Friday, 10 December 2010

3DS Max 2011 Reviewed

Hello all,

My review of 3DS Max 2011 is up and over at 3D World Magazine:

The latest release of 3ds Max
adds significant improvements,
but are they worth the price
of the application?

Go check it out - and tell them I sent you!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Catchup - Thoughtbubble 2010


Updates are few and far between at the minute 'cos of sheer workload, so here's a quick link to mine and Graham McNeills' adventures in Leeds, at the always amazing Leeds Thoughtbubble convention, via The Black Library:

Click on the link to read.

So, as an update proper, I'm working on a new piece for a new publisher, finishing up on a couple of logo's and I'm about to start work on a new Graham McNeill Horus Heresy cover: "Outcast Dead", oh, and a 2000AD cover to keep me company over the Christmas break.


I think my New Years promise should be more updates, more regularly.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Hockley Hustle

Just a quickie...

I'll be a guest of part of the 'Hockley Hustle' event in Nottingham this weekend:

I'll be on a panel talking about writing and art alongside Darius Hinks, Alex Davis and Damien Walter.

So, if you can find me, feel free to come and say hello...!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Interview: Sci Fi Art Now

Hello all,

A quickie to say that an interview with my good self has gone online over at Sci-Fi Art Now:

My moody publicity shot,
maybe another one is in order...

I talk about my inspirations and process, classic comic artists and tools of my trade - plus there are some (hopefully) handy hints for any aspiring illustrators out there.


Thursday, 7 October 2010

TimeSplitters 4: Unused Concepts

Hello All,

Just a real quick, image heavy, post about some of my old work (2-3 years ago) I did for Timesplitters 4, before I left to go freelance and Free Radical Design went under :(


So, here we go with the first batch - I like to theme my concepts so as to keep a consistency in design. It might not be overly obvious, but with these I had been looking at a lot of Harley Earl/ 50's Americana and J.C. Leyendecker:

Ancient Greece

For the Greek themed levels I went for a full on (original) 'Clash of the Titans' vibe, especially with the Zeus concept:

Hammer Horror

And finally, I love Hammer Horror films - I don't like modern horror, bleurgh, too vulgar - but I imagined a sexy kitsch and fun take for the horror levels (my kind of horror) :

I figure I may as well put these out there, cos they won't ever be used - just left to gather cyber-dust in some forgotten folder on the computer. Hope there's something there for you to enjoy!

Proper post soon...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Cover: Legion of One

Hello, All,

Sorry about the lack of posts, but sheer workload has meant that I've been unable to maintain the blog as much as I'd like. But, that'skind of a good thing, right?

Anyway, this is the latest cover for the Horus Heresy Audiobook "Garro: Legion of One" by James Swallow:

Cover Artwork for Garro: Legion of One.
But exactly WHO is that on the cover...?

Here's the blurb:

"Nathaniel Garro, loyalist Death Guard, and hero of the Eisenstein, has found a new calling in his service to the Emperor. Surrounded by a cloak of secrecy, Garro travels the galaxy in pursuit of his new goal. His quest will lead him to heart of the most destructive warzones, and reveal a secret that will change the course of the Horus Heresy itself..."

and here it is in the final design:

Yeah, Classy!

You can pre-order it here and here - tell 'em Neil sent you ;)

Also, Games Day has been and gone - and what a day it was, sketching and signing all day. It was a shame I couldn't come the day before to catch up with the authors, as they're a great bunch and good company. Ah well, that'll teach me to BREAK MY LEG!

Here's a few pics from the BL Art Seminar me and Jon Sullivan gave (thanks to all that came along) from Shane McElligots FB page:

"So, an Ork, A Space Marine
and an Eldar walk into a bar..."

Erm, stop looking at my plaster cast, Jon.

Anyways, a big thankyou to all that came along and made us feel welcome and appreciated. I'll be working on that "Music to Draw Space Marines By" album for next time ;)

Next up - magazine work and the Sarah Jane Adventures...!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Represented by Lemonade

...And now, for some rather exciting news…

I am now being represented by Lemonade Illustration Agency.

