Barlow is well known for his realistic paintings of surreal alien (or fantastic) life. His Barlowe's Guides to extraterrestrials and to fantasy are his interpretations of specific creatures and beings from well-known science fiction and fantasy literature.
He has painted over 300 book and magazine covers and illustrations for many major books and publishers. Barlow is perhaps best known for his creature design work in films such as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Avatar, Blade II, Hellboy, and Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
Role in Pacific Rim
Like Simon Lee, Barlow was one of many concept artists working on the design of the Kaiju in Pacific Rim. Of the Kaiju featured in the film, Wayne was one of the artists responsible for the designs of Knifehead, and the "Kaiju Masters", the Precursors.