Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Whayyy! Illustration Friday. This week it's 'Giant' so naturally I drew a giant sitting on a castle, having a poo?

Had to leave it alone, I got a real feeling of wanting to spend more time on this thing, so much detail to add, things to improve. Oh well at least I got that dam rabbit out of my head.

See you next week maybe?

Monday, 28 June 2010



Hi Illustration Friday posters. Here's my take on 'Satellite'.
If anyone's interested I can submit a step buy step I've saved of the above illustration.
If I get enough comments I'll get it posted!
Looking forward to Friday! :)

Just added a few more details, to the face plate, and extra light source.

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Ok here's the process I went through for this illustration. I'm following a fairly well worn route, that I've kind of researched and discovered.
First thing I normally do is a quick scribble, using the default brush in Photoshop, with Pen Pressure on my Wacom pad set to pressure only on all the default active settings. This seems to create a comfortable pencil mark. I choose a black brush, and usually choose a grey background the tone of this tends to dictate how dark or light I want the whole picture to be. In this case I knew the scene would be underwater, so took it from there. Sometimes as with 'Paisley' I'll try a number of thumbnail drawings and choose the best elements from all of them.

I'm practising my drawing a lot, still trying to get familiar with anatomy, observing stuff, It's always a challenge! The thing I like about Illustration Friday, is that I can try the first thing that springs to mind, and stay relaxed about what I want to do. Telling a story, evoking an idea is a good catalyst for trying other technical challenges such as foreshortening, figure work and so on.
Next I start to think about the over all palette, main colours, and the light source. The main light here is coming from the weird algae thing, green seemed a good idea, so went with that! I generally block colour straight over the pencil.
At this stage I make a judgement call on how to proceed. I decide that since I'm certain how the main light source will work, I'd think about the counter light coming from under the diver. This is exaggerated for effect, and probably wouldn't be that strong in reality. In addition I find this useful for discovering the general shapes and forms on the figure. I've also given some thought to the background, which is just sketched in, notice I try and continue some foreshortening for dramatic effect. Also I've started painting above the pencil layer, so that i can begin blocking it out. I like to leave some showing as this punches out some detail, and when your working quickly gives a good quick result.
Onto the main light source. I use the same default brush set to soft, choose a mid-to darker tone green, and start rendering the lit surfaces. I find using the brush quite big I can get a variety of marks which give a random natural appearance. My confidence is generally growing with this, it's fast encourages you to keep drawing, while painting, and is mostly an interesting and fun process. I also make a quick palette of the colours I'm using, and keep referring to these.
I've flipped the canvas, this often highlights problems with bad drawing, stuff that doesn't work, luckily, for once this looked OK, although had it been for a commission I would of probably spent more time improving the figure, hands and face. The face I struggled with, as it didn't seem to fit in the helmet properly, and so fiddled with it quite a bit longer than I'd of liked. I flip it back, and then flatten the layers out, and begin a new rendering layer on top.
I take a really bright saturated green, paint in the algae thing, a lot brighter than I would normally, and continue the effect across the figure, picking out certain detail on the way. I pay special attention to the helmet and face, certain to get the shapes right. I work up the background using the default brush set to hard edge, again quite big, random pressure and flick in simple shapes to create the effect of Kelp floating around. Oddly I don't spend much time on this, but seem to get a nice natural effect. This is typical for me and shows how on the one hand I need to keep observing and be technicly accurate, but also stay spontaneous and let randomness occur as much as possible.

The final details I add, last minute are additional lighting for the other green algae, small bolts on the helmet, a simple reflection on the visor, air bubbles, fish, and a few wrinkles on the hand, to make them look more like a rubber glove.

There's always more, and as ever decide to abandon the piece, feeling I've learned something from it. Hopefully I can keep improving!

Sunday, 20 June 2010




The Illustration Friday word this week is 'Paisley'.

As usual, I painted the first thing that entered my head. I know it's not safe in there! :)

Thursday, 17 June 2010


This weeks Illustration Friday is 'Ripple'
Well this was fun, but also frustrating and time consuming. Struggled to get the balance right between, effort and end result. Just couldn't leave the figure alone.
Feel free to comment!

Thursday, 10 June 2010


I decided to enter Illustration Friday. This weeks word is 'Trail', so I just painted the first thing that sprang to mind. Thanks Rick for bringing the site to my attention, it's been fun, and I'll try and do some more.

Sunday, 9 May 2010


Saw a young lad on TV last night, his teeth were incredible.

Not sure about the drawing, not exactly Mad Magazine quality. Oh well, keep practising.

Sunday, 2 May 2010


Well I've been doing more sketching, and have started doing some simple blob painting, creating a simple concept from any interesting shapes. This one turned into a weird fish man thing.

I've realised, it's taken me rather a long time to consider that drawing doesn't stop when you start painting. Obvious really, but its something I need to practice constantly.

Hopefully the'll be some more soon. I sure need the practice!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

My first uploads.

These are all from my sketch books. When I'm not falling asleep in front of the telly or playing the latest video game opus, I'll do some sketching.

My formal college training in illustration has led to a very technical approach to sketching and drawing, which has over my working career made me rather less expressive whenever I do have a stab at it.

I started my sketch books last year in an attempt to loosen up a bit. Part of this process included studying the human body, and really understanding how the bones and muscles should be drawn from memory as well as drawing whatever else I saw or came into my head.

It took four months to learn how to draw a full human skeleton and then add all the muscle groups in different positions and articulations. Lots of repetition, over and over, but it has stuck in my brain!

I believe that being able to do this is central to figurative drawing, especially when from the imagination.

Expect more stuff soon, so long as I am not being distracted by that video game!














Hello, well this is my first ever blog.

I've started this in an attempt to encourage me to start uploading personal artwork whether it's just a simple sketch or something more impressive.

Although I work full time as a computer artist, I have rarely taken a bus man's holiday to paint and draw for pleasure.

Now that I've started this blog, my life should and will change. I'll probably start by uploading some sketch book work, and as time goes on will also show some step by steps, and finished stuff. Who knows, hopefully this will be a shop window to my ramblings, failures and innermost thoughts.

Ultimately this will be a journey documenting my desire to become a better established artist with more control over what I choose to do.

Expect something soon :)