Monday, 12 December 2011

Here Comes Christmas

Merry Christmas***

I hope to make this image my last ever in this style. This coming year, I really need to start pushing on with how I want my work to really look. I want to start working with bigger and bolder shapes and I want to start painting things in a much flatter and panel like way. I also want to start heading back towards using more traditional mediums (think this time I'm going to try Acrylic's) I'm really hoping 2012 will be the year when the cog's of creativity and opportunity start to turn for me.

(think I best stock up on WD40 then) 

Here's to next year, cheers

Thursday, 8 December 2011


Really unhappy with my last post, so much so that when the time is right I'm going to completely re-do the image. I really like the Knight, his structure and his movement. But, the rest of the image is a mess, I lost my confidence and self direction whilst I worked on it. With these mistakes made I know I can make the image so , so much stronger!

In the meantime here is a few sketch's. Two of them are pencil crayon and biro pen and the other was done in Mr plain old pencil. Cheers

(all these sketch's were done whilst I was working in my Dad's shop...good job he doesn't read this Blog, then again nobody does)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Cat Women (sketch)

Been working today in my Dad's shop and in-between serving the numerous idiot's that waft in. I managed to sketch this Cat Women image. Why Cat Women? I have no idea, but using my visual memories of Michelle Pfeiffer in her never a bad thing! :)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A Hard Day's Knight (pre-paint stage)

This is the final (cleaned up) pencil sketch. I've quickly dropped a multiply layer on there just help me imagine the cave entrance. The reason I've only toned a few areas with pencil is that most of this pencil work will be lost by the time I actually finish this piece. Therefore, I've only toned the areas where I feel the pencil will act as a good texture base (mainly the rock's and bit's of metal) I've also decided to not draw any of the rock's that form around the cave entrance. I felt it would be quicker and more fun to just paint these directly onto the image, I hope this method pay's off! :/

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A Hard Day's Knight (beginning process)

Last week I had a really strong visual image of a Knight entering a cave. Sometimes when you visualize an image it can vary in how clearly you can see it. Sometimes you have to grind away with the pencil, trying to fill in the missing pieces and patch's that you just couldn't mentally see. Other times, the image is so clear that you can pretty much recreate the image within your first sketch. This image was very much within the context of the latter. Though, I did have a problem clearly visualizing what it was that would be coming out from it's cave to greet our brave Knight! Was it a Dragon, was it a Troll, or was it something completely different? It turn's out, it was a Swamp Troll (who knew?)

With the Swamp Troll in place I very quickly set out an A3 sketch of the piece. I then scanned this into Photoshop and "flipped" the image to see all it's wonderful flaw's and imbalance's. Underneath the biro sketch I had left in the initial pencil crayon (this was a good idea) drawing from the original Troll head placement. Now looking at the image flipped I could see that the image would be a lot stronger if I kept in both the original head and newer head, after all, the troll already had four arm's, why not two heads!

The image below is a half fixed version form the original sketch. There are still plenty of thing's that will be moved, or fixed, like the owl, the fox type thing and the frog's. But, I will move and fix these issues when I make the final sketch.

Below is some thumb nail's (I prefer to sketch my image large size and then, once happy, produce my thumb nails just for quick colour test's...I'm strange, I know)

My last few (digital) painting's have been made up from using the a lot of blue and yellow's. So, with this image I want to really stay away from those complementary pair and instead push myself into using another complementary pair of colour's, red and green. 

Monday, 7 November 2011

Goblin & Wolf (painted)

Needed some painting practise and was lured into painting over this quick sketch. I wanted to give it a bit of atmosphere whilst keeping the whole thing to a limited colour palette. Hopefully I've achieved that?

(revised: wasn't happy with a few element's)

(Wolf Rider- The Hobbit- character sheet)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Goblin & Wolf

Right now I should be working away on some proper illustration's from the Hobbit. The scenes that I want to do are all (sort of) planned out. Some of these scenes are properly planned out. Whilst other's are only visible from within the confines of my foggy and sometimes rather erratic imagination. Never the less, I think I'm pretty much ready to go!

