Whew boy that was hard. I’m trying to figure out how the madman Aaron Horkey does it, so I’ve tried my hand at a hideous beast.
In my quest to not crosshatch the bejeezus out of everything, here are some observations:
- Horkey likes to throw a stick or a strand of white somewhere across a darker patch to give depth.
- Further to that, he does have the odd (small) patch of deep black.
- He never paints in white over the top, he’s got the self-control to just leave white parts be.
- Rather than drawing hard lines in parallel, he does one lighter one, then brings shading up to the other side to create a ridge or whatever.
- There are some flat graphic sections in mostly white that add quite a surreal effect which he integrates really well so you don’t quite know where you’re at.
- From his Instagram page you can see a lot of his stuff is teeny tiny (I’d originally thought it was A3 or bigger). Looks like an extremely fine Rapidograph pen.
- I’ll need to spend a lot more time on detailed penciling first to get all the patterns and light directions more spot on
- While that is said he looks like he just runs free on a lot of it – I suspect he’s studied animals, bones, anatomy, textures, and so on for years – so has much of it in his head.
- While it looks very fluid and organic, the strokes are all completely even (see some of his logo and poster art).
Ah! He is marvellous. I’ll have to do a fair few more of these before I figure him out (particularly how he draw metal and shiny things). If you like surreal fantasy creatures and landscapes and mad pen and ink illustration, check out his Instagram page.