Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Reworked Ninja

I was asked to tidy up the sketch from earlier today...

A more graphic finish was wanted. I hope this the right direction... fingers crossed.

Daniele Cogo

Here is the website of a talented graphic designer from Italy that I have met via a shared interest of all things creative.

There are some really nice graphics to check out on his site: scattodesign

Quick as a Ninja

I just got a request for a manga/comic book style image from a potential client.

I didn't have anything immediately suitable so I just worked this piece up as quickly as I could, I'm quite pleased with it, as it only took about 25 minutes.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Illustration Friday - "Tales and Legends"

My first thought on this topic was, wow, that's totally up my fantasy alley (so to speak), but then I thought, I have done a lot of fantasy style stuff recently... I guess it just depends on how you think about legends, heroes and things that inspire..

Jimi Hendrix 1942-1970

Well, this man was and still is an inspiration. He has had some TALES told about him and you cannot disagree, he was a LEGEND!

I hope I have captured something of the spirit of James Marshall in this piece...

(35mins digital sketch)

Friday, 25 January 2008

The Boy Who Never Grew Up

This was an attempt to show a commercial application to the art I am producing, a cover treatment for Peter Pan.

I felt that Disney had dominated how people see Peter and Hook... If you go back to Barrie's original text, the descriptions aren't exactly specific but Hook is supposed to look like King Charles II and Peter is described as wearing skeleton leaves and the sap from trees which I felt would make him all autumn coloured.
I also felt that Peter should appear in some way feral, hence the mono-brow, my friend Phil doesn't like it and it would be easy enough to edit out, but I think it fits the character...

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Illustration Friday - "Plain"

This week's Illustration Friday topic is PLAIN.

The little wooden boy Pinocchio... His lies are as plain as the nose on his face!
...or are they as planed as the nose on his face?

This is a really quick pencil sketch with a few layers of colour added in Photoshop. I'm reasonably happy with the way it's turned out and might work this up into a finished piece.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Cheeky - Vistobrahma Entry

Here finally, after much fiddling (and hair pulling as the transition from pixels to vectors didn't go at all smoothly) is my entry. I've just uploaded it to the gallery on the Brahma site, and hopefully it'll be viewable before long...

I'm not sure I enjoyed this as much as I could have, in many ways it was torturous! I do think this version is far more successful than the original though!
Thanks go to Vicky, Phil, Matt and Rup for support and good advice.

More Creatures

These were done as part of the PODZ project. I was asked to create a couple of "cute" comedic characters for a further development of the brand. Ultimately they didn't end up having an application.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Vistobrahma Competition

I found a link over on the ever brilliant DRAWN! for a competition to do an illustration based on the very palatable Brazilian Brahma beer. The brief wanted entries to reflect the Brazilian nature of their brand and express something about the curves of the Brahma bottle.

originally I thought this was the finished piece...

...then I thought this was the finished piece...

But, on further consideration, and in line with advice from Matt and Rup I think the piece needs to be treated more graphically. So I am currently working on an Illustrator version... I hope to enter that and post it here soon.

My basic concept was that the Brahma bottle was quite womanly shaped. Brazilian women are, I think, traditionally thought of as being quite sexy. I liked the juxtaposition, Hour-Glass Figure, Woman, Beer Bottle. I think the Brahma brand is quite cheeky. I had wanted a freer feel to my final piece, in the hope of capturing some Brazilian spirit. I just don't feel it's working for the brand.

If you are interested in entering yourself, check out the competition details here, but you'll need to be speedy as closing date is 25th Jan.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Honey Rider

This was another piece I did for a meeting with a publisher.
The company I was meeting was interested in beasts, but I had already done the Merilla (see previous post below) and felt that as I also had 18 PODZ creatures to show them... another creature alone would be overkill.

For this piece, I had Honey Rider from the Bond film Dr.No in the back of my mind. Now set in a fantasy style world, where she would collect shells and have adventures with her trusty steed. I deliberately made her a brunette, to distinguish her from the associations with Ursula Andress. I just wanted to hint at a number of possible stories... I hope you're imagining them now!

This piece almost exactly fits the rules for the golden section, for those who are interested in that kind of thing:

If this is an alien concept to you, by searching about on the net for Golden Section/Ratio, Fibonacci numbers or Fibonacci Spiral you'll see what the above diagram means and leading on from that, if you search for Divine Proportions you'll learn some fairly interesting things about human proportions too.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Buffalo Power & Chinese Dragon

Buffalo Power
This illustration is now about ten years old.
The Native American Chief is based on Sitting Bull.

This is one of my favourite pieces of work that I have done.
I hope it speaks for itself.

Chinese Dragon
Another older piece for today too...

I love traditional chinese dragons... I used to do Tai Chi and a mild obsession began there and continues still.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

The Spark Of Life

It Lives, It Lives, IT LIVES!!!

My take on Frankenstein's Monster.

I'd done a number of sketches of Frankenstein's monster over the last few years with the "what if Disney did Frankenstein" thought in mind, but none them really hit the spot for me. Humour always seemed to give way in favour of cuteness - and my monsters just looked like really ugly film stars that had put too much make-up on.

I was looking for another project to self direct, again to help fill out my portfolio so I started sketching the monster again... I still don't think I'm in Disney territory. It's probably ended up somewhere between Herman Munster and Boris Karloff.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Genetically Modified Creatures

A couple of years ago I did some illustrations for a collector card series called PODZ. Each one was an alien creature. It was a kind of cross between Top-Trumps and Pokemon.

Each creature was supposed to be genetically modified from an Earth animal (with a bit of alien thrown in for interest).
There was a whole launch and product range, but unfortunately the product failed to become a craze. I recently had call to revisit the concept of the "alien" beast and did the illustration below for a meeting I had with a publisher.

I called it a Gorilla Merman, but a friend referred to it as The Merilla I have to say, I think I prefer that name!

You won't have seen them, but here is a taster for the PODZ creatures...

The PODZ creatures are
©Marketing and Promotional Services Ltd. 2006

Monday, 7 January 2008

Another Dee Zaster Movie

This is a piece I did before Christmas.

I wanted to do a robot.
I love the movie The Iron Giant and there's a whole retro thing happening at the moment too. I wanted to do something that hinted at those influences and helped fill out my porfolio. The 'B' Movie seemed a fun way to do all that... after a quick search on google for various classic posters, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Attack of the 50ft Woman etc. I started designing my own take on a gigantic robot.

The image below shows the progression from rough sketch to tightened pencil layout, (I did all the typography in Illustrator) and then onto a rough colour test.

The final art was painted in Photoshop and then placed into an Illustrator document where I had designed the title treatment and various logos. Based on comments from good friends, I made some colour alterations in the final piece.

I hope the jokes are pitched somewhere between corny and pastiche and haven't ended up closer to a cornish pasty.

Meet the Cheshire Cat


I am hoping to use this blog as a place to show things I am working on and hope it will help me to build up momentum and do a proper website.

So for my first posting, Alice in Wonderland, a page of comic art.

Very simply put, Alice meets the Cheshire Cat! It's a favourite scene of mine from the book.

I've abridged Lewis Carrol's original text. I'm not sure how successful the whole piece is, but it's finished and works as something to start off with.