Well, I would be if I hadn't decided to squeeze in one more illustration before hand. To be fair, the piece of work that is making me stall over starting the Hobbit, is in fact of a very, very similar genre to that of the Hobbit. Therefore I'm viewing it as a practise piece rather than it's true reason of being. Which is help further stall the taking on of the Hobbit, because I'm still scared that I'll ball's it up! :)

Anyway, whilst I finish this (final) piece of work. I thought I'd post this very quick sketch of a Goblin Wolf Rider. It's very hard to do something new when it comes to working on Goblin's or Ork's as they've been done so many times before. I've got something new (I hope) to bring to the design of Goblin ears*. But, as for the rest of him I've just tried to design him and the Wolf around shape structure.

(* the new thing with the goblin ears wont be visible till I do some coloured concept's)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Moby Dick (I've touched this dick for the last time!)

This is my version of Ahab taking on the mighty Moby Dick. Like I said in the earlier post, I've not read the book. So, this illustration comes from the few bit's that I vaguely know about Herman Melville's tale. I took those few fact's (mainly that a captain takes on a huge sperm whale!) added a load of made up element's that I knew would make for a stronger illustration and below is the final version!

The thing's I've fixed since the last post:

Boosted key highlights:

Added an ore: (bet you never noticed, ha)

Pushed the shadows further back to then be able to heighten the chroma of the lamp and it's glow. I always wanted to have the main focus area bathed in a warm yellow glow, whilst complementing the rest of the image in blue's. Looking at my version from yesterday, I didn't feel I'd taken that effect as far as I wanted. Hopefully, this final version has put that right:

Hope you like

(will get around to posting the thumb nail and sketchs for this piece in the next few days)


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Moby Dick (my take...even though I haven't read the book!)

(proper process write up to follow)

Things will probably change here and there, but I'll leave it a day or 2 yet.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

There And (hopefully) Back Again!

Since having the brake through idea that I should just concentrate on illustration work, thing's have been going great. Knowing I don't have to design thing's and structure my work around the format and desires of the video games industry, has lifted a real burdening weight that lay upon my shoulder's. Now, I feel released to express my own feeling's and emotion's within my work. This was something I was never going to obtain whilst trying push my portfolio along the ridge's of both an illustration and video games market. Looking back, I should have noticed the fact that my work and the current gaming industry were never going to get on. After all, I barely play the thing's anymore and only about 1 in every 20 odd titles even makes me raise an eyebrow! (that said, Batman: Arkham City is making me geek out)

With a new direction in place and my skill's within shape and structure coming along nicely. I felt it about time that I sunk my teeth into something big, something that would fully push my own ability and understanding of illustration to it's limit! I wanted to take something on that I felt very passionate about, as I wanted to work on this project for a good few month's (if need be) I also wanted something that I felt my working style and vision would stand out upon. With this criteria in place, there was only one real option for me to take (well, two actually, but I'm defiantly not ready for the other one, just yet!) I'm going to illustrate The Hobbit!!!

(yep, that's right... The Hobbit... feel my gun's ladies and gentlemen)

As to wether I'm ready to take on such a challenge, well, I guess I'll only fully now the answer to that, when it's all over. Like the stories main protagonist, Mr Baggin's, I'm a little unsure about such a big adventure!

Below are some work in progress/concept character design's. I'm going to treat this project like a movie and before I go into illustrating any key scene's I want a fully auditioned cast. Working on the character's also allow's me to work on the overall style and process to the project.

(early Bilbo test: his head need's shrinking and leg's need a little lengthening to make him work against the other characters)

 (early Beorn test: not happy with this and he has been re-designed since)

(I should never have painted this up, as the picture is way off kilter. But, it served as both a lesson learnt and a colour test)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

London's Calling!

