News and Updates

The New Website

The New Website

Welcome Back My Friends : The New Website is Go!

My new website updates and consolidates my online presence to make it the central landing area for professionals and followers of my work alike. The fresh new portfolio galleries are primarily for professional art commissioners and agents to view. These will be expanded over the coming weeks and months displaying mostly newer work and establishing my desired creative direction of travel for the future. The News area will keep everyone up to date together my Facebook Page.

The sparkling new mega Store features archival quality prints of new and classic work representing the many areas I’ve been involved with over the decades. It can also be browsed as a multi-faceted retrospective gallery.

It will be updated regularly with new products and concepts and I welcome constructive feedback on how it might be improved and what other items you’d like to see.

I’ve been very much hands on in building and populating the site together with David at Wonkaweb. Thanks to Hey Sarah for the extra encouragement. I’m so pleased to see it online and I look forward to hearing from professionals and followers alike. 

Radio Times Art

You can see my latest illustration for the Radio Times magazine in the current bumper Christmas issue. It’s for the final part of The Chronicles of Narnia ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ and features on the radio page for Friday 23rd December. This special double issue will have around 2.5 million readers!  The original is painted on smooth rigid illustration board in acrylics at three times the size of the reproduction. Image size : 112W x 215H mm approx with white surround. The original is sold.

The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen

A new illustration by Andrew Skilleter for The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen appears on the radio pages of The Radio Times issue now on sale. You can hear the radio play on BBC Radio 4 at 2.30pm Saturday 19th November.

It is a spot illustration for radio listings section:
BBC RADIO 4
Saturday Play :  The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen
Alan Garner’s story, dramatised by Peter Thomson, is set on Alderley Edge and stems from a local legend of knights sleeping in a
cave for hundreds of years, ready to awake and save the world from evil when the need comes.
Robert Powell is the narrator Colin, Hugo Docking plays young Colin and Fern Deacon is Susan in a story that features wizards and
dwarfs. But it’s two children who seem to hold the key to the future.
The original art is available for sale.

Class Heroes

Back in July I was approached by Stephen Henning about a possible commission relating to a young adult novel he had written and intended to self publish. Stephen is a publisher and now writer. He knew my work from my Doctor Who book covers in the 1980s and he had most of the the books when he was growing up and really liked the work on my website.
We exchanged emails and he decided to commission an image that best reflected the book and featured the main characters, teenagers Sam and James who discover they have gained superpowers following a traumatic event. The image would initially be used for the website. I decided to draw the figures and then render the art digitally using all number of ‘tricks’ I hadn’t tried before. Stephen was delighted with the final images.
The Class Heroes book and the website has just gone live and the first title, A Class Apart, is now available from Amazon. For more info, character profiles, preview chapters and much more, visit www.classheroes.com AND www.247interactivenews.com for the Class Heroes ‘live’ television reports.

Teenage twins James and Samantha Blake are caught up in a seemingly random terrorist bombing while on a school trip. Many of their friends are killed. When the twins wake up in hospital, their lives have changed forever.
The doctors are amazed at the speed with which James and Sam recover from their injuries and, when the twins begin to exhibit extraordinary powers, it is obvious that something incredible has happened.
As James and Sam attempt to overcome their fears and embrace their new abilities, a series of murders and disappearances start plaguing the hospital. The twins aren’t the only ones with special abilities and it becomes apparent that someone is coming for them.
Will James and Sam be able to survive the nightmare into which they have been plunged? Who, or what, is behind the murders at the hospital? And was that terrorist incident quite so random after all?

 

The Apple of My Eye

The passing of Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, has focused me on my relationship with the Apple Mac computer. It must be, I don’t know – ten years ago? – when my friend David Banks, best known to most of you as the 80s Cyberleader, generously donated to us his Apple Cube computer as he was upgrading. I still use it today. It sits in my studio and I use it primarily for my writing. Then came the iMac some years ago, again from David,  followed by it’s purchased updated successor under a year ago. It sits oozing style in the power room of the house, the large glass covered blue screen a blank canvas for creativity, communication and organisation, a Microsoft free zone. A single unit, the wireless silver and white keyboard and white mouse it’s willing companions. It handles gigabytes as if they were dandelion seeds. It is on this machine that I create the compositions for my artwork and digital images. The iPhone and iPad are a mystery to me and the iMac may only be in a minority of homes but it is the chosen tool of creatives and professionals all over the world.  Thank you, Steve Jobs, for bringing me my iMac. It’s the Apple of my eye.