It's exciting to be part of such a talented group of artists/ illustrators and I’m looking forward to working with Lemonade on some varied and interesting projects.

You can see some of my work on their site here.

Regarding new projects and quotes you can either contact them here or contact me directly.

To celebrate, let's have some Kirby Crackles...

(Brush idea courtesy of PJ Holden)


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Aftermath: Dr Sketchy's Nottingham


Here's a few scans from my attending the recent Dr Sketchy's event in Nottingham last week, alongside the talented Jake Gumbleton, Ryan Stevenson, Ben Newman and Dan Baker.

I'm definitely going to attend another event, the sittings were pleasantly short and the models were pleasantly pleasing to draw.

Quick (5mins) pencil sketches
concerned with halftones and edges.
148 x 210mm,
Graphite pencil on paper

The short poses meant having to concentrate
on constantly finishing and not obsessing over linework.
148 x 210mm,
Graphite pencil on paper/
Conte crayon on coloured stock

Unusual objects and interesting fabrics
made the rendering all the more interesting
148 x 210mm,
Graphite pencil on paper

After all that, it was into the Nottingham night for beers, mojito's and, eventually, kebabs.

Rock on!

Friday, 13 August 2010

New Comic Project


Can't say too much about it (I want the content to be a surprise) but here's an early test image for a new, one-off, self published, anthology project I have in the pipeline with the Awesome Al Ewing:

Major Amazing is on his way...
©2010 Neil Roberts

The final project name is still under wraps but, for the time being, I'll drop some hints as to how it progresses.

Exciting stuff!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Nemesis: New York Times Bestseller!

Hello All,

Well, we've done it again! We've made it onto the New York Times Bestseller list with James Swallows' fantastic 'Nemesis':

There, look...!
26) Nemesis, by James Swallow (Games Workshop)

Well done, it seems James unlocked an achievement!

Well done all of us - these books are really doing rather well, aren't they!

Friday, 23 July 2010

SFX Interview

Hello All,

The superb SFX magazine have an interview with little old me up online at:

Nemesis, James Swallows' latest book
in the Horus Heresy series.

..where I talk about the Horus Heresy, Warhammer, being freelance and my various inspirations. Hopefully there's something in there for the whole family...!

Right, back to the 30K, I need to find a certain Son of Horus...

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Autodesk Airshow

Ooh, before I forget, I'll be visiting the Autodesk Airshow event tomorrow (21st July) in Farnborough, to get the full 3ds Max experience.

If any other industry types are there, make sure to say hello!

3D, a barbeque and cutting-edge strike-aircraft - what's not to like...?

Recap: Signing, Nemesis


Well, I had a great time at the GW Store, Oxford Street Plaza, signing and sketching. Alas, I was so busy, I didn't have time to take any photos - so I've cribbed these off James Swallows blog to make up for it.

As always, meeting everyone was a pleasure - even more so with the biscuits and doughnuts we were kindly offered. There were people from all over the globe, from Dulwich to L.A...! Signings are so great, you realise your work has a life beyond the final .PSD file - that people actually like and respond to your work - it's always inspiring for the next several months until the next signing/ event.

Sophie and the GW store staff were excellent hosts and looked after us very well, I believe we were signing and sketching solidly for the whole 2 hours... man, my wrist hurt after all that.

After all that, we headed over to El Camino's (again) for spicy Nacho's with the T-Birds from the cast of Grease. Strange, but true!

Then we visited the National Portrait Gallery for the BP Portrait Award exhibition and to view the John Singer-Sargents they have there, but I'll save that for another post...

