Monday, 28 November 2011

FutureQuake 19: Yesterday Today

Page 1 of "Yesterday Today", Written by Matt Gibbs, Art by James Reekie

FutureQuake 19, a regular anthology of 2000AD Future Shock-style stories from FutureQuakePress, is now available. It features a whole host of writers and artists, plus a story from Matt Gibbs and I called Yesterday Today. Go check it out!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Spirit of Hope - Wave Man

Crop from "Wave Man" by Matt Gibbs, artwork created in Manga Studio and Photoshop

This post is grossly delayed and I should have put something up much sooner. Shortly after the devastating earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand earlier this year, my frequent collaborator and pal, Matt Gibbs, asked me if I wanted to illustrate a short story for the "Spirit of Hope" an anthology being put together to raise money for disaster victims. You can read the full tale of the anthology here, see a list of the wonderful artists involved here, and buy the book here

Matt sent me over a quick outline and in four crazy days we produced the strip which you can read in it's entirety below. I hope you like it and do us a favour and get yourself a copy of the anthology. A fantastic book for a very worthy cause.

Have a great week!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Storyboard Examples

Storyboard examples, drawn in Manga Studio.

Here are some storyboard examples that I recently produced for a pitch for a client. I won the work, then the client went bankrupt! Sign of our times I guess.

Have a great week

Monday, 18 July 2011

The Ballad of Frank Sartre

Panel art from "The Ballad of Frank Sartre", Artwork produced in Manga Studio

For the best part of the last two years, in my downtime, evenings and weekends, I have been working on an original graphic novel, "The Ballad of Frank Sartre". On Friday we launched a website to publish the entire book, online for free, in 4 page instalments. Below is the blurb with a little more detail about the story.

THE BALLAD OF FRANK SARTRE - By James Peaty & James Reekie

"What have you done?"

Washed up club singer FRANK SARTRE is in the grip of depression. A depression fuelled by haunting, recurring dreams of a girl. A girl that holds the key to so many answers… yet seems forever out of reach.

As Frank fumbles around the surreal city of COSMOPOLIS, desperately trying to resurrect his career and find meaning, a mysterious killer is on the loose, terrifying the freaks and oddities that populate the metropolis. Intrepid reporter SAM PARADISE has smelt a connection, but can he join the dots between Frank and the killer before it's too late?

The Ballad of Frank Sartre is a original graphic novel, recommended for mature audiences, that will be published in it's entirety for free online every Friday on starting on Friday 15th July.

Please do go check the website out and have a great week!

Monday, 27 June 2011

New Sketches

Sketchbook drawing, ink on paper

I finished a sketchbook recently which seems like as good a time as any to post up some of my recent sketches. As per usual, these are all drawn from magazine shoots or adverts using a various pens and brushes.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Photoshoot sketches

Photoshoot rough sketch, digital art created in Manga Studio

These sketches are for a pitch of photoshoot, unfortunately I can't reveal who for...! All these sketches had to do was to convey the feel and direction that the proposed shoot would take. It was great to work nice and loose and not have to worry too much about finish.

Photoshoot rough sketch, digital art created in Manga Studio

Photoshoot rough sketch, digital art created in Manga Studio

Photoshoot rough sketch, digital art created in Manga Studio

Photoshoot rough sketch, digital art created in Manga Studio

Photoshoot rough sketch, digital art created in Manga Studio

Have a great week!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Tug O'War

"Tug O'War" for Marketing Magazine, lineart in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop

An image I produced for Marketing Magazine, illustrating the struggle between the marketing and retail departments.

Art direction was by Carl Golsby. Have a great week!

Monday, 7 March 2011

High Tea

"Canton", Concept art for "High Tea", Line and colour in Manga Studio

In December 2010 I was hired by the guys at Preloaded to produce some character designs and miscellaneous art for a new flash game "High Tea" about the Opium Wars and tea trade between the British empire and China in the 19th century. The game is part of the High Society exhibition discussing the history of drug trading at the Welcome Collection in London.

My main task was to design the characters for the game based on historical figures. The art direction I received from Preloaded was to draw the characters a little more cartoony than my usual style and use cross hatching to give a flavour of the art from the period.

"Queen Victoria", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

"Smuggler", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

"King William IV", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

"Lin Zexu", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

Complete Character Sheet, line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

I also produced some concept images for splash screens and drawings of general objects to use throughout the game.
"Tea Clipper", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

"Misc Objects", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

Have a great week and be sure to try the game out!

Monday, 28 February 2011

Judge, Jury and Executioner

Crop from "HMRC Dredd", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop

I was commissioned by Iain Winfield from Accountancy Age magazine to create the cover for this week's issue. The cover story is about HMRC (I will hugely paraphrase) throwing it's weight around.

Iain asked me to draw a fictitious "HMRC agent" dressed up like Judge Dredd in a parody of this classic poster (I think by Brian Bolland, but feel free to correct me) shown below with my photographic reference.

