine the characters if I draw them out whilst going along....
29.5 X 16.5cm

anyway, I might try a coloured version of the same image, probably just adding colour to a scan of the drawing.