31 Aug 2009

Illustration Friday: MAGNIFY

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Original scan, click to enlarge

I didnt want to do anything that involved a magnifying glass, so I was trying to think of other things that could be magnified. I wa thinking about doing a Cyriak style infinte zoom aimation of something, but I wanted to do a more detailed painting than you can have in an animation. So I did something rather obvious and hardly related to the word at all, an appaling abuse of Illustrtaion Friday to exploit it into just drawin some tough bastard punching another tough bastard's head off.

As it is, I have numerous anatomical issues with this character, the tonal range is a little bit shallow (not enough darker tones worked into the shadows) and the face is a mish-mash (but then again, he is a boxer so maybe I could pretend that's characterisation and not just shoddy painting).

I promise to try harder in the future ;)

More Painting practice

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This was a speedy painting that I did yesterday from a picture from Suicide Girls.

This Week's Life Drawings

Didnt get as mych done this week as I have in previous weeks. That is because I have a finite (and soon to decrease) amount of time to work before I have to go to my job, and I have been doing more painting and more gesture drawings (as you saw in the previous Uber-scan). It's still fun to get stuck into a longer observational drawing.

30 Aug 2009

Poses/Gesture Drawings Uber-Scan

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My favourite part of the week, uploading a massive compilation of the gesture drawings I have done before work . As ever, these simple gesture drawings are from photo ref from the newspapers, Suicide Girls and bits and bobs around the net. As a means of expanding my general drawing vocabularly and making my sketch book a more diverse place to visit, I intned to start loitering in public places doing some surreptitious sketches of people in cafes/pubs etc

28 Aug 2009


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The second part of the HairBot illo I did as a quick study for how to paint hair. The result - I need to look at greter detail in my life studies at the way hair lies on heads, and the way that it clumps together into sections. At the moment, the hair looks very synthetic like a wig, the smooth /flat way that it hangs down. I need to try and builf more shape into the hair, by studying real hair.

When I realised how little visual vocabulary I had to describe hair I stopped working, but I was quite pleased with the custom brush I was using to paint the hair and the subtle highlighting I had achieved.

More studies to follow....! ;)

NOTHING TO FEAR available via Amazon NOW!

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Available now from Amazon.com!

Tell your friends! ;)

27 Aug 2009


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A WIP for a practice painting hair, of all things for a robot to have (!) I have been reading a lot about paiting hair, and I wanted to try and do some studies. For this, I doodled a quick 'blank' bust, that I slowly and inexorably doodled into a robot. I quickly rendered it today and am gonna spend a coupla hours tomorrow trying to give it a bit of a barnet. Will post the finished study asap.

25 Aug 2009

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This is a pen doodle that I painted in photoshop. I doodled the whole pose, but when I painted it I focused on the area I cropped.

24 Aug 2009

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Once again, another group of longer studies, maybe 20-30 minutes on each one. I have very loose criteria for selecting which poses I'll spend a longer length of time on than others. Usually they're an unusual pose or the lighting on a particular body part makes for a particularly sculptural form. This is one of the advantages of Suicide Girls' photosets-- unlike other fashion/glamour magazines/websites, the models on SG are decidedly alternative and so there is very little by way of airbrushing going on. A lot of the girls are shown warts, lumps n bumps n all.

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Slightly longer studies, each drawing taking maybe 20-30mins.
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A series of drawings of Priscilla, from her photoset of the day 'Empty Spaces' on Suicide Girls. This was a very intersting photoset, as it was less glamorous than other Suicide Girls photsets and had a more artistic appearance, with the model posing in a lot of typical life drawing-y poses that were a real benefit to me.

Gesture Drawing

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This is fun for Adams. Quick (5mins) sketches of full length figures, not paying too much attention to details and next to no tonal shading, just concentrating on how the figures plant their feet, distribute their weight and hold themselves expressively. The idea is that by doing a bunch of these everyday, when I come to drawing a figure from imagination my characters have less awkward puppety poses.

