Friday, 28 December 2012

Joseph's technicolour milk float...

Very silly I know, but once I'd thought of it I had to see it through. I think there's one more along similar lines... can you guess... no, don't spoil the surprise ;-) Incidentally, this is my first blog post done entirely with an iPad. I used a digital camera as my 'scanner', tweaked contrast of the pencil sketches in snapseed app, composited, edited and coloured in sketchbook pro app and uploaded with the blogger app. It's not photoshop with a scanner but, in a pinch, it's reasonable for a bit of fun. I'm not liking blogger app as much as I could be doing though... a little unintuitive... so now to try and upload... then get some sleep!

Friday, 21 December 2012

technicolour dream goat...

Another month goes by... means another creature over on the group blog a little bit bunny that I share. This month it's goat and, like with my last blog post, I'm still in a colourful rainbow hued mood. Very unlike me (and the last very secular post) I've actually gone a little religious with the theme. Here's a sneak peek as always with the full illustration to be seen over on ALBB. To comment on something that you cannot fully see here... what with the silly season nearly upon us and time in short supply, I've gone for a short and sweet speedy illustration. That said I'm really very happy with the simple line work and overall retro, somehow 1970's children's book / animation feel. It reminds me a little of the black and white line work characters on the superb animated Paddington Bear tv series from my childhood. I still love the way they set a full colour 3D Paddington Bear puppet in a limited colour 2D / not quite 3D world. I think there's one or two more illustrations I really like to do in the same vein as this goat... watch out.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

A very merry Newtonmas (or Isaac's prismatic birthday tree)

That time of the year if fast upon us once again dear folks so here's my secular way of marking the festivities. The short explanation for the image is that December 25th (might) also be said to be Isaac Newton's birthday... the longer explanation, and my similarly inspired card from last year can be found here. For a funnier 'Big Bang' explanation Sheldon explains it more fully than I can ;-)

To slightly elaborate on this years card... Newton ascertained by shining light through glass prisms that white light, far from being colourless, contains all the other colours (just think Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon album cover artwork...). Did you also know that, to experiment on how our eyes function and perceive colour Newton took a bodkin needle, shoved it 'betwixt the eye and the bone' and prodded his own eye ball! I decided that probably wouldn't have been the best thing to show on my card, memorable though it would be.

Physics (and anatomy) lesson over, my very best wishes of the season to everyone and to all a very sparkling new year!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Mr Toad on his way to the wedding...

A friend of mine is getting married next year and wanted a drawing of Mr Toad in his car for the wedding invite. It just so happened I'd already drawn something appropriate (and here) so I just did some recolouring to match their established wedding theme and suggested more hearty shapes in the trees and here he is...

Monday, 3 December 2012

a bit of a troll...

I just snuck my November Troll onto A Little Bit Bunny blog before the deadline (seeing as I suggested troll for the creature of the month I thought I ought to...). Sneek peek here, just his bonce... Bit of an off the cuff, no preplanning troll was this guy. I'd bought the DVD of Troll Hunter all ready to watch the film again for inspiration but just not gotten round to. You must see it. A superb tongue in cheek horror film, refreshingly in a non hollywood, hauntingly beautiful Norwegian setting, that makes use of scandinavian troll myth in it's plot. I still want to do some troll illustrations which reference 'proper trolls' with their glorious names like Ringlefinch, Tosserlad and Mountain King. Till now a fiercely hungry chap under a bridge will do though (a scenario not unlike one in the film...) Watch it!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

might I ask for your vote... it's all in a very good charitable cause...

Well the voting has started on the Pedlar's Product of the Month Mug Design Competition I posted about a couple of weeks back and now I stand, cap in hand, asking if you wouldn't mind popping on over to Facebook (if you're one of those individuals in Mark Zuckerberg's pocket, or perhaps know those who are... ;-) to put your tick next to my 'moon and sun' mug design. Just click hear to go there...

I don't ask just for myself you understand, it all goes to a very good cause. The winner of the competition gets to nominate a charity of their choice who will then receive £1 from every winning mug sold. If I win I've chosen Henshaw's Society for Blind People. To quickly explain, my brother is blind and has been a Henshaw's student and service user for a fair few years now. They really are an excellent, life changing organisation, thoroughly deserving of support!

When you have a spare moment (and if you like the design that is...) I'd really appreciate it if you'd take the time out to vote and perhaps spread the word too... Voting ends December 10th so don't delay. Begging post ends folks.

Ta very, very much!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Staithes seaside screen print in progress...






