Thursday, 30 August 2007

House Pollution

A new image using some elements of Tuesday's experiments and some of my usual collage stuff. The image is about house pollution, hence the title, and purpose of the car elements are to suggest that a house can be just as polluting as a car. Rocket science, I know, but why complicate the idea when I can concentrate on making a decent image? Why indeed!

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Test Three

My favourite (or most successful) parts of this experiment are the bright colours with the white-out car line work and the fence. I'm really pleased with the way the angle of the interlocking "rope" creates depth and perspective.

Test Two

Continuing my experiments (see the post below for explanation of what I'm up to) I started with the tree and decided to add something in the ground below it. I know the whole point of this is to soften my work and completely defeating the point I go and put a skeleton below the tree. At least he's a cute skeleton!

Experimenting with Paint - Test One

I may have mentioned this in previous posts but I'm kind of relaunching myself at the moment. I started illustrating commercially in 2004, got disillusioned and unhappy with my work, had a year off (working a "real" job) in 2006 and have been rebuilding my style for the last 3 or 4 months.

I've been thinking I should work on softening one end of my work to increase my commercial potential. It's a bit cynical, but come on! I got bills to pay and I want to do this full time! So to that end I've been looking at a lot of more painterly illustrators and have started with this image to play in Photoshop to create some softer, more ethereal work.

The real trick will be to make it still look like like my work and a progression of style than a distinct different direction. This is test image one. Let's see where this goes.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Attacking Hands

How's this brown? Ok? Oh I give up. This sketch turned up this week, not sure from where, not sure why I feel like I'm being attacked from all sides! Not even sure if the silhouette is supposed to be me to tell you the truth. The real issue for me was how realistic I should make the hands. I started off drawing them a little wildly, always a big mistake for me as I have a tendency to go overboard with the exaggeration.

A very tricky thing exaggeration. Especially for a sketch monkey like me who flits between caricature, cartoons, and arty-er illustration styles entirely dependent on mood. Hands, especially, are a battle ground for me, one that I'm never quite sure I'm winning. Whilst playing around with hands and arms lately, a devise that's really interesting me, I drew this hand that I'm completely passionate about.

Now the reason I feel I've cracked it with this one is that the balance between simplification, exaggeration, and realism is bang on. It's not a realistic hand by any stretch of the imagination, but it does conform to a hand's proportions and potential mannerism's and movements.

The main sketch features loads of hands drawn in all possible styles and, to be honest, with all possible successes! I think if I was to attempt this drawing again, and I'm quite tempted to, I think I'll try to add in a load more hands, more hands than arms in fact, and really try to keep an even treatment in the style of them.

There, I think I've nailed what's wrong with it now. And I've just looked at the clock. I've been whittering on about hands at 5 to one in the mroning on a Sunday night. Yes , obsession has finally sunk in. I'm quitting and going to bed.


P.S. I'm going to dream of hands all night now...

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Different Colours of Brown

I'm at work. I'm bored at work. So I decided to have a look at my own blog, you know, to try and look at it and be objective with the work. You know what my first impression is? How many different colours of brown can I fit onto one page?!

The sketchbook I use for much of my drawing (I also have a moleskine for ideas and thumbnails) is made of parcel paper. I like it because you really have to go at with the pen to create dark lines and because it's so absorbent you have several levels of black line to play with. To create a really heavy shadow you to really work at it and I feel that adds to the intensity of the drawing.

Now when I scan my drawings I keep the settings exactly the same for consistency. Where I go wrong is when I crop the image down in Photoshop I start messing around in curves to even up the ink lines. I then open up the blog window and colour match the two images together on screen. Evidently this isn't working, although the Money Men came out pretty well, not too uneven.

Bear with me, I'll keep at it.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Money Men

So, I live in London. I work in the City of London which is the "square mile", to the east of the centre of London. Look it up on Google maps. This is where the stock exchange and all the giant skyscrapers are. It's also where all the money is. All the people I work around and for have tons and tons of money. The next few posts are of a charcter I draw whenever I feel upset and broke around all this ridiculous wealth.

Running Money Man

A hungry Money Man, chasing down the dough.

Money Man Spread

Spread of a Money Man having a giant burp.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

I've Got a Cold

...and this is how I feel. Not kind of like a monkey, but like my throat is 12 times the size and made of snot. Nice.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Bird in Progress

So, I'm busy doing this memory heavy giant digital collage. I keep having new ideas as I'm going along, switching layers, playing with proportion. I think to myself "This bird needs an eye. How can we identify with this bird if it doesn't have an eye?" So I grab one, stick it in.

I hit apple-zero, the image zips back to show me the whole picture. I think to myself "Hey, I like that, that looks good! That looks like... Sara Fanelli's work".

Balls. Copying people from my sub-conscious. Again. Oh well. Start again...

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Heartless london

This is one of those images that had to be finished to a quick-ish deadline, so I charged on ahead with it, forcing myself not to mess with it too much. I played with adding more colour but it looked a bit messy and I wanted to add a chain of people leading into the city. That also confused the message a little. I've include a couple of detail images below. One of the sign and one of the character. Hmmm. It still doesn't feel finished. I may well come back to play with this one. Check back soon!

Sketch Sketch Sketch

Unusually for me I don't have a lot to say about this one. Apart from the fact he looks a little like my old man. Probably Freudian.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Death Train

I'm going through an old sketchbook at the moment, scanning all the pages to add to my sketchbook archive (I know, pretty geeky, right? But hey! This is stock! I'm an Illustrator! You wouldn't knock a bean can salesman for doing a stock take of beans would you? Oh, you would. Hey, just because he's a bean salesman doesn't mean he's a bit stinky, either! I mean it's not like I'm covered in paint and ink... Oh.

Right. The sketch. Drawn at a time when I was doing a really long commute for a few months I would sit and draw on the train. This one of those sketches. I guess British Rail was having a crappy moment... again. Also filed under the heading of "good ideas I never got around to finishing up". I think I might shove it a few places up the list. Stay tuned...

Sunday, 5 August 2007


Sometimes things just come together. I drew this on Tuesday, Wednesday, midweek anyway and I look at the topic for Illustration Friday this week and it's "missing". Perfect. What's she missing from her stomach? Whatever you want her to miss. That's fun bit of art (other than the doing)!