Reference for "HMRC Dredd"

Since the brief was very clear in terms of composition, I submitted my roughs with just a few variations in pose. I tried to suggest the Judge's uniform with the leather jacket, using a ID card as the badge and sunglasses instead of the helmet. Also I felt the gun was perhaps overtly aggressive so I delivered an option with the character being "tough" with the paperwork, which is my personal experience of HMRC.

Roughs for "HMRC Dredd". Manga Studio & Photoshop

The guys at the magazine decided that the "full on" version was the way forward so I pushed on to the final image.

"HMRC Dredd", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop

Have a great week!

Monday, 21 February 2011

The Outsider

Crop from "The Outsider–2", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

Right at the beginning of this year I put aside a couple of days to enter The House of Illustration and the Folio Society's inaugural competition. The prize was a commission to illustrate a new edition of "The Outsider" by Albert Camus.

Wikipedia summarises the book thusly.

"The title character is Meursault, an Algerian ("a citizen of France domiciled in North Africa, a man of the Mediterranean, an homme du midi yet one who hardly partakes of the traditional Mediterranean culture") who seemingly irrationally kills an Arab man whom he recognises in French Algiers. The story is divided into Parts One and Two: Meursault's first-person narrative view before and after the murder, respectively."

For the entry to the competition you had to submit 3 final pieces and if successful, create art for 7 images. As I read the book over Christmas I thumbnailed out likely scenes in my sketchbook as I went. Sadly I can't show you these as I am in the middle of a house move and that sketchbook is at the bottom of a box somewhere!

With the images plotted out I dived straight into research.

Reference imagery for "The Outsider – 1"

When illustrating books, I don't want to draw all the details of the scenes as I feel, especially being a more "realistic" artist, that it's important not to take away from the reader's imagination. What I wanted to achieve was the isolation of the main character in each scene, but not sadness as the isolation is his choice. The other aim of the images was to translate the heat of Algiers through the illustrations.

Final Art for "The Outsider–1". Line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

Reference imagery for "The Outsider – 2"

Final Art for "The Outsider–2". Line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

Reference imagery for "The Outsider – 3"

Final Art for "The Outsider–3". Line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

Though the winner has not yet been announced, I have been informed that it wasn't me! I thoroughly enjoyed producing the art for these and I would probably have never read the wonderful book without the competition.

Have a great week!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Wired - Aliens!

Crop from "Aliens" for Wired Magazine, Art Direction Alice Cho, line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop

Just as I was about to leave the house for bonfire night fireworks (yes, it was that long ago but I wasn't allowed to post until now) I was contacted by Alice Cho at Wired magazine. She commissioned me to illustrate four films, due to come out in 2011, that feature alien invasions. The films were World Invasion: Battle LA, The Thing, Paul and Cowboys & Aliens. The catch, aside from trying to fit all these films into one image, was that most of these movie's hadn't even released a publicity shot.

Reference for "Aliens"

I scavenged what reference imagery I could and produced three roughs, mainly playing off and thusly becoming a little homage to the overhead ship composition from the Cowboys & Aliens cover by (I think) Luciano Lima.

Initial roughs for "Aliens", drawn & coloured in Manga Studio

At this point the copy got cut down to only three movies (loosing the remake of The Thing) so I was asked to redraft version 3, adding in Paul from version 2 and a larger cowboy behind him to create the new rough below.

Final rough for "Aliens", drawn in Manga Studio

Final art for "Aliens", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

Have a great week!

Monday, 31 January 2011

Tablets and Product Photography Illustration

Detail from "Tablets", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

I was hired by BBC Focus to illustrate an article reviewing the new batch of tablet PC's desperate to take the iPad's crown. Working with Steve Sayers, the Art Editor on Focus, the process of the job was a bit different for me as it involved illustrating around product photography.

Steve's idea, inspired by the poster for Cecil B DeMille's 1956 film "Ten commandments", was to produce a dramatic image of a guy on a mountain carrying all the tablets. As usual I then sourced my own reference for the drawing, including the obligatory dressing gown dressing up shots... (A quick google search failed to bring up the name of the illustrator who painted this poster. If anyone knows who it was, please let me know!)

Ten Commandments poster and reference images for the final drawing.

Steve then sent me over a rough layout for me to draw over, so they could work out where the tablets would be. After deciding that the figure couldn't hold the tablets in his hands as they would be to jumbled up, I decided to go for a more fantasy angle and have the tablets "appearing" out of the lightning. I scribbled up a rough over a stock photograph in Photoshop, which was then sent to the photographer so he could shoot the tablets at the right angles.

Rough layout, drawn in Photoshop over a draft pdf of the magazine spread.

With everything approved I waited for the shots to come back for the photographer and then completed my artwork.

Final art for "Tablet", line art in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop.

A real collaborative effort and a really striking product review spread even if I do say so myself!

Have a great week!