Sunday, 29 July 2007

Work in progress

This is a work in progress for a character portrait. I photographed some great gravestone textures the other day and they inspired me. I had this idea that they would make really good textures in a painting. You know how these digital artists are always throwing textures of this and scans of that over their pictures. Anway I kept imagining this painting of a lady's face using these stone textures. Well this is the start of it. There is a long way to go and I haven't put any textures on yet. That will be for later.

There are alot of problems with this so far, no least of which is the lady's face. I need to find some good reference for the anatomy and the lighting. As I'm sure you can tell this was done without either. So that is the next step. Hopefully the next few posts will see the transformation of this into a really great pic.... yeah right!

Thursday, 19 July 2007


The Red Baron's machine gun fire strafes the Britsh plane!!

This as you may have guessed is another frame from my WW1 storyboard. I think it is ok. I'm not sure it goes stylistically with the last one. The clouds are a bit too painterly. I got a bit bored doing the arial view of the ground visible through the clouds. Anyway I enjoyed doing it but must speed up. Sarah says they are too detailed for storyboards but I don't agree. Storyboards come in all shapes and sizes, depending on purpose, time etc As these are promotional ones, so I need them to be good. However I do need to be able to deliver this level of drawing (whatever that is) in the time frame of the job, if I'm being paid. I can't spend two hours on each frame and then expect to deliver 20 - 40 frames in a day. Something I've done before. But I suppose I need to be able to say to clients what the drawings will be like given the number of drawings and how quickly they want them done. God I'm so boring waffling on like that, sorry.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Achtung Englander!

Hi this is another frame from my WW1 dogfight sequence. I am quite pleased with it but it took me far too long. Anyway it started pretty badly so I'm pleased to have got it looking as good as this. I'm not sure about the blur on the propeller, I think that it is a little distracting, but I do think that the eye is drawn to th pilot so maybe it works ok.

Good and bad news this week. I got called about a storyboarding job - Goodnews. I had to turn it down as I was too busy with work - Bad news. She'll probably never call again. This was from a mail out I did months ago. I must get another one out soon. I really think that I can get this storyboarding to work as a second string type of thing. If we hadn't been so busy I might have been able to sneak off and met her but I just couldn't get away as I had 2 drawings to finish for the set. Anyway a inflow is an inflow and she obvioulsy didn't think my drawings were complete crap. Which is nice.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

World War 1

Hi, this is a frame - the first one I've drawn but not the first frame if you know what I mean - in a stroryboard I am drawing (going to draw) of a First World War dog fight between a British and German plane. I think it could be an exciting sequence, but quite hard to draw. I've collected some WW1 aircraft referecence off the net so am all set to go. I think I may just draw some images that excite me and then create a sequence from that, rather than slavishly thinking about a sequence from a to b. I have certain shots I would like to draw and then I'll try and link these togther. I may work we'll see. The great thing about working on the computer is that you can easly turn a little doodle into a finished piece of work.

I am also going to enter a storyboard competition that Corel (the makers of Painter) are running. I got a newsletter from them, something I normally just glance at before bining, but this item caught my attention. There are three scripts and I think you have to pick a scene from one and storyboard it. The competition will be judged by professionals from the industry. I bet one of them will be Dan Milligan, he is a storybaording hero of mine who does all his work in Painter. He is one of the artists the Corel us in thier Painter X promtions so I'm sure he'll be judgeing. I think the deadline is sometime in November so lots of time not to do anything about it then panic the night before and do some awful scribbles. No that won't happen this time!

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Space Girl Reborn

Cliched Space Girl is back and this time she's looking good. Well at least better. I had another idea of how to do this picture and started doing some marker sketches yesterday which went pretty badly. I gave up but then sat down and did one more sketch with pencil. I turned out much better than I had expected. I don't know if it was just because I had more control with the pencil than with markers or that I had warmed up a bit. Anyway I went to bed yestrday feeling ok about it. I wanted to post it but my scanner is at work.

