Digital art has fascinated me ever since I left school. I worked as a graphics artist within the medium of video, television and interactive multimedia during the 1990s and I continued this work on a freelance basis from 2002. A few years afterwards, an opportunity arose to work on a series of heritage interpretation projects which sparked my interest in using digital technology and 3D models to visually reconstruct historic buildings and monuments. This work has kept me busy ever since.
My methods and treatments
The cornerstone of my digital reconstructions are the use of digital 3D models which are incredibly useful for planning and creating some of my complex scenes. Although I use computer-generated imagery (CGI) extensively, I like to blend this with traditional illustration techniques. I am doing this to add my own artistic signature to the artwork and attempt to soften the sometimes flawless and ephemeral quality of the computer-generated image.
I am not an architect, historian or archaeologist. My work is usually a close partnership with historical consultants and cultural experts who guide my reconstructions. It’s a process that I enjoy very much and it gives me the chance to work with and learn from some fascinating people.
I conduct the majority of my work using a wide range of popular digital tools including the Adobe Creative Suite software applications - Photoshop, Substance Painter, Substance Designer, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, After Effects and Lightroom. I have been an Adobe product user for over twenty-five years. My 3D models are created using the open source 3D modelling and rendering program, Blender 3D. I have worked with Blender 3D for over fifteeen years and this experience includes a range of specialist add-on programs designed to extend Blender's capabilities. Other applications which I use infrequently in support of my work include: QGIS, Unreal Engine, Terragen, Worldmachine, Gaea, ZBrush, and Affinity.
When I’m not busy creating artwork, I devote a lot of my time to research and reading, and I often head out to visit historic sites for inspiration and reference for my projects. I am a member of the Scottish Castles Association where I have made many new friends with a shared interest in these great buildings. I love being outdoors, and I enjoy road cycling, off-road cycle-touring, walking, and wild-camping.
Major commissions and projects
- 'The Mackintosh Building' - Site, Light and Space - Glasgow School of Art
- Windsor Castle - A Thousand Years of a Royal Palace - Royal Collection Trust
- St Mary's Church, Youghal - Scroope Design & Cork Co. Council
- Badenoch The Storylands - Badenoch Heritage & Cairngorms National Park Authority
- The Banqueting House, Whitehall - Historic Royal Palaces
- Allen Smelt Mill - Differentia Design & North Pennines AONB Partnership
- 'Wolf At The Door' - The Siege of Stirling Castle, 1304 - Personal project.
How to commission my artwork
If you would like to commission me to produce an illustration, please have a read of this Information Booklet (PDF 40Kb) which explains how I go about my work, timescales, fees, copyright etc.
"I had the good fortune to work with Bob on the reconstructions of Orford Castle. He combines excellent skills as an artist with valuable knowledge of historic buildings and impeccable communication skills. It’s a delight to watch his illustrations evolve draft by draft and Bob’s style gives his work a feeling of authenticity. He is adept at both exteriors and interiors, with an excellent appreciation of composition and the use of light. Not only does Bob produce outstanding reconstructions but the process from start to finish is smooth and clearly articulated."
Richard Nevell. Properties Historian, English Heritage