Monday, 14 December 2009

Banner Sketches For 2010...

New banner sketches and designs for the next set destined for the Belle Vue area of Wakefield. The images are taken from suggestions, ideas and memory's by residents and community members. The drawings are based on my photographs, except for the steam train. The area had a strong link with trains and in the past employed a lot of people at 'The Sheds', sadly no more but still a strong memory in the Belle Vue area.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

The Paper Cinema...

I have just got back from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park after seeing The Paper Cinema. A brilliant lo tech mix of drawing, projection and live music. Nic Beard is the illustrator responsible for the inky drawings, the stories on display today are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Lost World' (Dinosaurs, Explorers and big bad Apes, 'what's not to like') and a self penned imaginative story 'Night Flyer' with bicycles, trains and lost love. I was transfixed and can now watch close ups of ink drawings all day long if necessary.

Friday, 4 December 2009

New Moon...

I watched Moon on DVD last week, by far the most interesting and captivating film I've seen in a long time. Sam Rockwell carries off the roll/s with grace and I liked the difference from Solaris, ( and Defying Gravity and 2001: A Space Odyssey) in that it's not a superior alien intelligence creating space mirages, which is kind of what the trailer alludes too. And the sound track by Clint Mansell is excellent too. Damn, have probably ruined it for anyone who wants to see it without spoilers. Rent it now.

Thursday, 26 November 2009


Detail from a Christmas card design for The Faceless Company. I don't want to spoil the image by showing too much here, enough to say that that Snowman will never smell carrot in the same way again. In the mean time we're off to Keswick for a short break with parents over the next few days. Time to mooch, eat, drink and draw, hopefully avoiding flood water and disaster.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Babel On...

Not strictly part of my Horror Film watching over the Halloween period but I did watch Babel and it was horrific. I admired the storytelling, but like the previous two films in the trilogy, (Amores Perros & 21 Grams) it left me feeling depressed. I guess its the randomness of fate and destruction of lives which gets me down, my drawing is of the two Moroccan brothers on the hill side about to release the near fatal bullet which connects the film's stories.

Horror Films 03 The RUINS...

When I went to Blockbusters for my 'Five for £5' deal this was the only Horror Film I could find on the shelf that I haven't seen. After watching the trailer I had low expectations of this twisted tale of tequila fueled young people seemingly hunted down by... an ancient Mayan Temple. Low expectations indeed. The film delivers on all fronts and has genuinely queasy body 'invasion' moments. Sympathy for the victims emerge when you realise there is no way out from the scenario, even when they do what you think they should do if it was you caught in the same situation. Digging a bit deeper into the history of the film, it comes from a 'Best Seller' Novel, Dreamworks and Ben Stiller... see what the horror hides.

Horror Films 02 HALLOWEEN 1&2...

I watched both these movies via the BBC iPlayer where they look old and not really that scary and the prototype for nearly every horror film from America since? I might have seen them on release and remember then thinking, nothing seems to happen. Late into the night I endured the hammy acting and seventies tank tops that is until the last few minutes of Halloween 2 which actually got good and then it sank in, this is a slasher movie. Michael Myers surely has the smallest knife bestowed upon a movie zombie villian. Ever.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Horror Films 01 SHROOMS...

Part of my Halloween celebrations involved, as well as eating huge homemade vege pies, chips and mushy peas, watching scary films. Over the next few days I'll show you drawings from the ones I watched. Today I start off with the twisted tale of mushroom fueled young people seemingly hunted down in a spooky wood.... SHROOMS.

I do like fantasy and horror films. They are the home of invention and ideas because people expect so little from them, that is where the pleasure lies. When something surprises you whether an idea or an image, that is when the film lifts you off the sofa and into their universe. Films, especially fantasy and horror films employ a lot of creative artists and it's usually from that that aspect I am looking at how the film works. I don't get scared at what I'm seeing, be it galleons of gore or the soul of a child haunting an orphanage, I'm too busy working out how they did it, why it works. Saying that the trend for endurance torture a few years ago (Wolf Creek, Hostel etc ) did make me feel queasy... and a bit bored.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Graveyard Cat...

Little cat seen in the graveyard as I went on my way into town.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

October Doodles 01

These are pages from one of my sketchbooks I'm drawing in at the moment. Playing with Pitt Grey Tone Brush Pens and HB pencils and flicking through a music mag for interesting faces. I am not trying to reproduce faces but get into their character more than anything, and the MOJO magazine I'm flicking through is great for this, they seem to have a lot of photos of older faces with beards and character lines.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Watch Out... WEREWOLVES!

It's that time of year again...

Monday, 28 September 2009

The Accidental Animals...

Recently received a printed copy of The Accidental Animals with my illustrations decorating the covers and insides.

Book Production

I was sorting out my paper work from 'The Accidental Animals' on the studio floor the other day and thought you might be interested in this. By no means a representation of all the work that goes into making a publication but I think it gives some idea of my process.

