Robert Burke - Illustration - About Robert Burke


My interest in illustration and design started early with a flair at school for art, ceramics and technical drawing. Observation, perspective and geometry came instinctively rather than requiring extended teaching. Though art was my main passion at school, jobs in art were few and far between in the late 1970's early 1980's. I was therefore encouraged to seek an apprenticeship in engineering as maths and technology were also strong subjects for me.

Securing a broad based engineering apprenticeship with Cincinnati Milacron at the time one of the worlds leading machine tool manufacturers. I was able to further develop my technical drawing abilities, as part of the apprenticeship included training in the drawing office, though back then the drawings were carried out using pencil and ink on transparent drafting film. Following my apprenticeship the next few years were spent putting my engineering skills into practice, developing experience in fitting, machining, welding, maintenance, installation practices, combustion engineering, ceramics and management. Though there was limited requirement for drawing, some layout, and component drawings were produced. I also read up on building regulations and in my spare time produced architectural drawings for building alterations and extensions.

In 1997 I took on the role of Technical Manager with Red Bank Manufacturing Ltd, the position included the supervision of a small team of architectural technicians who produced product layout drawings for building developers and Architects. As their designer for new and speculative products and also producing tooling drawings for the clay production plant, I realised how inefficient 2D CAD was and introduced Solid Works 3D CAD to the company, quickly attaining advanced user status. This allowed me to produce complex extrusion dies in a couple of days rather than the usual week or two using 2D CAD. The 3D rendering capabilities were also put to good use producing product illustration for the marketing team and illustrations for technical manuals and literature I was producing.

Realising the limitations of 3D CAD when it comes to illustration and the generation of photo realistic renderings, I advanced to using creative 3D mesh modelling and rendering software, which opened up a new world of visual possibility. The new software also allowed unlimited control of the production of 3D animations with extensive use in product training and visualisation.

Since 1997 I have produced drawings and illustrations from simple line drawings used in British and European standards, through technical illustrations used in product technical, installation & training manuals, animations used in training, and images used to market new and existing product.

For over 20 years I have been heavily involved in both writing and providing images/illustrations for British and European standards, industry guidance documents and specific technical, training and promotional documents and web pages for the employers I worked for. Over this time I have developed my proficiency in a number of computer graphics disciplines including 2D and 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD), 2D drawing both raster and vector based, 2D image manipulation, 2D animation, and creative 3D modelling, rendering and animation.

As well as graphics I have become proficient in web design and programming including HTML, CSS, PHP and MySQL. This website is one of a number I have produced including programming bespoke database driven and content managed websites.

My CAD, CG Illustration and 3D modelling skills hve benefitted from a love of traditional drawing and art, which I am still actively practicing today. My traditional drawing of portraits and animals can be seen on my sister website Robert Burke Portraits & Art

If you have a requirement for illustrations in your projects please feel free to contact me to discuss if I can be of help.