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Signing this weekend

I shall be visiting the Big Smoke (London) this weekend to sign copies of the new Horus Heresy book 'Nemesis', alongside author extraordinaire, James Swallow:

James Swallow & Neil Roberts Book Signing
Saturday, July 17, 2010

12:00pm - 2:00pm

Games Workshop, The Plaza 116/128,
Oxford Street, London, W1D 1LT

Here's the book blurb:

"After the horrors of Istvaan V, Horus declares outright war against the Imperium. In the shadows of the Emperor's Palace, powerful figures convene.Their plan is to send a team of assassins to execute the arch-traitor Horus and end the war for the galaxy of mankind before it's even begun. But what they cannot know is that another assassin is abroad already, with his sights firmly set on killing the Emperor."

I'll be signing and sketching whilst I'm there, so it'll also be a chance to get some rare Neil Roberts pen and ink art - so, catch the "Roberts Rock 'n' Roll Roadshow" while you can.

See you there!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Friday afternoon quickie...

Hello all, it's Friday and I'm yearning to have an easy afternoon in the sun.

So here we go with a small, quarter page piece I recently did for Fantasy Flight Games:

It was a quick turnaround and a good chance to get more painterly with my style. It's taken from the new expansion book 'Lure of the Expanse' (not a comment on my underwear, actually) for the excellent 'Dark Heresy' RPG - here's what the blurb has to say:

"Lure of the Expanse, the latest book for Rogue Trader, features three adventures set amongst the unexplored stars beyond the Imperium. Wealth and glory await those with the courage to venture into the farthest reaches of space. In "Eye of the Needle," your Explorers will travel to the perilous port of Footfall to learn of a dark prophecy of long-lost riches. In "The Heathen Trail," the Explorers find themselves on the path of uncountable riches... but they must cross the wild tracts of the Heathen Stars. Threats abound, but can the Explorers transform danger into rewards? Finally, in "The World Beyond," the Explorers discover the location of the legendary treasure world. Now, can they prevail against a host of enemies?"

Here's a detail so you can see up close:

Might need to get an electrician to look at that, mate.

Buy it here.

Excellent! Now, go and enjoy the sun! (correct as of time of writing)

Stay cool, y'all.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Cover: Path of the Warrior

Quick note, Gav Thorpes' excellent "Path of the Warrior" is OUT SOON!

Go buy/ pre-order - and then tell all your friends to do the same.

"The ancient eldar are a mysterious race, each devoting their life to a chosen path which will guide their actions and decide their fate. Korlandril abandons peace for the Path of the Warrior. He becomes a Striking Scorpion, a deadly fighter skilled in the art of close-quarter combat. But the further Korlandril travels down this path, the closer he gets to losing his identity and becoming an avatar of war."

Order/ buy it here , here or go into an ACTUAL BOOKSHOP and buy it from a real person *shudders*.

Here's the full artwork, in all its highly-detailed and ornate Xenos glory:

I'll do a proper making of post sometime, the detail I put into this was ridiculous.

See you soon.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Doctor Who at Glastonbury 2010

As many of you may know, I'm a HUUUGE Doctor Who fan. I always have been since I first saw 'City of Death' all those years ago. Having a daughter who loves it means I can enjoy it all over again, like the first time.

Matt Smith as the Doctor has been an absolutely inspired bit of casting, and here he is at Glastonbury 2010 with Orbital, doing the only song of theirs I like (and it's not even theirs). I especially love the fact it's the Radiophonically Workshopped version they sample:

Cover: 2000AD Prog 1686

Now, this is from a few weeks back. (We've been moving house and enjoying the sunshine)

This is my cover for 2000AD Prog 1686, entitled "Borough Boys":

Bosh, sorted, Guv.

As always, it started with 3 sketches based on Thargs brief:

Quick thumbnails, about 480x640 each.

With one chosen, I went on to take some reference photos (hey, no laughing at the back! All artists use some kind of reference) :

Amazing what you can do with an old suit, raincoat,
dressing gown belt, plastic rifle and
pulling a few Les Dawson faces.

I'd read that Savage was originally based on Stanley Baker, one of the great physical British (specifically Welsh) actors from the 60s/ 70s. So it made sense to get appropriate reference:

Stanley Baker. Fantastic actor, go watch Zulu or Hell Drivers, NOW!