London's Calling

Whilst I'm looking for work. I thought it about time that I start doing something with all the stories that I have rolling about, inside my dusty grey matter! So, I thought I'd knock up some movie/book cover type poster's from one of these stories. This piece is from an idea I had about my dog, Kai. My dog is the biggest jessy in the world, you name it, and he's scared of it! (parked motorbikes, wheelie bins, the wind, the list goes on!)
Anyhow, watching him sleep, I thought up the idea that when he's in Dreamland, he imagines himself as this swash buckling hero, who works for the British government. In these stories Kai is as sharp as a cutlass and as brave as a bear and as for (the wind) he'd gladly piss into it, whilst laughing!

(I have too much time on my hands don't I) The whole premise of this idea is always changing, but this is a concept poster from one of his adventures. London's Calling is based around this premise:

London's crime is at an all time high, with men and resources stretched to cover the ongoing war with the French. Politicians rally together to form a solution. In steps the Russian inventor, Knocka Creatapopov. He let's the fat cat politicians believe that his new invention "The Bobbie" will revolutionise London's street's. No longer will crime rule over London and more importantly, no longer will the Queen's purse be tainted with wages from any police officer. "The Bobbie" will work 24hr's a day 7days a week. With money in there pockets and reassurance at there heart Knocka Creatapopov get's the green light to mass produce The Bobbie. The first few machines impress, and it's not long before London's underworld recedes back into it's murky recesses. Everything, for the London and it's greedy politicians is going to plan. Until, on the production of the 100th Bobbie, Creatapopov's real plan comes into fruition. With the street's clear and the police all but gone, Creatapopov reset's the programming of the Bobbie's. London is now gripped from within by a mad Russian and his hundred strong, robot army!

A letter is sent to Mr Kai, it reads... London's Calling

(think I'll do another poster with the protagonist's in it soon, just to round it up)

(re-worked version: softer highs, and a slightly less impacting sea)

Friday, 12 August 2011

Baby Sumo

Concept Illustration for a Huggies (nappies) comercial idea, about how tough and durable they are!
(Yes, I got tired and lazy when it came to the background)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Cap't Smails pt1

Got loads of work building up at the moment. But, I seem to be having a mental brake down when choosing, not only a particular piece in which to finish, but also making a choice on how to finish it!

Do I go down a 3d pathway and put loads of detail and bounced light in there...?

Do I just keep it 2d, or is that an easy option?

Do I leave in the line work or do I take it out?

I don't know where this big lump of indecisiveness came from, or what it's name is? But, I wish it would sod off!

Sketched this in work the other day and hope to take it further. Though, unless this indecisiveness takes a hike then it may well find it's self upon the ever growing pile of unfinished work!!!

Cap't Smails (the eliminator of Mar's Moon Monkey Men)

Friday, 29 July 2011

Trying To Push for 3D

Older work revised. Thought I'd take a pass at pushing this image into a more 3D version. Not sure what to think of this at the moment, think I've been staring at it for too many hour's!!! Hopefully I'll be happy with it tomorrow...I hope!

Womack The Nomad:

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Baby Sitter

I've been sort of pottering about of late, interms of what and how I've been working. I needed to do something that would anchor down for a while, whilst also being something that would help strengthen my portfolio. I hope this picture will do just that for me, as it definitely kept me anchored for a while!

On an arty farty note* I wanted to try and capture both the protective responsibility and the sheer exhaustion that comes with looking after kids, in the cat's face

p.s) I know Leopards don't really look like this... get off my back will ya!

The Baby Sitter:

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Leave Your Line Work At The Door!

First time I've ever not used line work...big step for me! I aslo held back (though I nearly needed to be restrained) from adding to much detail. I knew from the initial sketch of this piece where I wanted it to go and all in all, I think I've got it there.

Tried to treat the whole piece as an editorial brief:

Beauty And The Beast's :

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Enter Six Hard Mercenaries For Hire...pt2

I was suppose to have finished these Chaos Engine characters age's ago, but I've been right off the boil of late and for the last month I haven't had the stomach for working (or much else) Anyhow, before I crack on with some portfolio illustrations. I thought I'd ease myself back into working by finishing one of these Chaos Engine character's. The Navvie was always my fave, so it was always him who would receive a first lick of digital paint.

