Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Book Photos Tooth and Nail

Finally had some sunshine over the weekend. I've been trying to take some decent pictures of the clamshell book box, the hardcover and the dustcover for days now but it's been too grey and far too dull.

These were taken on a patch of wasteland opposite my lovely house. This is the clamshell presentation box version 2 only the second book box I've ever made, the first worked but was not quite as refined as I would have liked.


As you can see I've used the image from the title pages to line the inside of trays. I had an exhausting journey to Ratchford's in Stockport to get the supplies. I was able to view the book cloth and took some of my work to get a good match between the colour of the cloth and my designs.



Above is the hard back cover, the ornamentation is likely to change but this is very close to what I intend, below is the full hardcover and box.



Above is the box and book with the dustcover. The dustcover is likely to change quite a bit but I'm quite happy with it for the moment, I'll worry more about the cover when the rest of the book has been completed. Finally, below is a close up of the spine.


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Book Design

Over the last 3 months I've been working away completing chapter 4 and designing the book itself. The book design has been a really fun aspect of the project, allowing me to draw everything together and make an identity with themes and motifs that can be used across various design elements.

There are three major influences on the design. Spiderwick Chronicles being the first, which I talk about on my other blog. Spiderwick Chronicles got me looking at Victorian page ornamentation and book design which then led me to producing the title pages, seen in an earlier post and the endpapers.



With the book being called Tooth and Nail I went with the obvious. The patterned paper at the front features the tooth and at the rear the nail. This forced me to improve my vector illustration skills and I'm quite happy with the result. This then took me onto designing the clamshell book box.


Above is the design produced using 3D software which I then went on to mock up. This is the first book box that I have designed or made and I am extremely happy with the result which is being exhibited over at Glyndwr at the moment. Once I get it back I will photograph it and post pictures. I had intended to have foil blocking pressed onto the spine however cost and time didn't allow this. 

The other major influenced was Philip Smith's work also mentioned in a previous post. Looking at leather bindings and Philip's relief work led me to produce a limited edition design which at some point in the future I would love to mock up though this will require a whole host of new skills.


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Evil King Bias' Fortress

Evil King Bias' Fortress Original Environment Design

I finished this image a while ago now. I completed it back in March for an exhibition. I was trying to find ways of working faster, however in the end it took longer to complete than if I was working in my usual way. I did use a restricted palette though and this as an experiment worked out quite nicely.

Monday, 1 July 2013

King Bias Intro

I'm toying with the idea of using either this or selected elements from this for endpapers. I'm leaning in the direction of using the pattern in the background and adding small images in the diamonds. As for the image below I'm more than happy with it. I'm forcing myself to learn illustrator and creating things like this makes it feel like it's paying off.


Friday, 14 June 2013

Book Fore-Edge Painting

Before I started researching leather binding and binderies I was looking into page edge gilding. This  fascinated me as a child and was one of the few things that kept me entertained during Sunday worship. I have always been amazed and enchanted by gold gilding on the edge of books but whilst trying to find out how it is created I stumbled across this.

Fore-edge paintings are created when the page block is fanned and an image painted on the surface. In the video the page edges have been gilded, as a result the image disappears when the book is not fanned. But the fun doesn't stop there. One image can be applied on each side of the edge and on large volumes two images can be applied on each edge. With each book having three edges six to twelve images can be applied in this way to each book.

Split Double

Since 1970, Martin Frost has produced well over 3300 Fore-edge and Miniature Paintings and his site is well worth cheking out http://www.foredgefrost.co.uk/

Book Art

I've been researching book covers and book binding over the last couple of weeks. It's only when you start researching something in detail that you realise how little you know about the subject. Not only that but after looking into binding and the book as a piece of art I've realised that print may be in decline but it will never go away.

The artist that has impressed me the most is Philip Smith. His work is truly inspired and he is a great innovator pioneering his own techniques and methods to create art like this.

However this is not my favourite piece of his work. He has 3 on line galleries here and the description below details the process for creating a one off cover for, 'THE LORD OF THE RINGS' this cover is truly spectatctular.

by J.R.R. Tolkien
Book-box made from binders board, balsawood and with brass-reinforced epoxy-putty modelling. Covered with goatskin. Various parts of goatskin are used; strips, emulsified or individual flesh side and grain side parings, and maril. The box has two compartments for the book and a map folder. The leather clasp is designed to match the of images on both sides. The skull (supposedly of a Ringwrailh King; the contorted upper spires now represent the crown) is designed to work with a raking light to give deep relief to the modeling. The nine dead ringwraiths' headstones line the lower edge of the box.

Size: 342 x 180 x 70mm
Bound 1990-91

His other works are just as inspiring.


Friday, 24 May 2013

Coloured Pages



Not posted in a while as I've been non-stop with work for the last few months. Just posted to show off some coloured pages.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Stikkle Necked Lizard


My favourite characters to play with on paper are these little critters. The Bogey Grey Stikkle Necked Lizard Clan find themselves in between a rock and a hard place.


Above are 3 variations of my design for Molly. She's the focal character in the story and leads us into the world of Tooth and Nail.   

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Full Colour Friggle

Here it is The Friggle in glorious technicolour. Over the last 3 months I've been gradually picking up pace and have finally produced 24 full colour concepts accompanied by 81 rough page layouts for review.

Friggle for me perceives himself as the ruling class. He rides around on the back of his noble steed Dennis the ultra violet iguana. He does this whilst barking instructions and generally giving rambling, animated diatribes communicating his world view and opinions to Dennis. His appearance is in-part based on Patrick Moore the astronomer and broadcaster who passed away December 2012.Although I imagine his manner, unfortunately would be closer to that of Andrew Starky.

It is Friggle's relationship with Dennis that got me thinking more broadly about relationships between races and characters within Tooth and Nail. Friggle is in part a throwback to Britain's colonial past and Tooth and Nail in many ways deals with the end of empire.

Friday, 11 January 2013

High Chef Somble Tinglewart


High Chef Somble Tinglewart is King Bias's gastro chef extraordinaire. Somble Tinglewart can make a meal out of anything.


This is Friggle a dear little creature full of self importance whom rides around on his loyal steed Dennis the ultra violet iguana. He's a little bit pompous and extremely eccentric. 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Squidge is Molly's friend and can change size and appearance to suit the needs of any particular moment.

Evil King Bias

Evil King Bias I think the name pretty much sums him. He's generally not very nice and mistreats his poor little subjects the Stikkle Neck Lizards.

As you can see he enjoys demeaning his minions and asserting his authority at every opportunity.