I reproduce with respect these quotes from the man himself. No infringement of copyright is intended :

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]Steve Jobs

Time Off for a Strip

For those who haven’t been yet, (that includes me, folks – couldn’t make the private view) or don’t know about it, there is a splendid exhibition, Doctor Who In Comics at the Cartoon Museum, London, ending October 30th.
I was asked by it’s Curator, Anita O’Brien, to loan my Doctor Who calendar painting from 1988, Time Off, featuring the Sixth Doctor, numerous aliens, futuristic bits and bobs, me and my wife and JNT. How’s that for value per square inch? It’s a large piece and I hope it looks good there. No reports of it being slashed yet. Don’t even think about it …


I’m really pleased to be part of the exhibition especially as it’s a bit of an exception to the comic strip rule. Despite the hundreds of Doctor Who pieces of art I’ve done, few have ever been exhibited. So this is a very rare opportunity to see a large piece. And for the half a dozen or so people who’ve still got jobs and money, it is for sale. The details are on the website if you can get the pix to load but I’m repeating them here : ‘Time Off’ : Who Dares Calendar 1989 20  x 18.25 inches (approx) Acrylics on rigid CS10 board, Price Guide £2000. Open to Offers and most of my originals can be purchased in instalments.

The Unexplained Covers

Terrance Dicks : The Unexplained Series
Piccadilly Press 1996 – 2001

Andrew Skilleter completed all twelve covers for this series written by the legendary Doctor Who writer Terrance Dicks and published Piccadilly Press.

All twelve paintings are available for sale. You can read the about them and see the covers by clicking here

 

Illuminating the Target

Back in 2007 David Howe and the Telos Publishing crew launched a book of tremendous ambition and breadth – The Target Book – the story of the remarkable
Target Imprint and the Doctor Who novelisations that meant so much to the fans who consumed them at the time. As most of you will know, I unwittingly ended up playing a major part in this story, completing 45 of the covers from the classic Target era. I say unwittingly, since I did not seek to be a Target artist, it was thrust upon me. I loved SF and enjoyed Doctor Who but I was sufficiently removed from the world of Doctor Who fandom in 1979/80, not to realise the iconic nature of the Target books, how much each and every release – and therefore the covers – meant to the fans. Even years later when the Target work was behind me and I began to sell the original art in the 1990s, having moved on technically and creatively, I failed to realise their true value. Over the years I’ve had some tremendous feedback from individuals who as children or teenagers, still remember the thrill of seeing my art for a new Target book cover. And I can understand how they felt, if I translate it to my own experiences of seeing the new full colour Dan Dare page on my Eagle comic each week, eagerly anticipated and never to be forgotten. I was only too happy to provide cover related drawings to David and wished the book well. I do have a bit of an issue with what constitutes a Target title though. I do feel that by the time Virgin Publishing took over the novelisations, the classic era was over and the magic gone.When I think of the Target books, they are inistricably part the 70s and 80s, the publishers W H Allen and their magnificent Mayfair headquarters that was a regular haunt for me.

James Moore is one of those individuals to whom the Target covers mean so much and some years ago he embarked on a remarkable project, which he is happy for me to share with you. A beautiful, leather bound limited edition of the The Target Book was released – I have one courtesy of David – together with the standard edition and James has taken it upon himself to commission the Target artists to paint a piece of Doctor Who art within the book.

I was given the dark blue endpaper at the very front of the book and was asked to do a portrait of the second Doctor with a Yeti in the background. I decided to use coloured pencils and it worked very well. This was 2009. This year James was in touch again. Would I paint up the Troughton portrait and do another painting of the Peter Cushing Doctor and Matt Smith as the eleventh Doctor to match a duo of different Doctors by Roy Knipe on the opposite page? The new art would require laying down a surface of gesso over the glossy paper. My thanks to Roy for his advice. Gesso is used as a preparatory base for paint that is applied over it. James wanted the Target logo to feature as it had been in Roy’s where it was in full colour but peeling on old, textured wood. James suggested a number of possibilities to me but in the end we agreed on the concept of a brick wall with the logo in chalk effect graffiti. It was a bit strange painting on an unfamiliar surface and I couldn’t employ certain techniques. It has echoes of my early work rather what I would do had this been a full out new painting on board. Significantly this is my first painted Matt Smith. I look forward to doing a full size portrait of him. Commission anyone?
To paint in such a book is a huge responsibility for all the artists – before working on your page, you have to ensure the book and page opposite is protected from any potential mishap. And more it is illustrated, the greater the responsibility becomes. This is the illuminated Doctor Who manuscript of our time – it is already priceless and will surely stand as a unique object for as long as it lasts. James – it’s great to be part of it.

Books Illustrated

A range of Andrew’s original art , including some Chronicles of Narnia pieces, but not Doctor Who, can be seen exhibited  by Books Illustrated. You can meet Mike and Hilary Emeny on their extensive stand and say hello. Also on show will be some exotic originals by Andrew’s wife, Patricia Papps and other artists and illustrators. Here are the latest dates. It is recommended you contact Books Illustrated for full details and to establish whether Andrew’s work will be present at any particular show.

Dates : 2 – 6 Febuary 2011Watercolours and Drawings Fair Science Museum, London, 10 – 13th Chester, 25 – 27th Tortworth Court, Gloucestershire, March 4 – 6th Powderham Castle, Exeter, 11 – 13th Linden hall, Newcastle area, 17 – 20th Antiques for Everyone, NEC