Saturday, 22 December 2012

Spotlight: Patrick James Woodroffe

Not to be confused with the amazing lighting designer of the same name, Patrick James Woodroffe is an English artist, etcher and drawer, who specialises in fantasy science-fiction artwork, with images that border on the surreal. His achievements include several collaborations with well-known musicians, two bronze sculptures displayed in Switzerland and numerous books.

"I feel at home in my own imagery," he says. "I live in a world of my own, a planet with portraits and landscapes far too pretty to be called 'modern art'.

"My 'Text & Images', which come just from my memories and my imagination, are nearly always limited to optimism. Tragic stories and ugly imagery never make me happy."

His web site is here: "My website is here for good purposes - to keep in touch with friendly contacts, to meet up with new ones, especially with collaborators and sponsors for my ambitious projects. If this applies to you, then contact me by e-mail."

Patrick Woodroffe

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Original War of the Worlds illustrations revealed

OK, it's not modern SF art, but I couldn't fail to be impressed by this work. I was just sent some stunning work by Warwick Goble, who I'd not heard of before, but it prompted me to do a quick Google search and I found this post featuring his War of the Worlds illustrations from the story's first ever publication in Pearson’s Magazine in 1897.

War of the Worlds author HG Wells apparently didn't really pay a lot of attention to thinking the mechanics of the Martian's war machines through, some feel. He  described them as moving like a milking stool being bowled along the ground, then later talked about them being like spiders.

"I tried a 3d animation of a Martian tripod walking once and it’s really hard," says John Guy Collick, who unearthed these illustrations (and by the way, you should bookmark his blog, it's packed with SF goodness). "It’s not a natural leg arrangement.

"The third leg is a problem. Even sets of legs are easy because they work in opposition. A third leg just gets in the way.

"Here’s an example – the back leg just trails behind..."

Warwick Goble, an illustrator of children's books, is not as well known as his contemporaries Arthur Rackham and Dulac, nevertheless he contributed his own mastery of watercolour to the golden age of illustration.

Born in November 1862 in Dalston, North London, Goble was educated at the City of London School and Westminster School of Art. Initially he worked for a printer who specialized in chromolithography and made numerous contributions to the illustrated newspapers and magazines of the day such as the Pall Mall Gazette, Strand Magazine and The Boy's Own Paper.

• There's more of Goble's fantasy art here:
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