Monday, September 18, 2017

Sketchbook page #4 and #5

Actually a couple of older sketchbook entries that I did last year, but forgot to upload them. (Partly plans for an idea I have involving robots!)



Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sketchbook page #3

Continuing with the female themed sketchbook drawings.... I've been reading an online superhero book called Worm. I was influenced by the main character, Taylor Hebert, to draw a female superhero (or "Cape").

This is a not my version of how Taylor (aka "Skitter") looks, just a character sort of based on her. In the book, Taylor is more of a plain, geeky type of young girl who (if I remember correctly) wears glasses when not in costume.

I like her ability, which is the power to manipulate bugs, insects, etc.
This is my attempt at trying to colour an inked sketch using brush marker pens (water-based).

Sketchbook page #2

Time for some more sketchbook drawings. I decided I need more practise drawing females!



(Click on the images to view full-size versions on Flickr.)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sketchbook page #1

I've decided to try and do more sketchbook art to keep up a regular artistic flow. Characters, scenery, whatever....!

During our recent stay in a cottage in lovely Amble (Northumberland), I was inspired to draw the plant box and "frog" flowerpot that sat on the wall in the back yard.

There was also a framed display in the cottage of different knots (Amble being a fishing town). I fancied having a go at trying to copy the "Carrick Bend" knot that was part of the display.


I'm experimenting with using coloured pencils at the moment, so there might be a "coloured" version of this sketchbook page appearing soon!

(Edit: 10 Sept 2017)
I thought it best to add the coloured version here, rather than start a new blog page. it is!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

I'm still here :)

Yes, I'm still here and still drawing....just! It's been a strange few years....

I started a new job back in June 2014, and I haven't looked back since. My previous job had become very stressful and, without fully realising it, I had become very anxious and depressed. Unfortunately that time in my previous job also had a profound affect on my artistic side, so I found myself drawing less and less.

Glad to say, I'm now in a better place....and my creative side is starting to reveal itself once more. I am enjoying the creative process again! Yay! are two new pieces I created (fairly) recently. They were both done for my family; one for my parents and one for my sister.

Harlech Bear
Harry's Diet

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Coloured character designs

I have now completed the colouring for the character sketches. I have tried to maintain a traditional inked look, with a simpler colouring scheme (mostly flat colours with edge highlighting and light shadowing.

This is the first time I've done some major colouring in GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), a free image editing tool that is pretty close to Photoshop. It's a great tool for what it does, and (hey!) it's free, so can't complain!

Mystery Character - design 01 Mystery Character - design 02

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A new beginning....

After a long hiatus, the drawing board once more calls. I have had a story idea roaming around my head for quite a while now, and it's time to "set it free" (fly, my pretty, fly)!!

These first few sketches are character designs for what I shall call (for now) the "mystery" character. Think of him/it as possibly a storyteller....

Mystery Character - design 01 Mystery Character - design 02

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Lion in the Cinema

One of the groups I am a member of on Flickr is called "Vixen UK", set up by a fellow artist from the days of the "Freddie and the Fairy" as part of her own freelance business. She posted up someone's poem as an idea for a picture book: "The Lion in the Cinema". Even though I haven't got the time to fully illustrate it, I did have a go at a few sketch ideas.

Click on the images to view them full size on Flickr:

  The Lion in the Cinema - pencilled - 01 The Lion in the Cinema - pencilled - 02 The Lion in the Cinema - pencilled - 03

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nan and Granddad's Seaside - finished!

Well, I've finally finished the "Nan and Granddad's Seaside" cartoon originally intended for my Mum and Dad's 70th birthday! least it's in time for Christmas!

Here's the final image:
A Pensioner's Guide

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A hair-raising project...Complete!

Well, I've managed to finish the remaining illustrations. Here are the images for the front and inside of the young woman Gift Wallet Card:

Gift Wallet Card cover (click to see full-size):
Young Woman - Pose 01

Gift Wallet Card inside flap (click to see full-size):
Young Woman - Pose 02

And here's a line-up of the finished products. I ended up printing on 150gsm Photo Card, to give the cards a more professional look and to make sure they were sturdy enough to stand up.

Cards - standing

Young Man Card - FrontYoung Man Card - InsideYoung Woman Card - FrontYoung Woman Card - Inside

Right...back to the Nan & Granddad picture... ;)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A hair-raising project (cont.)

The inking and colouring is finished for the "young man" illustrations. I'm still working on the young female images.

Gift Wallet Card cover (click to see full-size):
Young Man - Pose 01

Gift Wallet Card inside flap (click to see full-size):
Young Man - Pose 03

Onward ever onward....:)

Monday, October 24, 2011

A hair-raising project (cont.)

Well, I've finished the pencils sketches for the young women illustrations, and now I'm moving onto the inking, and then the colouring.

I've since found out that the money wallets are also referred to as Gift Wallet Cards (<-- click the link to see a YouTube video on how you can make your own).

The idea with the wallets aimed at young women is based more on the "before" and "after" approach...

