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!