Then it was over to the computer for final image and paint-up. Here's the piece minus the logos and stuff:

As the great Gene Hunt said:
"Don’t move, you’re surrounded by armed bastards!"

Right, I'll keep on with my blogging from now on. Might be going to a Dr. Sketchy's event next month - I'll keep you posted.

Friday, 4 June 2010

UK Games Expo

A real quickie, in between work and setting off:

I'll be a guest at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham this Saturday, where I'll be sketching, showing my portfolio, signing and chatting about my work!

Hope to see you there,


Monday, 24 May 2010

SkinnyElbows Website Update

Back from Bristol Comic Expo - what a great chance to meet new people and, PHEW! what a scorcher, as they say!

So, I've had a load of stuff come out in the last month or so, so I've updated my website,, with over 20, yes, I said 20! new images.

Here's a few samples:

Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor Who.
Manga Studio and Photoshop

Cover to 2000AD Prog 1673 "Crimes of Passion"

"Path of the Warrior" by Gav Thorpe

Also, I've got a whole bunch of other stuff I'll blog about very soon...!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Bristol International Comics Expo 2010

Okay, there's a lot going on right now. We're moving house, there are degree student projects to grade and I've got loads of work on - let the good times roll!

A quick post to say I'll be a guest at the Bristol Comic Expo next weekend (22nd to 23rd May) - alongside the likes of Chris Claremont (wow!), Pat Mills (woah!), Clint Langley (cool!), Al Ewing(sweet!) and a bucketload of comics talent from all over the world (skills!)

Only 3 years ago I attended my first 'Con with portfolio in hand, only to be given some harsh but sage advice from various pro's.

Now, here I am, on the other side of the fence - it's amazing what hard work and determination can do.

Should be good - look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

VOXX: Illustration Workshop

Hello All,

I'll be doing an illustration workshop at the VOXX/ CPI Media Office in Grimsby this Saturday, 8th May, 10am- 3pm:

I'll get a post up detailing the aftermath next week.

That is all...!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Star Wars: convergence theory

Just saw this lovely image for the brand new 'Star Wars:Force Unleashed 2' game:

Starkiller at the crossroads.
TM Lucasarts, 2010

Can't help but looking a little familiar:

Luke Skywalker at the crossroads.
Neil Roberts portfolio piece, 2009.

Obviously I don't have copyright on a pose, Lucasfilm IP and certainly no right to point out that the two bear a striking resemblance to each other, but still...

Monday, 26 April 2010

Wales Comic Con 2010: The Aftermath

Well that was fun!

After a couple of hours in the car early Sunday morning, I arrived to set up at Glyndwr University in Wrexham - sitting next to the ever-pleasant Staz Johnson and Neil Edwards.

Also attending were the likes of Danny John-Jules and Dirk Benedict, cool.

Highlights were doing a sketch for the BEST Star Trek: TNG lookalikes I have EVER seen - wish I'd had a chance to get my photo taken with them - next time...

Coolest of all was meeting Marc Silk, the voice talent behind Stingo, Slugsy and a whole host of other cartoon voices. That's sure to get me some serious brownie points from my children. Sorted.

I spent the day signing and sketching - drawing mostly space marines at this event, there were loads of GW/ BL fans attending, those Horus Heresy books have a powerful hold over everyone who reads them.

Kenny and his 'Marine vs Aliens' sketch.
(Photo courtesy Kim Randles Facebook)

After a pleasant and uneventful drive back, I arrived home and had a lovely cup of tea. Job done.

Next posts: limited edition books, Eldar and being a magazine cover star!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Wales Film & ComicCon

Hello All,

A quick message to say that I'll be appearing as a guest at the Wales Film & ComicCon (Click the link for a full details) this coming Sunday, 25th April.

The event is being held at Glyndwr University, Mold Road, Wrexham between 10:00am & 5:00pm. In addition to me, there will be a host of guests from the likes of Red Dwarf, Star Wars and Torchwood - y'know, that kind of thing... I'll be in geek heaven!

