Monday, February 28, 2011

Tales of the Spiffing

As I've mentioned a few times on my blog, I've done a lot of work for Aardman Features over the last three years, designing characters for their upcoming 'Pirates!' movie.

I was having a couple of months off last summer, when Ashley Boddy and J.P.Vine assembled a group of artists to work on a comic anthology called 'Tales of the Spiffing: Comics from the Sceptered Isle'. But then someone dropped out, or they had not enough pages or something, and the day before it was due to go to print, Ashley asked if I fancied making a contribution.

I tried to do a very, very quick comic, it all went to pot and I was in a big huff in my studio. So I ended up adapting an existing image to fit the book, and that's what's appeared in the anthology. Not a comic by me. Just a picture.

But there are lots of lovely comics by other talented artists, all of whom are either employed by Aardman, do contract work for Aardman or have worked freelance on one of their projects recently. Ashley's set up a blog with some preview images and a Paypal link for anyone who wants to get their grubby hands on a copy..... click the image above to be whisked away to the 'Sceptered Isle'!

And Ashley says I can do a comic next time. So I will. If he remembers. Now that I've finished with all the 'Pirates!' work, and I don't go there anymore. I think I'll keep popping in and annoying everyone, so he doesn't forget.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Will Gallows & the Snake-Bellied Troll

Ooops! I missed this one! 'Will Gallows and the Snake-Bellied Troll' by Derek Keilty was published on 3rd February by Anderson Press.

There's a cover by me, with black and white interior illustrations too. There are quite a few full-page illustrations, plus a bunch of vignettes. The author also added a few smaller illustrations of his own.

Here's the artwork for the cover...

Some of the interior illustrations were sketched out on paper, some were sketched directly in Photoshop CS5. And I did some character sketches early on in the process, one of which made it as a vignette in the book, the not-so-pleasant Sherifff Slugmarsh. Here's the original pencil sketch...

And the 'inked' in CS5 version...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Imagine FX no.067... Steampunk!

It's been a while since I did any work for Imagine FX, but editor Claire Howlett emailed me before Christmas asking if I fancied creating a workshop looking at Painter's brushes. I use Painter 11 for most of my work, coupled with Photoshop CS5, so with an open brief, how could I resist??

I did a painting based on one of my favourite Victorian photographs, Isambard Kingdom Brunel standing in front of the launching chains of the Great Eastern. I've been itching to use this photograph as the starting point for a steampunk painting, and this was my chance.

In my spare moments, I've been developing this character for a personal project and it was great to have an excuse to spend a bit of time on him. He's been the subject of various sketches and notes for the last few years, but a very busy schedule has held me back. With a bit of luck and some more time, he may yet see print in the not-so-distant future....

So if anyone's interested in Painter's brushes, my wafflings or just following the process on one of my digital paintings, go and get yourself a copy of the March 2011 issue of 'Imagine FX'!