Currently designing a series of prints marking Celtic’s historic European Cup victory in 1967.

Variety of things inspired this first print. I wanted to feature the ‘Champions ’67’ song prominently, also the picturesque & unusual looking Estadio Nacional stadium in Lisbon, plus the two teams lined up before kick-off.

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‘In the heat of Lisbon’ is a great opening line. Thousands of Celtic fans really did make the journey to Portugal, even though many could hardly afford it. Read some great fans stories at thecelticwiki. Added a decorative celtic border round the text…

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Then on to the stadium. Looking at old photos I liked the way the trees frame the main stand, odd looking for a football stadium, but great for a picture.

Also wanted to focus on the fans, so included lots of Celtic flags & banners, heavily outnumbering a few Inter flags. Not forgetting the 2 sets of managers & their staff on the pitch side benches.

Visually the team line-ups make a nice contrast, green & white hoops with blue & black stripes. Players faces are too small to show much detail, but height & hair colour (& their numbered shorts!) help identify the Celtic team.

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*Celtic Champions ’67 Print available HERE!

* Thanks to thecelticwiki for loads of fascinating Celtic info & pictures

Coming up – Next print focuses on manager Jock Stein and all eleven Celtic players…

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Been planning to illustrate this incredible Denis Bergkamp goal (Newcastle v Arsenal 2002) for a while. Bit of a headache working out how to do it! Began with sketches, first Bergkamp back to goal, receiving the ball with Newcastle defender Dabizas close behind

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then the turn & swivel

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and finally the side foot finish past Newcastle keeper Shay Given

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Put the sketches together using arrows to link the action and let it flow from left to right

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Cheated a fair bit with perspective but needed to condense a lot of action. Moved on to colour, and added info strip along the base with match stats. Left side…

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and the right…

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and here’s the finished pic

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** DENIS BERGKAMP PRINT AVAILABLE HERE! 

Began with pencil sketches as usual, of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in characteristic dribbling action, eyes up, left foot caressing the ball…

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also wanted to include a defender/opponent, so settled for this

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and combined the two in this low angle view with Messi framed by the defenders legs…

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Next thing was colours – idea was to stick mainly to Barca red & blue, and use yellow for contrast

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also keep the defender in grey so Messi is the focus

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and here’s finished pic

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** MESSI PRINT AVAILABLE HERE!

Started off with a few sketches… first this side view of Zlatan’s unmistakeable profile

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then a front on goal celebration – a happy one rather than an aggressive one!

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moved on to a couple of action pics, shooting style first…

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and then one of those characteristic back heels.

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Now it was tim to put them together. Decided the main image would be the profile view, and arranged the rest around it, something like this…

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then moved on to colour, keeping to Man Utd red/black/white mainly

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here’s a couple of close ups

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** ZLATAN PRINT AVAILABLE HERE!

Recently created illustration to accompany Scott Salter’s excellent article on Steve McClaren’s management career in THE FOOTBALL PINK. Began with a few silly face sketches…

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and worked them into this rollercoaster idea

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this bit highlights McClaren’s time in Holland with FC Twente, where he not only won the league, but also took on a Dutch accent!

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A couple of weeks later my copy of the FOOTBALL PINK magazine popped through the door…

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and here’s the McClaren pic

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** FOOTBALL PINK Magazine available HERE!

Idea here was to focus on 10 Welsh football legends, being as they’re currently the top British football nation. Went back to the 1958 World Cup for the first two players, ‘Golden Boy’ Ivor Allchurch & ‘Gentle Giant’ John Charles

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next comes 1970’s Liverpool striker (and later Wales manager 2004-2010) John Toshack, fantastic Everton keeper Neville Southall, and Wales top goalscorer, Liverpool’s Ian Rush

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then we come to ‘Sparky’ Man Utd’s Mark Hughes (also Wales manager 1999-2004), Gary Speed (another Wales manager 2011), and Man Utd’s Ryan Giggs

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and finishing off with 2 stars from Euro 2016, Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale & Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey

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These all began as pencil drawings before being arranged together and colour added

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Although from different eras, kitted out all the players in classic 1958 Wales jerseys to unify the group

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finally here’s the finished artwork…

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** WALES PRINT AVAILABLE HERE!

Overall not a great Euro 2016 tournament, but WalesGareth Bale was definitely a stand out player – this portrait began with a pencil drawing…

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then came the colour work. Simplified shapes & lines to create a strong dramatic expression…

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Chose red & green as the main colours – took a while to get the right shades

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bung in the text and the design is the finished! ( A few seconds to describe, many hours to draw! )

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** GARETH BALE PRINT AVAILABLE HERE!