Young Woman - Pose 01 - pencilledYoung Woman - Pose 02 - pencilled

Look to future posts on the wording and finished products!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A hair-raising project

I've now got a 3rd project under way, with the "Nan & Granddad's Seaside" cartoon temporarily on hold, along with my "Jack the Giant Killer" project (doh)!

I've been commissioned to come up with some character designs to be used on money wallets that will hold gift vouchers. The wallet (and vouchers) are to help promote custom for a hair salon. These first illustrations are specifically aimed at gift vouchers for young men...the challenge being, not only to target the person buying the gift voucher, but to also make it appealing to the person (young man) receiving the voucher!

Young Man - Pose 01 - pencilledYoung Man - Pose 02 - pencilledYoung Man - Pose 03 - pencilled

There will another set coming along soon, aimed at vouchers for young women. Future sets will also target older men, older women and possibly families.

Once the characters are fully coloured and rendered, I'll post the finished images, along with some photos of the finished money wallets.

Friday, July 1, 2011

What's been goin' on...?

It's been quiet on the art front for a while. I'm quite keen to get back to my Jack project! (If my blog was a plant, it would have shrivelled up and died by now due to lack of attention!)

Recently, my Mum and Dad celebrated their 70th birthdays, so I decided to come up with another "Nan & Granddad's Seaside" strip for them (I've done a couple over the past few years). Unfortunately, the usual work and life commitments prevented me from finishing it on time, so I'm still working on the colouring process. Doh!

Here are the pencils for the strip, plus a preview of the coloured title panel. The theme for this strip is about a "Pensioner's Guide to the Digital Age". The basic premise is that "Nan & Granddad" (based on my parents!) have been given said book by their Grandsons (based on my boys!) to help them in this digital age. Naturally, things don't quite work out quite as well as the book suggests...

Pensioners Guide - pencilled

Pensioners Guide - preview

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jack the Giant Killer - Cormoran Character Sheet - Pencils

Yet again, it's been a while since my last post. One of the reasons for this is a little side-project I started before Christmas...making a MicroModel replica of the "Rocket" as a Christmas present for my Dad. More info on this at the bottom of this post!

I've got the pencils and inks for my Cormoran character sheet finished. I'm posting the pencils now while I make a start on the colouring. This will be the same approach as the character sheet for Jack - a mix of black-and-white and coloured styles.

Cormoran - character sheet - pencilled

This was really meant to be just a character sheet, that is, something that shows the character in various poses, with ideas on attire, colouring, etc. However, I couldn't resist drawing out my vision of how Jack tricks Cormoran into falling into his man-made pit. I see this as a main, coloured illustration because it is a key plot point, where Jack bags his first Giant!

Where I end up going with that particular image in the final book is uncertain. It's just an experiment in getting the feel of how Jack betters the giant. I feel the angle is not quite right. Really, I think Jack needs to be shown at a higher angle than the giant, to enforce the idea that Jack has got the better of the lumbering beast! The way to achieve this is to draw "behind" Jack (as if you're looking over his shoulder), having Jack look down into the pit.

Small note on the castle in the background. This is actually a copy of the building that stands on St Michaels Mount today (where Cormoran supposedly lived). However, the story does specify that he lived in a cave, so I may drop the castle from the final image...or at least go with a very basic type of castle-like building. Artistic license, don't you know :)

The animals drawing is another key point from the story that shows how Cormoran is always stealing animals from the village on the mainland. The drawing attempts to show big Cormoran is compared to the cows, sheep and pigs that he steals.

Right...little bit on that MicroModel. Over a period of a couple of months (I think!) I put together a MicroModel version of the "Rocket". I have the original cards from the 1940s, but rather than using the original templates, I made photcopies onto good quality card and made the engine from that. The display case was purchased from Model Display Cases, and they kindly put my photos of the engine and display case on their Facebook page:

I've also put some photos on my Flickr page:

Rocket - 01

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jack the Giant Killer - Jack Character Sheet

I have been chipping away at bits and pieces of this project for a while, although it never feels like I've got much to show for it! I'm still working on a set of character sheets that will act as a reference to the style and colouring I will use in the book.

I am also editing the story based on pieces of updated text that my mother-in-law has very kindly helped me with. In summary, what I have done is used an old (out-of-copyright) version of the story and asked my mother-in-law to try and "modernise" the text...make it more accessible to the younger reader. She has really enjoyed doing that exercise, and now I am in the process of putting her edited paragraphs back into one whole piece. I have always had a lot of support from her with my illustrations (and aspirations!) and I am very grateful for her help. Thanks, Mum!!

Anyway, here's the completed Jack character sheet - click on the thumbnail image below if you want to see the full-size version on Flickr:

Jack - Character Sheet - final

My aim is to go for mostly black-and-white illustrations throughout...images that will flow with and complement the text. For key plot points in the story, I will create full-colour illustrations, most likely one for each giant that Jack encounters on his journey. The colouring style above is what I am aiming for, with a palette that I think will match the atmosphere of the time period. I hope it works!! You can see more of my thoughts on the above image here.

Anyway, onto the next character sheet...Cormoran!!