Poor Man's Life drawing

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It's not quite right to describe this as 'life' drawing, as they are studies taken from photo ref. But whilst I have to work a full time job to keep a roof over me head, I am unable to attend a regular life drawin class where I can study a real life model. Drawing from photos is definitely a poor alternative to actual life drawing, but is beats sitting around thinking about doing some drawing.

16 Aug 2009

Weekly Sketchbook Dump 5/5

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The final uploaded set of sketches for this week, another study from Suicide Girls. In the topmost sketch I deliberately avoided rendering the model's clothing which helped me concentrate on the model's anatomy. I included a couple of messy gesture drawing of other poses for extra interest.

Weekly Sketchbook Dump 4/5

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I found this a lot of fun to do. Each pose was 3-5 minutes, focusing on the gestures and proportions rather than the details.

Weekly Sketchbook Dump 3/5

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As in previous weeks, I have been doing a lot of observational drawings from Suicide Girls Photoset of the day. This is the first time I have ever tried to digi-paint from photoref. This painting took about 15 mnutes ans then I abandoned it (I had to get to work!) But I have learned that painting from photoref requires a lot of discipline, and after a while I became too dependant on the photo and my painting became even cruder than usual. Eye-dropper tool makes assessing the colours with your eyes harder too, and I will avoid it's usage in all future endeavors.

Weekly Sketchbook Dump 2/5

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Weekly Sketchbook Dump 1/5

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In an attempt to make each image clickable to enlarge it, I am going to do my weekly sketchbook dump as multiple posts containing ingle images, rather than as a single post containing many images. The reason for this is that Blogger on seems to let you upload one image as clickable to enlarge, and the rest break. If you try to upload them individually, they all break. Also, the user experience of scrolling down this weeks work wont be imparied at all by being made of mutliple posts, whereas the ability to identify which image you want to comment on (if any) would be an advantage.

It just takes me a whilte longer.... :(

15 Aug 2009

Illustration Friday: Wrapped

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Wrapped up nice and warm!

I wanted to spend as long on the atmospheric effects of being in a snow storm, and initially I planned on having little more than a silhouette of the figure, but I though that the multiple layers as well as the figure's posture indicated 'wrapped' nicely as well, so I worked a little more detail into the man too.

I found determining where to put shadows to describe the figure's form a challenge, as I wanted to convey the light as being ambient and diffuse, with the figure utterly lost in a snowy void.

9 Aug 2009

Weekly Sketchbook Round Up

Hello again!

I'm always dubious of artists sketchbook threads/blogs when they give you a weekly round up of 3 images, all nicely finished and rendered. For me, the point of a blogging my sketchbook is to become more objective about my work (cheers Badger for the vocab) and to invite intersting criticiscims and comments.

If I only post the best stuff then what will I improve from the feedback I receive?

So whilst this isnt everything that I have done in my sketchbook this week, I have tried not to just cherry pick the 'finished' drawings from my sketchbook. Some stuff I have chosen is not as succesful as others, but I am anxious to have feedback on all of it. Good/bad/constructive/offensive, let me have it all! ;)

The first person to tell me how to upload multiple images to Blogger whilst retaining the ability to click them to see an enlarged version of the image wins a signed copy of Nothing To Fear, my first self published comic book. My email is in my profile, top right of blog. Thanks!

A sketch of Rigel, from her photoset of the day on Suicide Girls.

A female pole vaulter, chosen for her athletic posture which I thought would help inform my drawings of Firefighter Rachel Smith, who I wanted to be tough and athletic but still feminine and attractive.

Glitch, another Suicide Girls photoset of the day. This is actually the first Suicide Girl I drew, deciding that the glamour photogrpahy from Suicide Girls would be a good resource for drawing female anatomy, with the girls tattoos and alternative apparel making them more effective character design than the models on traditional life drawing sites would offer. Also, the 'photoset of the day' feature on Suicide Girls would provide fresh material everyday, as opposed to the irregularly updated life drawin sites such as characterdesigns.com.

