30 Sep 2009

Art-Actuate: "Carnival"

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My entry for this month's Art-Actuate sketchgroup challenge, Carnival. I decided to do a painting of a Pagan Festival, and drawing on months of research and pesonal experince I can say with not inconsiderable authority that all pagan festivals involve the burning of a policeman. In a big Wicker man.

I also include here the original line art, for your consideration. You can see the doodle of the policeman inside the wicker man, something which I eventually dropped from the final painting.

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Weekly Sketchbook Update

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Not much to update this week, as well as having a stinky rotten cold since Thursday last week I have started my new shifts at my dayjob which leaves me with less time in the mornings to do my studies in. But the consolation is that the extra hour everyday is built up and I get a week off every 7 weeks. The amount of work I can get done in a whole week off is gonna be more than I can get done in that hours a day, so it should work out ok. I just have to make sure I get up earlier during the week.

20 Sep 2009

Illustration Friday: "Infinite"

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One of my personal favourites, the Eat-As-Much-As-You-Like-Buffet! But imagine if someone eventually offered an Infinite Buffet!! Imagine how big you'd get.... imagine how harrowing it would be for your loved ones to have to watch you eat yourself into oblivion... imagine how exhausting it would be on the chefs!

infinite buffet

An animated version, which I quickly produced to demonstrate the conveyor belt style table the FatMan is sat at. Stripped bones and mangled napkins glide out just as fast as the chefs can get the juicy, succulent food into his diabolical maw. But he can't stop now; if he eats infinte servings, he eats for FREE!! :D

The original pencils, presented here as an extra portion for your delectation.

Weekly SketchDump

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This has been a busy week, and I have had to work weird hours that have disturbed my daily drawing regimen. Yet here is another splurge of the bits fit to print from my sketchbook this week. To start with, the stuff from my white A4 sketchbook is daily figure studies, with a few faces and bums thrown in for interest. The small brown sketchbook sketches are tonal studies done in black and white charcoal, and the yellow moleskine sketches were all dones yesterday when Sorrel and I went to the Birmingham Museum of Art and spent the day strolling around. We were both most impressed by Jacob Epstein's sculpture of Lucifer, and we bothed sketched it from different angles.

13 Sep 2009

Weekly Update!

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I have finally figured out what I was doing wrong when I uploaded more than one image onto my blog, so now I can blog my week's sketchbookery in one single post. Should make it slightly more accessible and easier to make comments. As ever, any feedback is greatly appreciated, good bad or indifferent it's all serves a purpose.

In this week's update you will find the usual mix of observational drawing from Suicide Girls and from the daily newspaper. Also there is the page of doodles from when I watched Unforgiven last week, which includes the original pencils for last week's Illustration Friday submission. There are also a few sketches of motorcycle riders, prep work for a project I am helping my brother John with. I am still loving my bigger sketchbook, is nice to have an A4 page to draw a single pose on, I can really get my fingers into it and get smudging.

Oh, I nearly forgot....!

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Some sketches I have done this week on midtone paper with normal pencils and a white charcoal pencil. This is something I have wanted to try for a long while now, and it has proven to be much harder than I expected. Part of the difficulty is purely technical, that the white charcoal will not draw on top of the 2B pencil, so my practice is being constrained by the process in certain respects. When I next do some of these sketches, I shall try using a soft black charcoal pencil for the dark lines, and see if the two different charcoal pencils are easier companions than charcoal and graphite.

12 Sep 2009


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One of my favourite books is Vampire$ by John Steakley. I have read it more than once and every time I think about it I feel like digging it out and re-reading it. Whilst I was studying for my degree, I based part of one of my projects on this book, some examples of this project can be found on my blog here. During this book, there is a very brief hint that within the same universe there also exists Werewolves. Whether this is just a subtle nuance in the novel, or the briefest glimpse at an as yet undeveloped companion novel is yet to be seen, but it doesnt stop me hoping one day John Steakley will published Werewolve$.

This illustration originally started as a doodle at work, and I have spent a few hours painting it up and making it pretty. I have also included the original pen sketches for extra added interest. Don't all thank me at once ;)

8 Sep 2009

Yeah, okay, so it was a WIP not a speedy!

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Couldnt stop thinking about this yesterday (especially after it nearly made me late for work!) and couldnt resist coming back to it today and finish it off. Tightened up a few details here and there and tried to cover up a few of the other sketches that were also on the page. I had a fiddle with a few custom brushes, but they were only really prviding surface details and fiddley little bits of flourish here and there. Soon I am going to try and tackle an entire painting without using the default hard edged brush, to see if I can resolve an entire illustration purely out of some of the custom brushes I have been playing with for the last few months.

7 Sep 2009

Sketchbook speed paint

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A page from my sketch book that I quickly painted, took around 20 mins to paint today, though I probably spent around as long the other day on the original sketch (taken from Suicde Girls, of course). I didnt refer to the original photo ref at all for the painting, worling purely from my sketch.

It's not wuite fair to say that this is a speed paint, as I am only stopping now as I am already late for work. I might come back to this later on, but I am not sure. Which is why I called it a speed paint and not a WIP ;)

6 Sep 2009

Illustration Friday: STRONG

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For the theme of 'Strong' I wanted to do something with a strong chiaoscuro lighting scheme, and the final result goes to show exactly how much I have to learn about painting. I was after a staccato relationship between the moonlight and the rest of the image, yet somehow loads of smudgey grey ended up in the picture too :( Was watching Unforgiven this evening, which is what made me draw a cowboy. As if that's any excuse.

Bigger sketchbook rant

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Various phot ref'ed anatomy studies I have done this week. You can also see that I have filled my A5 sketchbook and have moved onto a new A4 one. It was quite an awkward transition, I had become so conditioned to drawing on small scales that trying to draw full figures on a larger format felt very unfamiliar and ungainly. It's nice to have an A4 sketchbook again, though; I have usually only used A4 but after having drawin A5 for the last few weeks I never appreciated the size of A4 allowed me so many options and really does give me room to breathe and move things around. Still drawing fairly small allows me to really fill the page.

Who cares, eh?


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Spending so long over the facial studeis this week has taken up a lot of my available time, so this week the poses uber-scan isnt quite as voluminous as it has been previously.

Head Shots

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Using phot ref taken from http://www.characterdesigns.com/ I have spent a lot of time this week doing studies of differnt facial expressions. I need to spend longer on this, making sure that I can remain consistent in the facial proportions so I can maintain a likeness of the same face making different expressions - a lot of these studies look like they're of different people. This is somethingI need to address pronto, as in my forthcoming comic Persons Reported there are multiple characters whcih I shall need to ensure are clearly distinguishable at all times. In my rpevious comic, I only had 4 different charaters so it wasnt such a challenge.