The Hornbeam sleeve artwork is created by north London artist Ski Williams, drawing on French handmade watercolour paper with an HB pencil. He then works over the pencil with a brush or pen using French sepia ink as well as coloured inks and gouache.
Ski, who has an eye condition called keratoconus, is partially sighted. Keratoconus is a degenerative disorder of the eye in which structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than its normal gradual curve. It causes substantial distortion of vision and can only be corrected by wearing a hard contact lens which acts as a substitute cornea, allowing tears to fill in the gap. Ski has the condition in both eyes but the left eye also has retinal damage and is consequently of little use.
As an artist, Ski has always thought and worked in extreme detail. Keratoconus has made this increasingly difficult to achieve over the years. Nowadays he wears a jeweller’s magnifying visor when drawing and designing close work. This is a laborious and sometimes painful process. The process from start to finish is demonstrated in the images below.
Roll On, Roll On