Thursday, 16 April 2015

Waterton Thumbnails

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Thumbnailing a 12 page comic for Wakefield Museum chronicling Charles Waterton, the early years. I'm not working to a definitive script yet so these are based on a very rough synopsis of what the story should contain. They help in pacing the visuals over the 12 pages and even at this scrappy stage help in defining what the characters might look like.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Young Waterton

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I am part of a team working on a comic for Wakefield Museum chronicling the life and times of local lad Charles Waterton. 'The Squire' died 150 years ago this May and was an English naturalist and explorer. He is known for his eccentricities one of which was being chief rat-catcher and fox-taker, "by mutual understanding" while a student at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Revisiting an Old Character

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Timothee Lee was a character from the strip ‘One Man Short’ written by Ben Haggarty and published in The DFC 2008 (ish). He looked nothing like the character I see now.

Friday, 6 March 2015


A mix of nerves and too much sugar. I should know better by now.

Friday, 27 February 2015

New Light Box

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This morning, pen testing and character design using a swiftly delivered A3 Minisun LightPad. For years I've made do with cumbersome, home made light boxes.

The Minisun LightPad works well and may even be a little too bright with plain sheets of 100gsm copier paper. I've read on-line of illustrators using 300gsm watercolour paper with this thing and having no problem seeing the under drawing. There's an in-line switch on the power cable - very handy, no more crawling under the table to switch lamps on and off.

My old 'light box' set up was an old desk lamp under a picture frame, perspex sheet and a salvaged drawing board stand. It worked okay but meant clearing an A2 size space to use it. Light was uneven and not that bright away from the middle.

Toast/coffee, comfy jeans, light pad, preparing for a drawing project. I'm happier than I deserve to be.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Ash Wednesday

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I was thinking of Ash getting given pancake making duty on the Nostromo, runs out of milk substitute and ends up making android milk pancakes. Which by the way are savoury.

By the time I got to thinking that, it wasn't Shrove Tuesday any longer.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Twitter and Facebook #ArtChallenge 2015

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Favourite autobiographical diary pages from the past

I was 'challenged' by different people on the same evening to do the Twitter and Facebook 3X5 #ArtChallenge which seems to be about posting old art work or work in progress for 5 consecutive days. It seems to be slightly different for each of the micro blogging sites and there is no manual it seems but the aim is the same. Thought I would kill two social media birds with one stone and post the same material twice. I went with the work from the past because there are people who are new to what I do and it's always good to remind followers how many times I have been around the illustrating block.

Diary pages for clients

I have been 'illustrating' freelance for 13 years, before that I worked in my teens, twenties and thirties for companies in graphic design/print, community arts, sign manufacture and computer games. While working the day jobs I was also contributing, collaborating and making small press comics and sending sample portfolios to all the major comics publishers. Until recently I was in the frame of mind to throw away, burn and destroy my old work because my new work was where I was at and I hated nostalgia.

Documentation projects

Working with clients has meant me keeping records of work digitally on dvd's and hard drive back ups. Just in case I have to revisit a project, or remember how I went about creating a particular image or increasingly, using past drawing projects to promote my work for the future. Most of my work since 2007 is available to see for free on this blog, selected projects can be seen on my personal web site and work in progress/doodles/sketchbooks can be seen on Facebook, Twitter and my favourite site for posting at the moment, Instagram.

Working and illustrating for writers

There is a lot of comic work from the eighties and nineties that I would have liked to revisit, just for old times sake, the super hero strips that I did for Harrier or the horror anthology strips for Fantaco in particular. But they are gone, I get the briefest of glimpses sometimes if I search the internet hard enough. Maybe they are lost for a reason, I don't work or draw like that any more.

Collaborating with storytellers

Trawling hard drives, curating themes, resizing the images to fit all take time and I'm glad that the fifth and final day has come around. The cynical side of me thinks these challenges are Social Media Companies getting free content hooks to hang their advertising worms from, tasty wriggly visual content. It has been good to revisit these projects and to link, tag and be re-tweeted by friends and clients from the past and to make new networks in the process.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Rigor Mortis

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I watched Hong Kong horror film Rigor Mortis the other night and enjoyed it a lot.
If Zombie Ghost Vampires are your thing then I can recommend it.