Saturday, 29 September 2007

The Blues

I'm an Illustrator, I draw, paint and click but what would really give me the blues to such an extent that I would feel really hit rock bottom is if someone smashed up and took away my guitars.

There ain't nothing like a crisp clear minor chord to blow away anything. In fact I might go play for a bit now, having delivered my Illustration Friday!

On more image geek note, now I've posted this I'm totally not happy with the way the image crops off at the bottom. Now comes one of those testing times to see just how much I care if I can be bothered to to open up the .psd and see if I can re-crop it.

As for now, D minor, the saddest of all keys, is calling me!

The Finished Page

Been very busy this week with one thing or another and so I have had little time to do much drawing and/or posting.

Having said that, this spread has taken a week or so to complete mainly due to my new way of working. I have been trying very hard not to draw for the sake of it and just to draw when I actually have an idea. Also the small thumbnail sized panels really help me to focus on the shape and composition of what I'm doing rather than the pre-rehearsed mechanisms of stressing over shadows, exaggeration and the like.

Anyways, I'm off to see Reuben tonight! Catch you soon.

Monday, 24 September 2007


It rained today. I hid in a coffee shop. It was like, empty, but no one was, like, getting coffee to have in.

"No way, dude!"

Yeah, I know! And that was, like, a metaphor or something for like, my life?

"No way!"

Yeah I know! I felt so, like, deep.

"No. Way."

Fact, dude, just plain fact.

"Dude, are you, like, a Prophet?"

No man. I think they're signed to Vagrant...


Sunday, 23 September 2007


Another tough one from IF, ...or is it tough? I think it is if you want to stay away from traditional subjects, as is pretty much always my want, like a jester juggling or getting hit by balls or juggling "elements of your life". Not that any of these ideas are in any way unworthy! In fact I've gone for one of these, juggling people in you life with one hand (People can be tough too).

I think I spend a lot of the "idea time" section of my process trying to push out the hardest, most clever, most obtuse idea I can come up with... and then end up realising that those ideas are so far removed, or about such a small part of the theme that they are pretty much no longer relevant.

I also often think that the idea is the thing we should strive for but the execution, the thing that can fall behind in prominence, should never be overlooked in almost it's ultimate importance. A great image, with no idea at all, can stand entirely alone. For some reason, it's real easy to forget that.

This sketch is tiny, approx. 28 x 35mm (about and inch by an inch and a half). I love the bold lines and the paper texture that come out when you blow up a sketch this size. Hmmm... another thing to play with!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007


I was doodling in a generic coffee house in the City today and began to feel quite alone amongst the suits, venti latte's and blackberrys, sitting there in my scruffy jeans, doodling.

So I drew a submarine. Now I can travel with them undetected!

Monday, 17 September 2007

Train of Thought

This idea was spawned by this image of a train crashing that I produced whist angry about the train strikes. I was scribbling in my sketchbook and started drawing some thumbnails of a "Train of Thought". Initially I got bogged down with clouds on rails or imagined trains crashing through people's heads. All very classic me and certainly not particularly challenging.

This is one of those thumbnail you scribble out and you just know exactly how you are going to realise it to the final image. I cut a head in half placing some jagged lines to give the impression of masking tape. Originally I painted the background darker but I dropped out this layer as it began to throw the tones of the piece out. I drew in the lines of the track and began to fish around for a decent idea of what to use to collage the train.

I hit upon the idea of using a matchbox after wanting to use some kind of toy train and then thinking about sparks of ideas and lightbulbs. I browsed a host of fascinating sites hosting galleries of long forgotten incredible matchbox design and illustration until I came across this perfect image;

So I copied and pasted, a little more paint and job done! I'm really pleased with this one.

You May Kiss The Bride

One of the main reasons that I push myself to complete an Illustration Friday most weeks is that subjects are regularly far removed from what I would choose for myself.

Of course this is great because is broadens my scope and challenges me to attempt difficult subject matter like... weddings.

I'll be honest, I struggled a bit with this one. It's so difficult not to jump head first into "the ball and chain" or a "hearts and doves" kind of approach. I know my own image is hardly a giant leap from these things and I initially tried to go down a darker route. The trouble with that is if it's not genuine, then it will come off as insincere. I don't have any hang ups with marriage or weddings so why push yourself to create some?

I guess what I really saying with this image is that sometimes at weddings the groom is running to catch up with events. Sometimes he isn't that fussed about flowers or cakes or photographs. Sometimes all he wants is the quiet life. Sometimes he wishes he could have a quickie ceremony and head off on holiday.

Oh yeah, that's why people go to Vegas.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

F.B.I. A-g-e-n-t!

Watching X-files re-runs the other night and wondering why does Fox Mulder wear such big coats? Then I was watching early re-runs of Friends and realised that Joey, Chandler et all are wear giants coats too! Is this some kind of early 90's fashion or were all actors mearly underpaid in their early careers and so had to moonlight as fake watch salesmen? I guess we'll never know...

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Trouble Coming Over The Hill

" it a monster, is it a monster!". Here's a panicking Money man, not sure about what's coming over the hill...