Looking over my blog though, I realise there has been a bit of a beard/soup collecter fetish going on of late. Maybe I'll paint up the Thug just to balance out the abundance of man fuzz!

(For those unfamiliar with the Chaos Engine, above are the 6 in game character's in all there glory. These fantastic character's were designed and (pixel) painted by the fantastic Dan Malone. Dan's pixel work was and still is, the best I've ever seen, no one else could ever achieve so much from so little. The in game graphics and these character portrait's by Dan are still among my favourite images ever )

(Above: my humble version of the Navvie)

(Above: Thug)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Character Design (quick process)

Here is a very quick and shamefully rough process of how I approach painting a character within Photoshop.

All the layers used are normal layers except for a Colour Dodge Layer added at the tail end of the image and a Channel Mixer Layer which is set up at the beginning (this is set to monochromatic and therefore allows me to constantly check my image in a black and white state. This way I can constantly see my values clearly and easily) Oh yer, the pencil sketch layer is set to Multiply.

I normally work with just 2 or 3 layers, but I had no idea what colour to do this guy's clothing, so I put each piece on a fresh layer, just to make it easier to adjust.

(Original Coloured Pencil sketch)

(A Crummy Animation Of The Process)

(80% done)

(Finished: Womack The Nomad)
(any reference to my friend Paul Richards are totally coincidental :) 

Friday, 24 June 2011

Enter Six Hard Mercenaries For Hire...

Think this is going to be my last bit of geeky/fantasy work for a while, as I want to concentrate on a couple of proper illustrations. But, what better way to go out than on a bit of fan art!
Myself and my friend Wayne are huge Chaos Engine fan's and recently Wayne set up a fan page for the artist from that game (and numerous others) Dan Malone.

Being part of this fan page he set off a chain reaction of nostalgia, that is now running through my geek fueled viens! Therefore I thought I'd take on the challenge of painting up all six of the lead character's from the Chaos Engine. I did the same challenge a few years ago and part of the draw with this new challenge is to be able to compare how my style and skill levels have changed in the 2 years since.

The grayscale Navvie piece at the top is only 40% finished. And yes, I have another 2 characters to draw, but I think I want to get one character fully finished so I then know what direction I'm taking them all in.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

What's that...a bit of professionalism...yep :)

Ok, ok It's basically the same image as yesterday. But looking at it late last night, I saw the potential for it to become part of my Blogs banner. So, after many, many month's of bareness (and sheer laziness) I have finally given this Blog a proper title!

Conversation with self:

"So, you think this new and more professional Blog title will now make people start following you then?"

"Your having a laugh ain't ya. People wouldn't follow me if I was the lead in a Conga line!"

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A Wizard, with armour....Erm!

This was done for my friend's over in the Drawing Guild

The brief was a Wizard with a pointy hat and armour...Yer, I kind'a bypassed that last one, soz!
Sketched and paint all today and was a nice little exercise to do.

P.s) I know this and the last post both have fly's in them, it's no fetish I swear!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Nobody Likes A Fly, Not Even Shit!

Done simply for the fact that I hate Flies. Especially the (soft bastard) ones, that brake into your room through the open window...and then when it's time to go... suddenly forget how they got in!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead......well, uni has finished!

Ok, uni is finally over (big smile) and what a waste of time it was!!! But, I've wasted 3years on the bastard, so I'm not going to waste any more of my time by ripping the place to piece's.

Anyway, this is my first piece of work since escaping the clutch's of university and my first real (digital/fully finished) piece of work since my Grendal image, which was month's ago. The brake away has done me the world of good, though having so much time away from the computer/photoshop has made me very rusty and the first 2 sessions on this picture were tough going!

The Escape:

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sketch/Paint Dump!!!

Still choker blok with uni work at the moment, so I'm just uploading these collection of sketchs and quick paint up's.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

I Mean You No Harm!

Really bizzy with my final years project for uni at the mo. But I enjoyed doing this little sketch and thought I'd upload it.
(Yes, I love Big Trouble In Little China :)