These were for another A6 zine handout/business card thing like the Moebius-esque one, but going for illustrations instead.  There’s a very loose narrative that ties them together, the bones for a story I’ll never write.  The two women and the old man would be out for revenge for their deceased friend, the final portrait.  For the first three, the visual elements are: their pet(/mildly relevant personality trait), their weapon of choice, and  lastly the damage to their mantle/frame is how they die (it’s all a play on trophy heads).

These took way longer than I meant them to- a day’s work each.  While I enjoy the results, it was a pretty arduous task finishing them- I was a bit too controlled when inking it, which made it less fun to draw and also gives less organic results.  The shotgun shells were a nightmare to draw!  I was going to colour these, but I doubt I will now.

Studying Illustration taught me how to refine images more (coneptually and technically, although it’s easy to be lazy).  That said, I’ve found it easy to misinterpret that and end up becoming too controlling over my final outcomes, which can result in stiff artwork.  When you have a visual idea you want to portray, it can be really satisfying to get that ‘right’, but for me it creates a slightly painful process at times.  It’s slow going, but I’m trying to start images with an emotion as much as an idea nowadays.

By the way, I’ve recently made the switch from Photoshop to Mangastudio 5 for digital artwork.  MS5 is nowhere near as good at image editing (and no autosave, *sniff*), but it feels soooo much better to ink and draw in.  So worth it!!  I use it with Frenden’s brushes, which are silky smooth and lovely to use.  Give it a go!

This was my comic for Comic Book Slaughter Party, the CBSP Halloween anthology that came out in the past month or so.  I’m not sure how successful it is (it’s had a pretty mixed response), but I had a blast working on it.

Greasy is CBSP’s mascot- a great design by Donya Todd- and I wanted to play with anthropomorphism in the story, among other things.  Contrast different types of anthopomorphism against eachother, and facing soft teen punks against a harsh alien reality.  Probably helped that I’d watched a lovecraftian body horror the week before, haha!

This was pretty speedy for me- finished in less than a week- and I had a great time playing with the colours in the comic.  I’ve always loved Dave Stewart’s minimal colouring when working with Mignola, and recently read the new Hawkeye comic, which has consistently fantastic colour palettes by Matt Hollingsworth.  As someone who personally can find it difficult to simplify things, it’s a great lesson to learn how effective flat colours can be.

Speaking of good colours- while I’m not entirely sure I could recommend the book any more, Michael Sanlaville’s art in Rocher Rouge has fantastic colour and motion to it.  It’s a hammy exploitation style teen-horror book, but the artwork’s amazing.  I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, but I’m pretty sure for the last year or so Sanlaville has been working on Lastman, with Bastien Vives and Balak.

So this was a fun, thing to do- a last minute poster for a Daft Punk themed night at the Cube Cinema in Bristol late last summer.  A night of French electro and a double bill of Interstella 5555 and Electroma.  I couldn’t stay for the whole night, but watched Electroma- hilarious at points, but feels ridiculously slow and long to watch…

So this took an evening to do, and I wanted to play around with layering of images but still having that graphic clarity.  The text went in the shadows, and the sentai-looking characters were based on sketches by the amazing Sarah Burgess!  Hmm, might add some lettering and make this into a print.

Here was a little Moebius inspired piece that I made into A6 mini-zines, to use instead of business cards.  It feels really nice to actually hand out mini sequentials rather than just single image based cards!  Although I’ve completely slacked on keeping my website up and running.  Someday…

Here’s some more recent work, getting a little colour on this page- some speedpaintings drawn in Cafe Kino in Bristol.  Kino is the go-to cafe for so many people I know, which can make it either an amazing or massively inappropriate place to go to, just because you’ll be guaranteeeed to meet people you know.  Usually fun!  Sometimes awkward.  The curly fries are always good, and if they ever have Chai cake in stock you owe it to yourself to get some.

It’s been a while since I’ve done anything like this, so it pretty good fun- over the summer I started using a Surface Pro, which while expensive and a little buggy is an amazing piece of kit if you’re always on the move.  And it’s so much nicer to draw on screen than looking up at a monitor.  I’d say the major downside is that the battery life is rubbish (and you need to pay extra for the keyboard), but months after release they’ve already brought out a better model.  Grumble.

Hoping to do more of these, they’re great for learning more about colour palettes, and getting away from being so line-dependent in my work.

Whoa, maybe I’ll update this thing!  Here’s some life drawing that I did at the Society of Illustrators in NYC over the summer.  The SOI always felt like a fabled destination to go to whilst studying at uni.  Like the Valhalla of illustration or something… In reality it’s tiny!!  Some great stuff was there at the time, including a Microvisions exhibition and the annual student show.  It was strange to see how different American universities seem to be compared to English ones- next to each student piece it also said who their tutor was, and the influence was always obvious (Sam Weber lites, Bosma and Tamaki esque stuff etc etc).  It would probably be the same in the UK if I thought about it.  Or if we had a greater presence of the bigger UK illustrators and artists in education.

Nearby the SOI is the Neue Galerie as well, that had some phenomenal Klimt and Schiele originals, including a room of sketches.  Might write more on that another time.

I haven’t been to Life Drawing much this year, and I feel like I’m getting rusty.  Whether it’s technical skill development or expressive mark making, I always get something from it.  It helps me keep mentally fresh.  I really want to find a way of merging this more expressive brushwork with my tighter inking & drawing.

Warmups for Bartkira.  I haven’t watched the simpsons in years, so it was funny how easy they were to remember!

This is untouched digitally, so I still need to mess around with the levels.  A test for a redraw of an old comic of mine- The Sea of Frozen Words, a short silent story!

My marker ran out halfway through this piece!

Spent some time with Richard Starkings and Moritat over the weekend, Creator of Elephantmen and Artist of the War Toys story respectively.  This was a quick one to draw, but slowed down at adding the solid blacks.  It’s a little too ‘comic-book’ lighting for me, but I’ll figure it out!