The publisher wanted to work in a specific way which meant producing images from a synopsis, the writer (Natasha) then wrote the text around the guts of the book. I remember hearing once that this is how Marvel Comics were produced. Some of the illustrations used in the book are on the back of the sheets shown above. I like to draw in the moment and not worry about presentation. That's what computers were invented for.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Horned Tomato...

Sample from our crop of tomatoes this year. If you squint hard enough you might just see the eyes of the well known comic character Hellboy staring back at you.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Accidental Animals...

Ah - Ha! Have just got back from five days in sunny Spain, (I'll show some photos of that a bit later on). The day before Helen and I went away I'd finished doing the illustrations and book design for a 28 page children's book called 'The Accidental Animals'. Hopefully to be published real soon. Here is a sneak preview...

Copyright © John Welding & The Faceless Company 2009

Friday, 21 August 2009

Jim Cameron's Avatar...

I admired Jim Cameron's work on the Terminator Films, Aliens 2 and The Abyss. He had an aesthetic that was way ahead of his time for a young lad growing up in Milton Keynes. His use of colour palettes is always inspiring. From the trailer, his new film Avatar, looks to be more in Cameron's science fiction mode than recent documentary offerings. Which is good?
The Avatar CGI gives the film a 'video game' look. The lithe 'aliens' teenage athletic perfection pandering to an ever decreasing discerning cinema audience and perfect for the manufacturers toy and game tie-ins . That's the way creative cinema works, right? it has to be profitable. The trailer left me feeling that I was being given something that I secretly wanted, a guilty pleasure.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

I'm falling Apart

A disaster prone week of teeth , toenails and burnt food.

Blackberries Harvested

Saturday, 15 August 2009

A Sunny Day Out...

Had a lovely day out in Leeds, with Dette and Helen. After eating at Hansa's we ended up at the 'Nation of Shopkeepers'. I've avoided live music, because of my tinnitus really, it sounds like white noise to me. Loud doesn't mean listenable. Two pints of Erdinger had numbed me enough to look at what was going on in the corner and I rather enjoyed it, for a few minutes, then I had to go and sit outside. The drummer was being intense, the keybords were loose and the vocalist sounded like Frank out of Donnie Darko, I mean that as a compliment. Ah, to be young again.


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Misshearing the Radio...

Drawing book layouts and listening to the radio. The scientist didn't say exactly what I thought she said.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Wine Glass Drawing...

Baby Bird...

This little fella has been visiting the back door and today hung around long enough for me to grab my camera.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


Dave Morris is right, the plunger and gun are on the wrong sides in the previous blog entry, damn! I was too busy moving elements to gett the symmetry of the beast in the background right. Originally the Dalek eye was pointing the same way as it's torso, I wanted to create a sense of movement and confusion in the Dalek so 'flipped' the head horizontally in Photoshop. These sketches show the original sketchbook idea and the composite I was to trace for the final drawing.
The image flipped back again to get the plunger and gun in the right place.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Drawing Daleks...

My first Dalek drawing can hopefully be seen on the 'Exdrawminate' blog. My second drawing above of the Dalek and Cthulhu nightmare is just one of those images that came to me, one eyed squirmy things from the abyss. I have an idea for a third drawing involving Captain Jack Harkness draped over the front plunger of a Dalek, 1950's horror poster style, but, you know, it's just an idea.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

DaM Sketchbook...

More doodles from the story I am working on in the background. These are done in pen and ink and ink wash and I love the immediacy of drawing direct.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

July in the Studio...

I have been using a black Pental Colour Brush pen and finding refills has been a bit tricky as suppliers only seem to stock and sell the entire pen unit. I looked on the internet for ways of refilling the ink cartridge and using a syringe seemed to work for some people. I tried this and discovered Pascal's Law... brute force prevailed and I managed to get a few drops of ink inside the cartridge to keep it going. Messy, yes, but I am going to perservere with recycling my ink cartidges until I find a suitable supplier.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

The 456

Following on from the Torchwood post yesterday, I got to thinking how the BBC have succeeded in terrorising generations of Kids. I loved the 456 and the 'less is more' way of showing them/it shrouded in toxic fumes. 'Less is more' is good when it comes to imagination and of course sci-fi programme budgets. I scoured the Internet looking for pictures of what the 456 might look like and after half an hour gave up. So here is a drawing of what I think the tick like parasites might look like behind those fumes.

NB. Over time, clearer photos appeared on line of the 456 showing how woefully off my version was. 

Friday, 10 July 2009


I really enjoyed Torchwood this week. Horror and laughs and politics. These sketches are composited from my sketchbook and kind of show my favourite bits from the show, Captain Jack's rejuvenation, Gwen's speech to camera asking "where are the heroes" and the horror of the 456 using kids as drugs. The politicians came off worst, I wanted the Prime Minister to rally an army of elite soldiers and hidden tech against the alien threat, instead of taking the path of least resistance like tepid water.