I'll be doing the usual signings and sketching - so do come along, say hello and get a sketch done by yours truly.

See you there.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Hi-Ex! 2010: The Aftermath

Well, it's been a while so I thought I'd belatedly post up my experiences at the recent Hi-Ex Comic convention in Inverness.

Outside Eden Court, the 501st Garrison check for droids.
(Pic courtesy Joe Gordons' Flickr)

First up, I want to say a big thankyou to Rich and Vicky and all the organisers who made the event so much fun.

After a solid two day drive, stopping off at Stirling at a fantastic B&B, we made it to our holiday cottage 20 miles outside of Inverness - literally in the middle of nowhere, fantastic. Just like the But an' Ben in The Broons.

The opening Saturday of the event was slightly nervewracking, sitting at the artists table alongside the likes of Colin McNeil, Charlie Adlard and Simon Fraser.

Initially I thought people would be looking at me as if to say "Just who do you think you are, sitting next to professional comic artists?", after a while (and making sure my portfolio was open and prominent) I realised I am a professional comic artist and people were interested in chatting and getting sketches done.

Phew, panic over.

The artists table: GaryErskine, Simon Fraser,
Alex Moore, Carlie Adlard Colin McNeil and little old me.
(Pic courtesy Joe Gordons' Flickr)

Artists hard at work sketching for charity,
whilst I stand up and look like I'm about to pick a fight.
I was in fact having a nice chat about the nature of freelancing.
(Pic courtesy of the Hi-Ex Gallery)

I spent the next two days sketching constantly, with all the proceeds going to the chosen charity, Children 1st. I believe the total raised so far is in the region of £2000 - so well done all.

What was particularly nice and a definite strength of the show was the broad remit it had, it covered comics, gaming and childrens books - and the crowd reflected that. I drew plenty of pictures for some lovely wee boys and girls, one cheeky chappy didn't have any pennies left for a picture of Darth Vader I did for him on the Saturday only to return, briefly, on the Sunday and thrust a shiny 10p in my hand. Gawd bless ye, ye wee scamp.

The Games room, friendly people getting everybody involved in the hobby.
Run by the great chaps at Kingdom of Adventure.
(Pic courtesy of the Hi-Ex Gallery)

There were other moments that I'll merely list otherwise this'll turn into a mega-post that nobody will read:
  • Going out for the all-you-can-eat buffet was an eye-opener and certainly not recommended if you haven't eaten much during the day.
  • Chatting to Cam Kennedy was real fun, he was a real seasoned pro with a cheeky glint in his eye.
  • Talking to Colin McNeil about his influence on my Black Library work was great, hope I didn't bore him too much with talk about rim lights.
  • Discussing with Al Ewing about the direction of some exciting 'self-published' future projects.
  • The chaps who noticed I was there on the Saturday and brought their entire Horus Heresy collections to get signed on the Sunday, cool.
And generally, meeting other artists, writers and publishers was fantastic experience and I'm sure I'll see them again at the many other Con's this coming year.

2000AD creators and fans - great people all of them.
I am there, at the back, in the shadows -
look carefully, you'll see me.
(Pic courtesy of the Hi-Ex Gallery)

Right. After that, my family and I spent a lovely few days exploring Loch Ness (sadly, no monster) and surrounding area, only to get snowed in for a few days whilst the Highlands experienced freak blizzards. Mind you, I got to make a great big snowman with my kids. Ace.

Beautiful Loch Ness on the drive from Inverness to the cottage.

Blizzards, snow, grey clouds. The roads were shut.
It was very much like the Shining.
"All work and no play..."

On the journey home we spent a whopping 15 hour drive back home, stopping off at the Deep Sea World to break the journey up.

All in all, we had a fantastic time - best of luck with future events!

So, in future news, Wales Comic Con, Bristol Comic Con, Workshops, more book covers, a 3D World article and even more comic covers.

Stay tuned.