Wednesday, 27 June 2007


Camouflage, eh? Tough one! Ok, camouflage, war, no don't like war, fighting , hunting
, hunting what? Lions, elephants, tigers, monkeys, ducks... ducks! Real ducks? Na wait... ornanmental ducks! 3 flying ducks! Hunting ornamental ducks, ornamental ducks must be dumb... bad camouflage, hide as another bird! Worst bird to hide as? A chicken...

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Just to say...

...I'm off away so this blog may well be quiet, or it may be crazy busy. I'm taking a laptop. We'll see.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Vampires in the Sun

This was supposed to be a sketchbook blog and a lot of the stuff I've been posting isn't very... sketchy so I thought I'd do a crop from a corner of my current (suck ass) sketchbook. I tried to crop some of these guys out but they look just so random all together, exactly as I drew them, but they just wouldn't separate! You've got the guy in the top left who looks a bit zombified, some flying books (the staple of any good horror movie), a guy screaming, a Nosferatu guy dreaming of sun beds and a gangster looking vampire dreaming of being able to wear shades. Oh, and some teeny guy looking lost in the background. Oh dear...

Monday, 18 June 2007

Illustrator On File: A Nice Rejection

Back when I first started out I used to email people all day long. One dark rainy Tuesday I got sick of getting one reply out of a hundred emails which read, to paraphrase, "Thanks so much, we have a bunch of guys we already work with who fulfill every need but we'll keep you on file." I thought I'd put myself on file. I never got round to finishing an image for it, but here's the sketch anyway.

Illustration Friday: Rejection

Rejection eh? Good title for Illustrators that one! Rejection is very much part and parcel of the Illustration game, much like acting I guess. I've got a great sketch somewhere on this subject which I will try and dig out from the archive later (when I get home).

So this is my Illustration Friday entry this week. I tried to think of all the things you could be rejected from and the thing that jumped in my brain was the army. Initially I created this image the other way around with the toy soldiers outnumbering one "real" one. However I felt it didn't communicate "Rejection" clearly enough. I guess it makes more sense to reject a fake than a real thing. Or maybe not... Oh well. Maybe I'll do the perfect image next time.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Corporate Rock

I'm really pleased with this one. Not much more to say really! After the last long post I'm a little drained! I recommend you click on the image to see all the detail.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Ok. A little explanation seems in order. I've been illustrating for £'s for around 3 or so years now. Except I had a big old break (as in not doing any work) for the last year or so in which I was "re-evaluating" things, such as whether I wanted to concentrate on my career in Graphic Design or whatever really. So in the last couple of months I had the big lightening strike I was waiting for. It came after I had another interview for another Graphic Design position that I kind of didn't really want. However, I went along with the whole interview thing, got through to a final stage and...

... I didn't get it. So I got cross (and slightly drunk) and realised I had no real interest or desire to do that job. Or indeed any Graphic Design job including the position I am in now. So, I started making images seriously again and realised I loved it. Like, really loved it. So I started this blog and really started analysing my style and work.

As you may have noticed the work on this page has varied in style and content massively. The reason is I'm reworking my style trying to fit new ideas and pieces together before the big push.

So, finally, what's the deal with the guy and the books? Well, I'm not really sure! I drew the first panel and started playing with the idea of a guy (possibly a priest?) getting attacked by a bunch of books. Could these books represent truth? could they represent the knowledge he is sacred of? Perhaps he is closing himself off to a world of open thought and ideas? Well, all of these things could be true. Truth is I thought it might be fun to have a guy getting attacked by books. As we all know, however, it doesn't make any of the other "accidental" ideas any less true! I tried to carry on the strip but the ran out of ideas. I'm always better at starting stuff...

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Hollywood Superman

So, I've lost some weight. Again. This now makes me ridiculously skinny. It wasn't intentional, I promise! You know, you eat right, exercise and instead of building muscle, I just loose it. Stupid high metabolism! So I had steak and roasted potatoes for dinner. With a tomato salad and a double helping of cheese. Take that body. I'll be looking like this guy in no time...

