Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fantasy Art - Alan Lathwell

© The artwork presented on this post is used with the permission of its author. All the artwork is copyrighted. Please do not use the images without the permission of the artist or owner.

Alan Lathwell is an English artist who lives and works in London as a freelance illustrator. He has worked in a wide range of subjects and styles and his works appeared on magazines, books, games and trading cards. His work “Hells Horseman” won an ImagineFX competition and another work, “The Warrior”, is featured on art album “Exposé 6”.

Interview - Alan Lathwell

Dark Wolf: Alan, thank you for the opportunity of this interview.
Which is your first recollection when it comes to art? Do you remember when you start drawing for the first time?
Alan Lathwell: I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t draw and my earliest recollections are looking through comics and creating my own comic characters.

Dark Wolf: Who do you consider to have influenced your career so far? What are your main sources of inspiration?
Alan Lathwell: I like the work of so many artists, but in the fantasy field there are two artists that made a huge impact on me when I was younger; one was Frank Frazetta and the other was Philippe Druillet.

Dark Wolf: Do you prefer to work with a specific tool, I mean do you prefer the traditional tools or the digital ones?
Alan Lathwell: I’ve always painted with traditional media and I particularly love the qualities of oil paint, but as an illustrator painting digitally has so many advantages. I try to replicate the look of oils when painting digitally and I continue to use oils when working on my own personal projects.

DW: I’ve seen that some of your works are started in pencil for example and finished with the digital method. Also I’ve seen that other works are made using the both methods. Can you tell me please what your method of work is? Do you always start with a paper sketch and then use the computer?
AL: It varies, it’s good not to be too rigid in your methods. My usual process starts with a rough outline that I colour digitally. This stage is very loose and is where most of the experimenting takes place. When I’m happy with the colour rough I paint over it, bringing the whole picture to a tighter finish. My favourite software is Corel Painter, which is excellent for replicating traditional media.

DW: The majority of your works have fantasy themes. Do you enjoy this genre? How did you become interested in this genre?
AL: I love fantasy art and I always have. I’ve experimented with other genres but I always return to fantasy art, it offers so much scope for the imagination!

DW: I really liked many characters from your works and they made me think of medieval times and historical figures. Are you interested in history too? What inspires the creation of these characters?
AL: Yes, I’m very interested in history, from the might and power of ancient Rome to the barbarism of the dark ages, it’s always fascinated me. I also enjoy ancient mythology and find this a great source of inspiration too.

DW: Some of your works have horror influences. Did you ever thought trying this genre? Would you like to use this theme more often in the future?
AL: I do tend to concentrate on the darker side of fantasy and enjoy painting demons and skulls, horror would be a natural progression from this.

DW: How did you feel when your work was featured in the “Exposé” book? Do you plan to publish your own book in which to gather your wonderful works?
AL: Expose showcases the best in digital art from around the world, so to have my work included was fantastic. It would be a dream come true to publish a book of my own work and if the opportunity arises I will certainly jump at the chance.

DW: How did you become involved in “The Erth Chronicles” project? How was the work on this project?
AL: The creator of Erth Chronicles, Richard Johnson, invited me to submit some concept designs after seeing my work in Imagine FX. After reading the book, ‘The Enemy’s Son’, and seeing some of the marvellous artwork on the official website, I contributed a few designs and went on to paint all the promotional material to accompany the release of the book. The website offers a unique opportunity for artists to get involved with a live project and showcase their work at the same time.

DW: Would you like to be involved in other such projects in the future?
AL: Things have really taken off for me since getting involved with Erth Chronicles so it’s not always easy to find the time. However, projects like this are a great platform for artists to promote themselves and get their art seen by a much wider audience.

DW: Now, I know that this question is a little odd, but which one do you consider to be your best work so far?
AL: The great thing about having your work on community websites is that people tell you which pictures they like best and at the moment the two images I get the most feedback on are ‘Death’s Warrior’ and ‘Dealing Death’. I personally do not have a favourite, as an artist I’m constantly striving to do better with the next image.

DW: What do you consider to be the most rewarding moment of your career so far?
AL: Winning the ImagineFX/PNY Challenge was definitely a high point for me. I entered ‘Hell’s Horseman’ as an afterthought and I could not believe it when I won. It was this that made me upload my fantasy images to the community websites and since than I haven’t looked back.

DW: I know that one of your favorite shows is “The Simpsons”, I hope I am not mistaken (I absolutely love that show too). Would you like to work on such a show or other such project?
AL: Working on animation would be quite a departure for me but I’m always keen to explore other genres.

DW: Would you like to experiment in other fields too? I mean would you like to work on a comic book, graphic novel, concept art or gaming industry for example?
AL: I’m currently working on the Luna Moon Hunter comic ( due to be released sometime next year and at some point I would like to write and illustrate my own comic, it’s just a matter of finding the time. I love playing video games and would really like to get involved in the production side.

DW: What are your plans for the immediate future? What other projects do you have?
AL: As well as the Luna Moon Hunter comic I’m also illustrating a children’s book on knights. I love illustrating children’s books although I do have to adapt my style a little. The great thing about being a freelance illustrator is you just don’t know what you’re next job will be and I think it’s the variety that makes it such a rewarding career.

Alan, thank you very much for your time and answers. It has been a pleasure.

You can find a complete portfolio of Alan Lathwell at his DeviantArt page.

© The artwork presented on this post is used with the permission of its author. All the artwork is copyrighted. Please do not use the images without the permission of the artist or owner.


Anonymous said...

Great interview and awesome art. Thanks Dark Wolf!!

Mihai A. said...

Thank you very much, Amy. I am glad you like it :)

Barbara Martin said...

Excellent interview. I've signed up for the newsletter. This looks like a project I'd be interested in reading.

Mihai A. said...

Barbara, thank you very much :)
I order the book, because I am very curious about it :)