Today looking over the marker sketches again it seemed to me that they had a certain energy that was lacking in the pencil sketch. I had intended to bring my scanner home, but having forgotten I decided to sketch over one of the marker sketches on my wacom tablet as a way of bringing it into Painter. I then work on it in painter and the result is posted above. I know there are loads of problems with the drawing, for instance I think her left leg might be dislocated! Those aside however I would like to push this drawing onto a colour one in a comic book style. I need to do alittle research into inking styles. But that is for another time.

Saturday, 7 July 2007


Painter X Oil brushes, I'm not sure how long 2.5 hrs approx. I'm quite pleased with this one. I know there are lots of problems with it, the colours are wrong for a start and the proportions are off, but something is starting to happen. It is at least begining to look like a painting and there is something of the likeness. I am glad I stuck at it. In fact I could have kept on fiddlling with it but it is now 1.30 and I need to get to bed.

It started off pretty rubbish, I just couldn't get anywhere near the skin tones and I nearly gave up, but I think that perseverance has paid off. I certainly feel that I have learnt something. I am not sure what exactly but it proves that you have to allow the reality of the painting to build before you give up on it, and that is much easier with digital oils, they don't need to dry! What I mean is that the highlights are never going to be highlights while there is still white canvas visible, it takes quite a while for the tonal range of the painting to get established (I don't think it is quite right in this painting - the darks could probably be darker) and you can't rush into the detail. That is the fun part that comes at the end. Anyway enough waffle I'm off to bed.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

From bad to worse

What can I say. Things are not going well with Space Girl. I've really not got the hang of the painting thing yet. I know that I don't do it often enough and yet expect to turn out a Leonardo, but this really is pretty shitty. She looks like all the kind of amatuerish paintings I hate. I know she's not finished and I've probably spent far to long worrying about the face when I should be working across the whole image. Also this is being done without any reference at all, which doesn't help.

I suppose I should crack on there is so much more to do. I don't know if I can face finishing Space Girl or whether I should try something else. It would probalby best for me to try and take Space Girl to a done, then at least I might learn something rather than just give up when things get difficult. I think I'll try and get some reference images togther and try to proceed from there. Who knows something magical might happen......I can't wait! That is sarcasm by the way.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Looking at the lady.

Looking at her now in the cold light of the office, I can see that her face looks much to long. I know some people do have long faces, but I think hers is too long. She looks almost feline, although cats aren't know for there long faces. Anyway it is something I wil have to look at.

I'll have to compare her with the original, she looks liek she has been streched.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Cliche Space Girl

When in doubt draw a girl with a gun. Seems to work for most SF artists. This is a WIP as you can see. Helpful comments from wife include "Is it a transexual?" I have altered the face somewhat since that, so I hope she is looking more feminine. I suppose I spent about an hour on this in Painter. I may try and push it a lttle further and start painting it rather than carrying on with the line work. Don't know, but must keep on. She is in fact a three quater picture but I have cropped out the rest as this is the best bit i.e. most finished. From that you can probably guess what the rest looks like!

Monday, 2 July 2007

First Picture

Hi this is the first picture I've posted. Not particularly exciting, but it is a test just to see how the picture posting thing works really.

Don't worry it's not me. I'm not that handsome. No serioulsy, it's just some bloke that I doodled out of my head yesterday while playing with my tablet and Painter X, instead of doing some storyboards.

I'll do something proper tomorrow.

My First Post

Well this is my first post on my first blog. Bet everyone writes something like that. The purpose of this blog is to get me drawing. I was inspired by Mike Manley's blog (he is the editor of Draw! magazine which is a brilliant and inspiring publication for comic book artists) which I came across by chance. He is posting drawings almost daily and I thought I should do that. Like most things I start, it will probably fall by the wayside but I'm going to give it a go.

I don't really expect anyone to read this, it is more for me really. My wife says do I have to be so negative.

I am currently working as an Art Director in tv, but yearn to get into feature films, write/draw a comic, write a novel, direct a film and lean to paint like Rembrant.

Well I suppose I had better get on.