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

King of Suits

My image for illustration friday this week, topic being "Suit". It's a digital collage with digital paint all done in Photoshop. I've been wanting to do something like this for a little while now but they've always come out a bit... dunno. I'm very pleased with this one though.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

I hate my Sketchbook

Yep I really do. I have a big black A4 hard back sketchbook that I bought because it was cheep. Now, I like most Illustrators love moleskine sketchbooks. I love the off white paper, the size of them, the elastic strap that holds them together, the pocket in the back and, best of all in my opinion, the rounded corners so they don't catch on other stuff in your bag. The problem is, they ain't cheep. Not by half. I could buy 4 of the big black A4 sketchbooks for the price of one moleskine. Other companies do make moleskine copies for less dollar but the quality of the paper is very substandard. "So what's wrong with your big black one" you ask? It's too big, it bangs on my back in my bag and I don't like A4 paper to draw on. My compulsion is to fill it and my line work is affected as the movements my wrist makes are unnatural. Oh and it's not a moleskine. Sweet moleskine, oh how I miss my moleskine...

To clear up and pre-empt another question, I know sketchbooks are not fire resistant. That's not part of my complaint. So there. But it would be cool to have one that was fire proof... if I was a fireman Illustrator I'd need one of those... then I'd get ALL the girls...

Illustration Sunday

So I tried to do Illustration Friday this week. I sketched it, but I didn't have time to finish the piece. Oh, and I wasn't sure if it was rubbish or not! The theme for this week was "My Paradise" and I'd had a crappy day at work. I guess the rest is pretty self explanatory!

The Steps go:

Step One:
My Boss.

Step Two:
A series of blunt instruments.

Step Three:
Half an hour.

Step Four
A full pardon from the Queen.

Does Her Majesty give pardons anymore? Maybe if I was spy or an evil genious she would. Ah well. Everyone's got to have a dream! Oh and if you are my boss (there's always a possibility...) It's all in jest my friend! Honest...Oh and in case you don't know how this works, you can click on the image to enlarge it.

A Get Out Clause

I've got a week's worth of sketching to post so get a cup of tea (strong black coffee would be my choice but whatever you like..), there's gonna be a bunch of stuff to enjoy! I seem to remember these guys turned up whilst I was watching
"The Seven Ages of Rock"the other night. I don't know about you, but I hate talking to aging rockers in pubs who won't accept that any gig could be better than Motorhead at The Scala in '73 or whatever was the best gig ever known to mankind. Thinking about it I've no idea whether either band or venue existed in '73, but my point still stands! Google it? I could be drawing right now!

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Recycling UPDATE

You know? I think I like the black and white ones the best. Yup, I think I might actually go with one of those. Glad I saved them in stages now...

found candykiller today and the candykiller blog. Just awesome man. Reminds me of Robert Williams...

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Recycling in stages- Stage 03 "Finished Art"

Finished! Well, finished as can be I guess. With an image of this sort (where the variables are self imposed, i.e. no immediate deadline or dimensions) you are entirely your own worst enemy at judging what the finished article should be. The main differences in this final stage are a finalised colour scheme, added buildings (giving depth), refined light on the lampost and a compromise in composition between the two earlier options. Were all of these things essential when the last stage looks pretty final? Yes, I think so and after all that's who matters!

There you go! Job done.

Recycling in stages- Stage 02 "Tone & Composition"

So, I took the scanned sketch and messed around with it whilst trying to retain the spirit of the drawing. I cleaned some of the line and then dropped it into illustrator and ran a "Live Trace" on it, vectorising the lines. I do this quite often as it tends to create interesting smoothening and straightening to my line work. Sometimes it sucks, this time I preferred the "traced" version. I took the new file back into photoshop and copied and pasted the buildings and lights around as I felt I wanted more city.

The next stage for me is tone. I draw (paint? I use paths so I count that as drawing) the tonal shapes on different layers so I can mess around with the strengths of them later. I change my colours all the time at this stage and keep a "hue and saturation" filter with a saturation value of "0" so I can check between a black and white view and a colour view to make sure the colours I pick read correctly tonally.

I then thought I'd try a thinner composition having made the image fatter. I wanted to emphasise the buildings as skyscrapers more so I re-jigged the image to be taller.

Ok, more to come!

Monday, 4 June 2007

Recycling in stages- Stage 01 "The Sketch"

Ok, so I find "Illustration in stages" posts very interesting so I'm going to try one. I'm working on a new image in the evenings about my thoughts on recycling (see crazed scrawl under the thumbnail). The idea came to me one night whilst watching a debate on the issue on TV. I get pretty fed up with carefully washing up everything that possibly can be recycled and dutifully carrying my bags of stuff over to the designated bin when all around my flat giant office blocks have every single d*mn light on 24/7. So I sketched it down with my trusty Rotring fine tipped nib pen that I use for everything. I don't worry too much about anything at this stage, just getting the gist of the idea down and all the elements in. Everything else will happen in the computer.