Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre

In a refit of the Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre I was asked to produce five classic inked illustrations of Mid-Devonian Fossil Fish to help breathe life into the information boards in the display.

In 2012 I had the pleasure of working on a very interesting project for the Fossil and Heritage Centre on Burray, Orkney. Contacted by Flagstone Creative, they had been commissioned to bring a new look to the fossil display which although packed with interesting items, was dry, academic and inaccessible to the general public. My brief was to help capture a spark of excitement and new lease of life for the long dead Mid-Devonian Fossil Fish in their collection with illustrations for information boards.
Working with wildlife artist Chris Tomlin producing lovely colour paintings for the main part of the boards, I was charged with creating black and white representations of six aquatic fish 'monsters' from the past, Coccosteus, Glyptolepis, Pentlandia, Tristichopterus, Mesacanthus & Cheiracanthus. There was a real need to inject some motion and life into these and move away from the plain, motionless encyclopedia like visuals from before and happily my roughs seemed to hit that mark straight away.
Approved roughs featuring the six Mid-Devonian Fossil Fish.
I wanted to capture a very close look to the final illustrations with my pencils. Not only did that give the client a good idea of the final piece but helped with correcting any details that the centre's specialists and other experts might have spotted. This approach helped keep these alterations to a minimum and I was quickly onto the final inked pieces.
The refit of the fossil room with the new displays, fossil pieces and information has been a great success and you can see by these photographs the big difference this has made to the centre. I've worked with Flagstone Creative before and as usual it was a fun and stress free project from start to finish. Many congratulations to them for bringing the project together so well with a display that captures your imagination.
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