Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Flying Gobbite

I've got an idea for a forthcoming illustration and I'm determined to approach this one as professionally as I can. I guess there is no real 'professional' approach to any image, but what I intended to do is to try and work everything out before I go straight into the finished piece. I've been guilty of steamrolling head first into a piece of work in the past and although there are some benefits to this approach (fun, spontaneity,instinct) there are however negatives (misplacement,lost possibilities,regret)

I going to try and ride a wave in between both of these approaches. I'm not going to be doing loads and loads of thumb nails, character studies, lighting concepts, colour concepts. There is nothing wrong with doing all these things, in fact many an artist (and highly successful ones) do take this approach. But, for me this slows the instinct down and then that effects the fun. That said I'm far, far away from having the skill to be able to dive head first into an image and expect it to be a success. Therefore I will be taking the advantages of some pre studies.

This is a watercolour (see, I am trying to work more traditionally) concept of a Flying Gobbite that the scene in mind, will contain 3 of. Each Gobbite needs to be physically and characteristically different from each other and I think it's important at this stage that I get that nailed before I move on.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


I originally drew this Grendal image before Christmas 2010. However, with Christmas being a little hectic and me having to catch up on some university work, the time passed in a blink of an eye. It wasn't till early February that I picked it back up again. This image is hopefully (time given) the first in a series of images that I want to illustrate from Seamus Heaney's transcript of the poem Beowulf. If you've not read this transcript, I highly recommend it. It was written some time between the middle of the seventh and the end of the tenth century of the first millenium. Having read it, it makes you realize that this is the birth place of todays archetypal action hero. Considering the date Beowulf was originally written, I find this amazing.

The image itself (at this moment) I'm happy with. I like the design of Grendal best. I kind of wanted to mix an ork with a bald baboon (those spiky haired bastard's scare me!) and I think to some degree I've achieved this. When I first set out on this image I wanted to tone the whole image in watercolour and then use that as a base coat to take into Photoshop. I wish I'd have followed through on that idea, but alas, I went down the old route of pencil-photoshop. That said, I feel I stayed away from making it look to plastic like and false, so that's some comfort.

Jimmy Mc Big Bastard

Having now been back into drawing and painting for the past 3 years, something that I've been stupidly searching for (though now with hind sight I realize you don't find this thing, it finds you) has finally come my way.
What am I talking about? I'm talking about style and more importantly your own individual style as an artist. For me personally, this is everything. Every artist I look up too and admire has this in bucket loads, Frank Frazetta, Simon Bisley, Paul Bonner, Kevin O'neill, Justin Gerard, Nico Marlet, Paul Pope the list goes on. I find a lot of art these days lacks any identity, this may be down to the fact that nearly everyone uses the same techniques and digital mediums, or that most people just want to be sheep and follow whatever style is currently popular. I guess it's not really my place to bemoan this type of thing, but I think it's a real shame. Who knows what awaits these artists if they where to go out there Bilbo style and take on an (artistic) adventure!

What does all this prattle have to do with this piece of work? Well, this is the first piece where I feel I'm expressing myself more honestly and in a way that I'm pleased to see. For far to long I've been stressing over style and this in turn has been blocking me from finding my own natural pathway to such a thing. I'm sure as the years go by, my approach, methods and style will all change and evolve. But, for the first time I feel I'm at least on the right pathway.

(had another play around with this image (couldn't help myself) Its at the bottom...?)

Draw Sucker!!!

Don't dare call him bandy leg's!

I've been frightened by Painter since I first laid eye's on it's formidable layout, all it has to do is look at me and I quiver. But, with the new year comes a new approach and I'm going to try and overcome that fear. I would like to say that this was completed entirely within Painter, but it's not. It is however a mixture of both Painter and Photoshop... "What!... it's a start isn't it?"