Monday, 30 November 2009

Get Me Out Of Here

Full page feature illustration crop.

Earlier this month, Steve Sayers, Art Editor on BBC focus and fast becoming my client of the year asked me to produce some illustrations for a feature in the December issue, "I'm an IG Nobel Prize Winner – Get Me Out Of Here!".

The feature asks 6 winners (see more about the prize here) how they would escape being marooned on a desert island. I won't go into too much detail about how they do it, the enterprising amongst them utilising their own creations as much as possible, but if you are keen it is a very interesting article and I suggest you pick up a copy!

As far as my drawings were concerned, Steve had sent me little stickmen roughs placed on the page layout to show how he wanted to illustrate the solutions the inventors had come up with. I simply worked these up into digital colour roughs using Manga Studio for the line work and Photoshop for the colour. Steve asked me to base the style on a "shoes" illustration from my portfolio and I think the simple line and colour gives the drawings a real "Boy's Own" feel, suiting the article to a "t".
Sketch of "Clocky" solution, Gauri Nanda turns an alarm clock into a makeshift solar powered boat to paddle for help on bamboo oars.

Upon approval I then worked up the finals, drawing the ink line digitally in Manga Studio and colouring up selected areas in Photoshop. These sparely coloured finals actually take a long time as you find yourself doing a lot of adding and deleting sections until you find the right balance.

Final "Clocky" solution.

Final "Coconut bombs" solution, Dr Elena Bodnar uses a bra to fire coconut shells filled with gunpowder to attract passing ships.

"Stink" solution, Charles Spence uses a plastic bag filled with vanilla to attract ships by smell.

"Big smoke" solution, after constructing a huge "S.O.S." sign Troy Hurtubise builds a giant fire pit to attract a rescue.

"Coin tube solution", my personal favourite, Len Fisher uses loose change to create an electric current to signal passing ships.

The full page title illustration based on the "I'm a Celebrity" TV show logo.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Images 34

AOI Images 34 call for entries artwork by Frazer Hudson

Every year since I was as a student (so, 5 times then) I've entered images for The Association of Illustrators best of british illustration annual publication and show "Images". As per usual this year I checked the list of selected entries and grinned a sly smile to myself as I saw my name was absent. "Maybe next year" I thought.

So, it was to my confusion and brewing excitement that I received an email last week asking me why I hadn't confirmed my page and stumped up the cash for Images 34. A frenzy of emailing back and forth to the organisers followed and after a lot of "we posted things", "I moved house", "Oh, it seems we missed you off the list", turns out my astronaut image below has been selected for the "books" category.

"Today Was Not A Good Day" image selected for Images 34

To put it mildly, I'm completely thrilled. Having a image selected has been one of my major goals both professionally and personally since I first found out about Images in college. Also Ralph Steadman, the reason I got into illustration as a lazy talented kid who was always getting balled out his tutors for not doing his homework and chatting up girls in art class, is in this years book. Me and Ralph. Together in one volume. I can't get my head around that one. Imagine if we're on opposite pages...

So, there's a show, awards ceremony and the all important book which all happens next summer. I'm sure I'll post more information but your best bet to find out more is to check the AOI Images site.

Have a great week.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Vincent Price Presents "The Effigy"

So, the other project to come out of my initial round of pitch page promotion was a one shot on the "Vincent Price Presents" series for Bluewater Productions. The issue I've now completed for them is "The Effigy", written by Paul J. Salamoff, and is a classic slice of American small town horror. Scarecrows, cornfields, bullying... all the good stuff!

Inspiration and reference

One of the major discoveries I've had since starting this comic book journey is something I suspected, but perhaps I should have known. Producing lots of images on one page is just like producing one image. The process is exactly the same. Reference, sketch, final artwork. The only difference is you have to do 10 images across a spread over a couple days. As soon as you make any less effort with a panel than you would for any single image then the art suffers.

If you have a strong process as an illustrator I've found you don't tend to panic... or a least you panic less! You simply drop into your system and knuckle down. All the art for this book was 100% digital, sketched and inked in Manga Studio, coloured in Photoshop using a graphics tablet.

I always produce tonal roughs (thanks "classical" Illustration degree) as it really helps with composition and with the colour stage.

Panel Process

Final Spreads

Hopefully no spoilers there! The pages are currently being lettered and I'll let you know when the book's coming out.