This links back to a post a couple of months back now about a print design I've been working on (off and on while time allows...). I've posted my research sketches and where I got up to on the design so I can move onward and upward from it. I think part of the reason I wasn't happy to date is I've forced myself to try out the screen print design as a single colour only and I've been feeling frustrated that I cannot do some of the colour mixing tricks I love screen printing for. The design acquired a sort of woodblock print feel to it that I did like, although it's a slight departure from my usual approach. Looking on stuff with fresh eyes a few weeks on really helps. I'm not sure quite how I'll proceed but I still think there is an illustration in there. If picturesque is your bag I suggest checking my previous post (link above) for a photo or google Staithes to see just how overloaded with 'picturesqueness' the place is!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Skyfall caricature... I think...

I saw the rip roaringly excellent Skyfall a few days back and ever since I thought I'd have a crack at a Daniel Craig as James Bond caricature. I've always found caricature a real challenge to step up to, that struggle to distill down to those fleeting key shapes and lines which magically sum up a personality. When you see it done at it's best, like the true master Al Hirschfeld for example, it's a glorious art form, although it's maddening when you try it yourself. I think I'd like to have another go at him, simplify the forms and lines much further, not quite so overworked in the facial features, more geometric perhaps, but I should call it a night... I think there's at least something there but the more I look at it the less he looks anything like Daniel Craig at all! It's like when you keep saying a word, the more you repeat it the less it makes any sense... then it gradually begins to sound absurd! A fun quick exercise though. And I highly recommend the film!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

gorilla doodles...

I've had these lying round the desk for days... hate them to go to waste. Still stuck on the primates... they're just so much fun!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

rude orangutan...


I've orange things on my mind at the moment it seems... The rude chap is a quick doodle loosely based on a photo from the grand Monkey Portraits by Jill Greenberg. Then I couldn't resist having a little play pushing things further...

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

do I look like a mug to you...?!

I've been working on an illustration for a "Product of the Month" design competition run by Pedlars homeware shop. They stock some very nice limited run prints and, from time to time, get some terrific and surprising original products for sale... when they're gone they're gone kinda thing... For the first month of the competition it's design a 2 colour mug. Just a bit of fun, plus sales from the winning mug go to the winners chosen charity, so something for everyone.

I've opted to submit the orange and brown colour way (the white comes from the mug itself) but, in an ideal world, I think it'd be nice to have a pair, one in warm and one in cool colours. I'll be sure and post when voting starts on the competition...


I'll also get some more artwork from this design which will hopefully lend itself to a screen print sometime soon (I know... I keep on saying I'll be printing... ... just want to amass a few designs before I start mixing costly short shelf life photo emulsions and messing up the pace...). The moon character is also a bit of a character design experiment for a something else I'm working on when time allows. It's not quite there yet but I live in hope... Cheers!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Darth Disney...

What can we expect as a result of Disney spending it's pennies on Lucasfilm... ? Might it give us 'new hope' that a worthy star wars sequel film could come about...? My initial hopes aren't high I must admit...although I hate to criticise anyone's creative endeavours before they are finished. Live in hope while enjoying the original trio of films.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Sunday, 21 October 2012

another stab at the elephant's tusk


I don't know why I didn't do this before... couldn't let it alone, those earlier tusks just started to bother me!

pachyderms for cup o doodle blog...


It's been far too long since I last took Don Flores up on his invitation to join the glorious Cup O'Doodle blog and submitted a 'flamencoing' gorilla of sorts... Today I finally pulled my finger out and along with it out came 4 elephants too! I had to exercise artistic license on some of the tusk pacement... but that's half the fun isn't it...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Zombie Chimps!!!



Another month, another animal for A Little Bit Bunny Blog. Hooray, as the chosen creature is a chimpanzee I get to draw more primates, and, as Halloween is almost upon us once again (jeepers, already...!?) I thought I'd tick two boxes with one illustration. I don't know what you'd best call one these chaps; zompanbie, zompanbee, zhompanbee, zhompanbie, zhimpanbie, zhimpanbee, zompanzee... I could go on alllll day! As always, just sketches and a sneak peek of the final illustration here. Pop on over to ALBB for the final horror. Happy Halloween Folks!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Red Bull Stratos... waitin' on the weather...

Like so many other folks I've been eagerly following developments over on the Red Bull Stratos site and Felix Baumgartner's awe inspiring attempt to break the world altitude record for a parachute jump from 120,000 feet, and in so doing also be the first person to break the sound barrier in free fall! I'd have loved to have been around in 1969 and stayed up for the Apollo moon landings, and, for me, this one small step into the void captures something of that giant leap for mankind. So I tuned in to watch yesterday's live feed of the mission. It was disappointing to have the things delayed because winds were too strong for his gigantic, yet incredibly delicate, helium balloon to take to the skies. Better safe than sorry though. Fingers crossed for a safe and successful attempt this sunday. To whet the appetite why not watch the equally awe inspiring current record holder, Joe Kittinger's 1960 free fall from 102,800 feet! Till then I thought I'd mark events in my own humble little way (the balloon isn't to the correct scale of course...).

