Elephant’s Walk Oil Commission

Elephants Walking

With 2015 drawing to a close, I wanted to share some process photos from an oil painting commission that I finished back in November.  This piece was the physically largest commission I have undertaken to date and I really enjoyed the opportunity to stretch out and work with larger media after several months of detailed digital projects.

The client’s brief was fairly specific on subject matter, with a particular challenge in wanting the impression of a painted on grained wood.  With the additional cost of assembling and painting on a grained wood panel of this size (the knots and whirls of the characterful wood the client wanted are not easily obtained or worked with) I recommended an oil paint on canvas approach to simulate the appearance of wood.

Being happy with this approach and my initial roughs, I got to spend a very enjoyable few weeks creating the appearance of a surface and then playing with the way the image interacted with it.  Changing the way a painting’s surface is perceived by the viewer is one of my favourite surrealist tricks and by using two separate levels of underpainting, I was able to play with the idea of the painting as both a three dimensional image and an object at the same time.

Timelapse painting process

It was a lengthy project with a number of unusual challenges, but a genuine pleasure to work on and the client was over the moon with the result.  You can expect plenty more oil work coming up in 2016.

Painting details

Merry Werewolfmas One and All

Merry Christmas everyone



The Geek’s Alphabet

I recently decided to challenge myself to create an alphabet of illustrations to cover the geeky things in life and asked for suggestions on my Facebook page.  My excellent fans responded with a great selection of ideas and several weeks and 26 illustrations later, the series is complete.

Prints and products featuring the alphabet and individual letters are available from Society 6Redbubble and direct from my studio.

Custom word art using this alphabet can be ordered here.

Competition Time

I am very pleased to be selling at Newcastle Comic-Con this November and to celebrate, I am compiling my very own Geek’s A-Z.  From Android to Zombie, I will be creating 26 unique artworks to celebrate all things Sci-Fi, Comics, Fantasy, Horror, Gaming or anything else that floats the collective sub-cultural boat.
A is for AndroidZ is for Zombie

As I have yet to decide what will be depicted for the letters B-Y, I am reaching out to all you fine people to make your suggestions.  Whoever suggests the best option for each letter (as decided by me) will win a print of that letter’s artwork* and anyone who shares my Facebook post will be entered into a prize draw to win an A3 Giclée print of the whole alphabet, just in time for Christmas.

For your chance to win head over to my Facebook post and get commenting and sharing.  I look forward to reading your suggestions.

What’s the Point?



I misspent a lot of my university time with comedy writer/producer/dinosaur expert Lee Gant, who is now part of the comedy duo known as What’s the Point? with professional toast writer and banter merchant Andy Naylor.

Alongside a deep interest in drinking, tea and undeserved sarcasm, we spent a great deal of time talking about classic horror and monsters.  So, when I was asked to produce a cover image their latest venture, a podcast that takes a pointed look at the world of ghosts, psychics and cryptids of all descriptions I was very happy to get involved with a hefty nod to classic Hammer film posters.

Subscribe to What’s the Point? Paranormal podcast here.


Newcastle Pride 2015

Today is the start of the Newcastle Pride 2015 weekend, so I thought I’d start the day with a quick warm up design. Have a great weekend everybody!



Oh, what a day! What a lovely Day!

What a Lovely Day

Mad Max: Fury Road is a masterpiece of action cinema, harking back to the best elements of 70s cinema, cranked up to 11.  I thought it deserved some design treatment from the same era.  If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favour and book yourself tickets now.

Something a little different

Tess memorial finished
A lot of my work is based in surrealism or the worlds of fantasy and horror.  Every so often however, it is good to step back and work on something real.  I recently completed a memorial commission for a deeply loved animal who over the course of nearly 18 years had become as close a member of the family as you could imagine.

Portraiture is a very difficult discipline, regardless of your subject.  Rather than simply replicating an image, it is important to balance physical representation with the personality of the subject, making use of brushwork, colour and atmosphere to make an image that is evocative rather than a pixel-perfect representation.

As with much of my work, this portrait was something of a battle, pulling atmosphere and image back and forth until the final likeness is set.  To help identify where the likeness has succeeded or failed over the progress of the piece I took a number of progress shots and since I am often asked about my process, I thought I would share them with you.


Elemental Series

It has taken a little longer than anticipated due to other projects interrupting, but I am really pleased to be able to upload my latest set of work.  Fantasy imagery was probably the first thing that drew me into art, both the traditional sword and sorcery and that of ancient myths and legends.  As an opportunity to explore both landscapes and the fantastic, I decided to illustrate a series of Elementals, trying to embody them with the physicality and scale that was appropriate to the landscape, rather than scaled to a human (or similarly protagonist-based) view.

If you enjoy this work and would like to see more in a similar genre, please share it using the various links below the post or contact me to buy prints.

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New year, new look

Its a brand new year and the site has had a face lift to be cleaner and more responsive. If you have any problems viewing the site, please email michael@dreamsofego.com and I’ll get to it as soon as I can.

I’d also like to announce my membership with Creative Up North a great group of artists working in the North Tyneside area. Expect to see more about them as the year goes on.

Here’s to a great new year.

Self portrait by Michael Cunliffe 2015

Self portrait by Michael Cunliffe 2015