Wednesday, 16 November 2011


all images © steve cox 2011

Character sketches for a book I'm currently working on.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Just being Orcward

Click to enlarge

I've been visualising some characters for a games company recently. I can't remember how long it's been since I last drew an Orc. Here's a concept sketch I've just put together. Unfinished, but I think you get the idea. The one below is how it might look on a playing card.

Click to enlarge

Thursday, 29 September 2011

New Picture Book

click for closer sneak

Good news this week as I found out I have been offered a picture book contract with a major UK publisher that I did some concept boards for earlier in the summer. Here's a sneak preview of some of the things that will be in it. The main star of the show is still under wraps but I'll put some more images up as this develops. I'm really looking forward to working on this one, it's going to be fun.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

I think I've caught a code...

I've been messing about with those new-fangled QR Codes to see what you can get away with by customising them and so that they still work. Of course you will need an iPhone or other smartphone QR Code Scanner app to scan it and see if it works. The technology is still relatively new and apparently we're only just scratching (or scanning ) the surface with what might become possible with this in the future. Here's my first couple of efforts.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Stilton Factor

Sweet dreams are made of cheese

For decades parents have warned their children not to have cheese before bedtime to prevent bad dreams. But researchers have disproved this old wife's tale and found that cheese could actually aid sleep.

The study by the British Cheese Board, involved 200 volunteers in a week-long experiment. The cheese-munching volunteers reported no nasty dreams after a late night snack.

After eating a 20g piece of cheese 30 minutes before going to sleep, 72 per cent of the volunteers slept very well every night, just over two thirds remembered their dreams and none reported nightmares.

Dr Judith Bryans, a nutrition scientist at The Dairy Council, said: "One of the amino acids in cheese - tryptophan - has been shown to reduce stress and induce sleep so cheese may actually help you have a good night's sleep."

Type of cheese eaten affects dreams

But they reported that the type of cheese you choose can affect the dreams you have.

When it came to dream type, it seemed that Stilton caused the most crazy dreams, with 75 per cent of men and 85 per cent of women eating Stilton experiencing odd and vivid dreams.

Examples of these mad dreams included a vegetarian crocodile upset because it could not eat children, and soldiers fighting each other with kittens rather than guns.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Cornish Giant

Bolster, Bolster, wicked giant,
Cornwall trembles at his roar.
Stay the plough, boys, guard your livestock,
tie your boats and flee the shore.
Haste men, save your wives and children;
close the shutters, bolt the door.

Bolster, Bolster, monstrous giant;
spies sweet Agnes on the hill,
dreaming of her Cornish laddie,
netting pilchards, fishing still.
Bolster's shadow falls upon her;
maiden's sun-warmed skin turns chill.

Bolster, Bolster, brutish giant;
sees the maid and feels love's dart.
"You shall be mine," Bolster bellows
"nevermore from me to part."
Agnes swoons, moon-pale with terror,
answers Bolster with a start,

"Bolster, Bolster, noble giant;
prove to me your heart is true.
Seven tasks you must perform.
Once done, I shall marry you.
Have you spirit for the challenge?"
Bolster pledges, "Yes, I do!"

Bolster, Bolster, once-proud giant;
one last task must be achieved.
Mighty deeds he has accomplished,
monsters fought and boulders heaved.
Six hard trials the Bolster's suffered,
unaware he's been deceived.

Bolster, Bolster, beaten giant,
follows Agnes wearily
to a crevice on the clifftops,
high above the foaming sea.
"Fill this small hole with your blood,"
says Agnes, "and your wife I'll be."

Bolster, Bolster, dying giant,
endlessly his dark blood flows
down the hole, through unseen cracks,
staining red the rocks below.
One last, longing gaze at Agnes,
Bolster slumps, his eyelids close.

Agnes, Agnes, Cornish saviour,
feasts prepared, and glasses raised.
Cottage doors thrown wide and open,
sheep and cattle safely graze.
"You have saved us, brave St Agnes,"
Cornish voices lift in praise.

Still today St Agnes' voice is
heard amid the ling and gorse,
soft through damping Cornish drizzle,
singing still of her remorse;
weeping on the red-stained boulders,
where the Bolster's blood once coursed.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


So, I finally got around to creating a Facebook page for Steve Cox Illustration. You can find that here. This will be a place where newer illustrations and other stuff that might not end up on my main website may appear. You can also comment on illustrations and tell me whether you like them or not. If you visit, please don't forget to click on the 'like' button. That would make my day. Happy Facebooking!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Something Stirs...

A package arrived in the post at the weekend. The contents are intriguing and herald the start of an exciting new project. Stay tuned to see what develops over the next couple of months...

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Clean Plate Chart

click on image for scary close-up

Another random find from the plan chest of life. A reminder of times past when one had time to sit down and make something like this for the amusement/bafflement of one's own children. It looks like we only got eight meals in before things started going slightly awry...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Puffin KIller

Sometimes the postman pushes nice things through the letterbox instead of bills. I've just received my copy of 'The Diary of a Killer Cat' by Anne Fine which has just achieved Puffin 'Modern Classic' status. My original illustrations I did in 1994 still grace the insides and the cover. I've illustrated five Killer Cat titles over the years and I believe Anne is working on a sixth. This Puffin Modern Classic is published on March 3rd 2011.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Young Performer

Every couple of months, I am commissioned to do some illustrations for Young Performer - a magazine promoted by Stagecoach who support young people aspiring to forge a career in film, TV and theatre. Each issue features a short story by Errol Murphy and I get to adorn his text with my scribblings.

Initially it consisted of a few small spot illustrations dotted about the text but a few years ago I was asked to make the illustrations more integral to the text so I began to create single pages and double page spreads that bleed off the page. The text then sits on top of that. Luckily for me, the magazine is only printed in English so I can have dark backgrounds which can then have the text reversed out of (in white or a colour). I am usually given quite a lot of freedom to illustrate whatever I like in the story so these are fun to work on. They don't get any exposure outside the magazine so I'm going to start posting the odd one or two here in future.

These are a few illustrations from previous issues. The large spaces in the middle of illustrations are to allow room for the text/story.

click on images for a closer look