Monday, 10 September 2007


Momentum, eh? How's about if there was a bunch of guys, standing on each others shoulders. Perhaps they are practicing a circus act, or maybe they want to ensure they get on TV at a music festival. So they're all standing on each other's shoulders, and Johnny got his foot in Davey's arse and Phil's mobile phone's ringing and everyone suddenly notices that the tower of people is shaking, a little, a little harder, a lot harder and oh, we're falling.

There's a metaphor in there somewhere...

See there's the other thing. I've never posted an image this long and thin before. However, that's how I drew it and so I don't have a lot of choice with the posting! I suppose I could mess around with it in Photoshop and actually, thinking about it, maybe space around the image would assist the feeling of unstability. Of course there's the third issue that it looks bloomin' stoopid if the text doesn't fill the whole of the right hand side of the image. That's why I'm writing all this rubbish to fill up space. Thanks for reading this far, to be blunt, I'm impressed at your stamina!

So I could have saved the situation. With 10 or so minutes tweeking. But instead I decided to crash and burn. Yup. Livin' on the edge, that's me! Sorry. I'll do better next time. I have some other nice stuff I just scanned! Promise! There's even a drawing of an F.B.I. Agent! Yeah! You like that, don't you!

Hey, where you going...?

Momentum Full Sketch Page

So I've done my sketch for Illustration Friday, I scan the full page and I think, hey, this is pretty bitchin' so I thought I'd post the full page too. There's some pretty cool sketches on here... oh, to work at this full time to bring all of these doodles to life... One day.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Tube Strike and Strife

Apologies for the slight lack of posting. I would have liked to get a couple more in this week but events here in London have conspired against me.

First there was the tube strike. The only real Union with any power that manages to affect my life in an incredibly destructive way hit again this week with the (almost) total shut down of the tube network. I rely on the Central Line to get me across town every day from my hobbit hole flat to my place of day-job work. They shut this line completely. They also shut every other line heading east into town.

This meant I was left with two options, the bus or the walk. Now, the thing is there is no bus that covers the same distance and direction as the tube does. I had to get three buses to cover the same ground. Oh and did I mention that along with myself there were 3 million other displaced passengers?

So I fought my way onto bus number one to get home on evening one of the strike. The strike started at 4pm. I made it home around 10pm after getting frustrated, walking vast distances and stopping occasionally for alcoholic courage to continue my journey. I awoke tired and muzzy headed from the night before to begin another refugee style push, shove and squeeze journey back across town. Once again I estimate that around various bus journeys I walked a good 3 miles to speed things up.

The only problem with walking 3 miles around town was that after a few pints on my way home the night before I managed to drop the biggest cooking knife we have onto my bare right foot point first. Ouch. You know that phrase "a stabbing pain"...

So I blame the unions for my foot, my current state of tiredness, the screws up I made at work today because I was tired and my lack of posts on my beloved blog. So I painted this;

Not sure it's a great image and not sure I should really be drawing pictures of crashing trains since I take one everyday and fate has a habit of biting people in the arse.

Anyway, I don't believe in all that rubbish.

Now, where's my receipt for that armoured suit...?

Ever heard of "The Bus"? Well, there's this bus, right. It's fallen off a cliff and is heading, at speed, to a fiery death. Now, everyone gets their own bus and can put whomever they like on the bus as it heads off the cliff. People you may like to put on your bus could maybe be annoying celebrities, someone who cut you up in traffic, that guy who sits next to you on the tube and eats a Big Mac, spraying you with burger juice... I had to use Vista again the other day. Bill Gates? He's on my bus.

So if I was succumbing to all of the pent up commuter rage inside me, I would put every man women and child who went on that strike and messed up my life for 3 days in the train in my painting heading to their deaths. I'd need a train for them all, rather than a bus, due to volume.

Bit harsh, really, so I won't.

At least, not this time! Apparently they might strike again next week. Make sure you check back to see what kind of drunken injury I can do to myself then and if I give in to rage and send that train off a cliff after all...!

Oh, and to clear up another question, I don't think they really do have children working on the underground. I mean, I've no idea what goes on after 12.45am and before 4.30am, but I can honestly say I've never seen any children working during the day...

Sunday, 2 September 2007

P is for flying Piggie!

So, alphabets... that sounds hard. Wait, hang on, doesn't every word contain letters? Isn't that how, like, we write stuff? So, like, if I do a drawing of whatever I like and take the first letter of the word and put "BLANK is for BLANK" in the title it'll fit in? Awesome! I love illustration!

Sorry, I've been watching a Newly Wed's marathon. Brain has become mush. I tell you what though, it's a much better show once you find out they broke up. Oh yeah, sorry. I suppose that's like telling you Darth is Luke's Dad before you watch Empire. What do you mean it's nothing like that?! Fanboys...

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Climbing Arms

This is a sketch that I worked up to a final stage because I felt it deserved it. Some images that you doodle away on just deserve a final lick of paint and a little line retouch to bring up to their destined conclusion.

The colour scheme for this image I like to call "Mexican Menu". I see this image and instantly want to crack open a corona! Oh, actually it's not just this image that makes me want to instantly crack open a corona. Anyone got that AA number again?