Asian Dragon

Since posting a selection of my old uni work several days ago I’ve been playing around with the charcoal dragon image and have now coloured it and done it up in photoshop.

This isn’t my usual method of working, but I’m happy with how it’s worked out considering I was just experimenting. It didn’t take very long either, which I suppose is one the benefits of having a sketch that you stick with from start to finish. I never do that usually.

Originally I thought of it more as a Chinese influenced dragon, but since I put that big red circle there to add to the composition I may have to declare it Japanese.

Train station faces

I recently completed this page in my sketchbook of people I’ve drawn while waiting around for more important things to happen. A lot of them were drawn in train stations, where you always get a lot of opportunity to draw weird and wonderful people. Train journeys are also a pretty good provider of inspiration, where you get the rare opportunity to draw people who are generally guaranteed to sit still for a while.

The big problem with train journeys is that half the people are facing the other way, or obscured by the people and chairs in front, and since one is also expected to sit still it makes it hard to get a good look at the inevitable nutter with the fascinating moustache who’s just come in and sat at the other end of the carriage.

Another problem is that people on trains often notice you drawing them, (which no one is ever comfortable with) since you’re generally facing each other. A cunning way to avoid this is to draw their reflection in the windows, sadly they usually notice that as well.

A small taste of uni work

One more year has passed and so too has one more semester at uni. Some projects were good, some were bad, many were extremely time consuming. However, the work I’m showing off in this post is but a small glimpse of one of the more enjoyable projects. More enjoyable no doubt because I had the opportunity to slip lots of fantasy art into it!

The general gist of the project was to start with one drawing in one medium and then produce the next drawing (which had to relate to the first via word association) in a different medium. It was an interesting challenge, I started with platypus and ended with alien, as I am wont to do. I suspect this word association drawing game would also make for pretty good practice in future, If I get round to it.

Latest painting complete!

I’ve updated my gallery to include my newly completed cover illustration for the players guide of the yet-to-be-released rpg “Ellandria” I’d been working on it for a long time now, and it feels very good to finally have it completed.

I’ve posted some work in progress shots of the illustration on the left. The first wip is the top left and the newest is the bottom right. As you can see I painted most of the image in black and white first then added colour later. It’s an approach I don’t like very much I’ve decided since it complicates things later rather than simplifies them.

It shows the moment a group of ambushed soldiers fighting a “Feran” (a giant feral humanoid) start to grasp the upper hand. You can see the final picture by following this link

Also, if you look very closely you may be able to see a small cats face hidden in the picture, courtesy of my Auntie.

Imagine Fx Dvd

Three of my paintings have recently been featured on the DVD of issue 63 of Imagine FX magazine. To anyone who’s found their way to my site through that route; hello and welcome! I’ve even posted a screen shot for those of you who can’t contain their excitement until they get back from the newsagent’s.

For anyone with an interest in fantasy art I suggest you check it out, and not just because I’m in it of course, hehe. Of course they do have a website which has most of the stuff from the magazine in, and it is a lot cheaper…

Anti procrastination motivation

Try saying that title 5 times quickly.

I recently completed my latest uni project, the brief being to produce three elements of a visual campaign for or against an issue of importance to us. After some deliberation and sitting about not doing much I arrived at the idea of procrastination. It’s an issue that really is very close to my heart.

Anyway, the ultimate outcome of this project was three web pages designed to motivate the average internet user into doing something other than Facebook poking people or perusing pornography. The idea is that you set one of the pages as your homepage and every time you open your web browser are reminded that you should be doing something worthwhile with your time. I have no idea how effective it is to be honest since I haven’t got round to setting any of them as my homepage…

Do take a look:
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

‘Indecision may or may not be my problem’

I’ve been fairly busy lately struggling over uni work. We’ve been given a brief to create a visual campaign for or against an issue we feel strongly about. My problem so far has not been anything to do with producing the artwork, but rather; what issue to choose as my campaign. I started like a good illustrator with a big mindmap of potential ideas that I made into a list, including:

  • creaky chairs
  • smoking
  • dog poo
  • religon
  • train conductors
  • tuna
  • procrastination
  • alarms
  • people
  • etc etc…

That’s a much shortened list, oddly it ended up only as a list of things to campaign against. No idea what that says about me.

In the end I decided to go with people. Yes people, and everything to do with them. Of course it was a strictly tongue in cheek idea, and I certainly couldn’t suggest a solution to the problem of people, save letting dolphins take over instead. This made it a wee bit difficult to approach seriously and objectively, it was just too silly. Much to my disappointment, and after producing several images, I was forced to change issues. My new issue is one I do feel very strong about, and one that occupies a lot of my time: procrastinating.

Alas, at the moment I can’t bring myself to do it, everything else looks so much more appealing. In the meantime I thought I’d salvage one of my obsolete “anti-people” ideas for your amusement. It’s an advert for a product I really wish existed…

Site re-design complete!

If you are one of the excellent and few people to have visited my site in it’s previous incarnation; you may have noticed that things have changed around here. Gone is the sombre black and dramatic fog that characterised the site before, look how squeeky clean and functional it is now! And with extra stuff! Admittedly certain parts are still being done up and populated, but for the most part it’s there/here. You get the gist anyway.

If you haven’t already, do take a look at the tutorials section where you’ll find my brand new tutorial on making a grass effect brush in Photoshop. Even if you can’t be bothered making the brush yourself (shame on you) you can still download mine! (you rotten cheat.) I plan to have a few more tutorials on the way fairly soon…

The downloads section is currently near completion and in the unforeseeable future I plan to have the shop section up and running so you can purchase prints of my work, should you desire to.

Site re-design in progress

Despite my current site only being fairly recently completed, it has been decided that it could be better. And so it shall be!

My brand new site is going to be made brand new again, from the ground upwards. The new site will be optimized even further and have a smoother more functional design, I even hope to have a few new sections. It’s in the early stages yet so I can’t say how it will look or exactly what it will include, but it’s going to be good!

In other news; I’ve been working on a new style of traditional illustration. It’s a more laid back look than my usual work and would work well for children’s book illustration I reckon.

Don’t ask me what the inspiration was, I just like octopi It was drawn over a period of a couple of hours with a technical pen.  and a fibre tip pen. Sooner or later I plan to colour it with watercolour.

Lots of pikemen.

Im currently working on a big time consuming piece that’s quite challenging. I’ve got to paint a big battle scene with lots of (English) civil war style soldiers fighting a giant creature. So basically that means painting a lot of pikemen. It’s the first time I’ve ever done so many people in one painting in this much detail and it’s pretty intimidating. Still, a little bit at a time and it should be finished eventually. I’ve been very inspired by the incredible big battle paintings of Mariusz Kozik, check his work out, he’s amazing.

These sketches are for this picture I’m working on, since I wanted to have a clear idea of the characters and uniforms I was going to paint. The bloke in the bottom left is the brave captain, who’ll form a big part of the image on the right side, while rallying his troops and appearing to beckon the viewer closer.

So far I’m about halfway through the image, which means in a couple of weeks it should be done.