Bridgeman studies form lunchtime at work, and some photo ref sketches of male models posing with submachine guns, studies for the police in my forthcoming comic book.

Another model from Suicide Girls.com Lavonne, in her photoset of the day. I decided to do gestural drawings of several poses, whilst taking longer rendering and studying the forms of an unusual angle. The foreshortned legs were a challenge to draw, focusing on feet is something I have overlooked for many years, usually concetrating on making hands as expressive as possible.

A male model posing with a gund prop. The purpose of these wuick gestural studies - besides getting more ref of guys holding guns - was to spend sometime looking at how people plant their feet, and trying to make it look like the character is grounded in the drawing, and not floating in a white void.

The anatomical stuff is all Bridgeman studies from my lunchhour at work, slowly working through a page at a time is really helping to change the way I look at drawing the figure. The daily dose of Suicide Girls helps to flesh out the structural anatomy I'm learning from Bridgeman.

Gesture drawings from Suicide Girls.

Two drawings of Opale, from her photoset of the day on Suicide Girls. Above, the double page spread from my sketchbook, and below is a cropped close up of her torso/pelvis. This photoset was beautifully lit, and I enjoyed focussing on the chiaoscuro forms of light and dark that desrcribed the model's shape. As ever, trying to remember lessons learned through Bridgeman to study and analyse the model, rather than just copying the photo. ;)

And after Sorrel complained at me that all I'd been doing all week is drawing girls, and that my sketchbook was looking like an adolescent fantasy, I found a male body building website and found some meat-head-hypermasculine-gaylord to draw. I think that this might prove a usual exercise everynow and again, as the inhuman exageration of anantomy that these over-inflated idiots represent would help reinforce my understanding of the wedging of the muscles from Bridgeman, and might help improve my drawings of the male form.

8 Aug 2009

Illustration Friday: Impatience


When you're holed up in the downstairs bathroom it can sometimes be difficult getting a decent mobile internet signal.... which is enough to make anyone impatient!

2 Aug 2009

POLICE body armour design

In my upcoming comic, Persons Reported, the police make an appearance at the climax of the story. In a typically even handed and rational manner for myself, the police in my story are violent, facist pigs. This is their body armour that they use to maintain corwd control.

Firefighter Rachel Smith

This is my first painting of Firefighter Rachel Smith, the hero of my new comic Persons Reported. I have done lots of skethcbook work designing her, and am less than satisfied with this painting. I need to vary the brushstrokes of her hair to make it look more real and natural, and her face is a little swollen and overworked. Still, if you got everything right the first time round you'd lose all the satisfaction of improving.

A sketchbook page of Smith, trying to show differnt expressions and still keeping her likeness.

Firefighter Rachel Smith on the left, some pissed floozy sketched out of the newspaper on the right.

A Bridgeman study from lunchtime at work.

Some anatomy studies from www.characterdesigns.com/ Bridgeman is good for showing you how lumps wedge together, am still trying to figure out how curves fit together.

More figures sketched out of the newspaper.

1 Aug 2009

Illustration Friday: Modify

For the theme of 'Modify' I intensively researched (spent 5 minutes on Wikipedia) UK athletes who won silver medals at the Beijing Olympics. What sort of surgical modifications could they make to ensure gold medal winning performances at the London 2012 Olympics?

Germaine Mason won the silver medal for High Jump in the Beijing Olympics. After certain zoological-antipodean-surgical-marsupial-modifications he'd be certain to win the gold in London 2012.

After having webbed fingers and gills grafted onto her body, Keri-Anne Payne hopes her modifications will give her an advantage and win gold for the UK.

Whereas Phillips Idowu has taken a rather extreme attitude towards performance enhancing modifications. He hopes that by sacrificing his legs from the hips and replacing them with extendable bionic super-limbs will give him the edge it takes to win gold for the triple jump.