Saturday, 6 October 2012

pencil gorilla...

I'd forgotten just how much fun I have drawing primates...I find it curiously therapeutic.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

fat sharpie gorilla sketch

I battled with a 'much too fat for my liking' sharpie pen today and doodled this chap... I quite like him.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

an ahool...



Just in the nick of for this months a little bit bunny creature here is an ahool... ... ... yup, I didn't know what one it is either, or maybe that should be, what one might be, given it fails under the heading of cryptid (and if you don't know what that is... here you go... good old wikipedia). I opted for the flying primate angle (I never miss the opportunity for drawing primates of all shapes and sizes) and, as the ahool is supposed to be from the Javan rain forests I loosely based my creature on the Silvery Gibbon (Hylobates moloch) which hails from those parts. Sadly, like so many species, it's fallen foul of deforestation and the bushmeat trade and is now on the endangered list. Quite an eye opening education, this months ALBB submission... As always just a sneak peek of the final illustration... pop onto ALBB for a whole ahool.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Albanian jet fighter exchange...


Bit out of left field (or should that be iron curtain...) this blog post, but I'll try and cut a long story short... A few weeks back I was pleased to be approached by the amazingly talented dutch photographer Arthur Mebius about a stylised concorde graphic I did way back in 2008 (gawd bless the internet, nothing gets thrown away...). Arthur wanted to arrange for use of my concorde design in a project he is currently working on (I hope I can post about it at a future date...). Well, long story short (too late), being a bit of a aircraft nut from my childhood I was really impressed with some of Arthur's photographs, especially some of derelict Albanian Mig fighter jets at an airbase called Kucova. I recall also seeing them on an episode of Top Gear does Albania once too (4 mins in... I hope I'm not as boring a geek as James May on this !). So much did I like them I suggested coming to some arrangement and we sorted out a Mig swap... one of Arthur's Mig photos for prints of a couple of mig designs (one and two) I also did in 2008. Then Arthur sweetens the exchange with a few more photographic goodies so I felt I should add to the pot... loooong story not at all short..... hence this painting. I had real fun on it too!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Staithes and gulls galore...





I went on holiday last month to a grand little fishing village on the east coast of Britain called Staithes. The place has already been photographed, painted and printed more than most, but not to let that stop me I thought I'd work it up into a print design too and see what happens. Gulls pretty much rule the roost there (as I can attest to with more than one sleepless night!), "mine...mine...mine" is spot on, so they are going to have to feature pretty heavily in the illustration, hence I'm trying to get them right before I go on. And now my sketch book is covered in gull sh*t !

cymbals chimp warm up sketch...

Couldn't get enough of the chimp with cymbals in Toy Story 3. You cannot buy them for love nor money!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

RIP Mr Armstrong... and some unrelated muppets...

I sketched this a couple of weeks back on the sad news of the death of Neil Armstrong. How irritating it must have been for him to have had his whole life defined by that short period of time he lived out in 1969...? It still fascinates me, and I admit I would have found it hard to have met him and not asked all about the moon landing. And don't ask why I've included my favourite muppets (Statler & Waldorf)... ... they just happened to already have been on that sheet of paper. Could you imagine what the Muppets would have done with "special guest star... Mr. Neil Armstrong... yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaay!"

Friday, 7 September 2012

I couldn't sleep...

Ever have one of those nights were things are just bouncing round inside your head and you cannot switch off...? I gave up around 1am, switched on the light and drew this in the note book I keep by the bed for just such moments.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

shark sketches... der dum...der dum... da da da da...





Apparently the collective noun for sharks is a shiver, school or slew... so here's my shiver of shark sketches (and a couple of photos I took; a hammerhead head in a Whitby fish shop and a patriotic jubilee wooden shark in a pub in The Lake District)... all in aid of this months submission to A Little Bit Bunny. As always I've shown a little peek of the final creature. I think my shark has lost something from the initial sketches (often the way when you over work something and loose the spontaneity) but there is definitely a screen print design in this.

The main starting point for my stylised 'flip top head' shark came from a picture book idea I had back in 2007 for a wayward young octopus. I've been waiting for an opportunity to revisit the toothy villan, and I took the chance to add a few more teeth!