Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Remember ‘The Battle of Wakefield’…

BoW Ad

The Battle of Wakefield exhibition is still on at Wakefield Museum. It’s had great reviews and plenty of foot fall, escape the madness of the shopping centre for and hour or two and pay a visit. It’s free and on at the Museum until Jan 29 2011. (As with most things in this chaotic weather it’s best to check if the Museum is open first before making a long journey).

Work in Progress

Soldier Jack 01
This is what I’m working on at the moment and into early next year. A series of images for story teller Ben Haggarty based on a story he tells called… but that would be telling just a little too much at this stage.

An A5 Biro drawing scanned at high resolution with digital colouring and textures over the top. Having used pencil for awhile it’s nice to get back to something that is a bit more inky. Biro gives a softer line than a dip pen or marker pen and drawing direct onto  layout paper is easier if a bit of redrawing is required. I’m not a puritanical Biro purest like some people out there in internet land but I can see how it could lure you in. Being able to ‘feel’ a drawing as you make it has many benefits and is just down right enjoyable too.

Lucifer’s Boots!

Cordwainer 01
Cordwainer 02
Cordwainer 03
The Cordwainer is down on his luck in the economic climate of early 19th Century and in a fit of desperation, late into the night, calls forth Lucifer who ties him into a deal tighter than an eight hole lace up boot.
These are details from a series of illustrations to go with a short story called Lucifer’s Boots featuring ‘The Cordwainer of Scarletwell Street’. Written by my good amigo Justin Neal for a shoe manufacturer based in Northampton who has some lovely gothic looking shops around the UK. The plan is to publish the story in the style of an old penny broad sheet, with the story and illo’s on one side and a big picture of ‘Lucifer’ to watch over you all, on the other.
Images are copyright © John Welding and Justin Neal 2010.

Monday, 13 December 2010


Mary Monster 01
Doodle done with a biro whilst scanning another image in at Hi-Res image for a banner display. With my scanner humming away I’m thinking of another story I’m working on at the moment, trying to nail one of the characters I posted on Friday. This is Mary, she’s playing at being a unnameable creature to confound The Devil and… uh  - oh scanners finished scanning in at 1200Dpi, time to get back to that banner display.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Friday Already

A sketch from a storyboard I’m illustrating at the moment, panel 26. Digitally darkened from a pencil drawing in a Moleskine sketchbook.  The extreme Weather of late is getting better, a heady 10 degrees on Agbrigg Road, which is melting the ice so it’s even more hazardous to walk on. Has to get worse before it gets better. Went into Leeds to attempt my first stab at proper Christmas shopping and failed. Came home with a headache and a copy of Mesmo Delivery Service… for ME!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

December SketchCrawl

Dec SketchCrawl

December SketchCrawl was at Wakefield Cathedral. Spent time with a few others looking at the carvings and bits of sculpture that adorn the insides.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Work in Progress…

WiP 01Screen shot of what I’m working on right now. Colouring ‘flats’ and listening to Fever Ray.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Prep Sketch

Cordwainer02Preparation sketch for a short story  illustration. Drawn in a Moleskine sketch book I will scan this then print it out larger as the template for the finished pencil drawing. Composition is important at this stage. The ominous shadow to the right balancing with the Cordwainer lost in his work on the left. I‘m thinking of making more of the bottle of wine on his work bench, to suggest he may be drunk, no such luck. The candle is also important and will have to be bigger, this is casting shadows and illuminating the image from inside.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Old Hag Spat

Cordwainer and Hag Detail
Detail from another project I am working on but don’t want to say too much just yet. This is a close up from a series of drawings for a  story set in London and the ‘Cordwainer’ community.

Ten Details…

Portebello Banner DetailsFrom ten banner designs. Have finished the large scale artwork and awaiting the final go ahead to send the artwork off to be printed on large sheets of PVC weather proof material.  This is for a project celebrating the heritage of a Wakefield area, that 550 years ago was the site of the Battle of Wakefield.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Battle of Wakefield 1460 Comic Strip

A very brief telling of one of the bloodiest War of the Roses battles that went down in Wakefield 1460.

The comic strip was originally designed for large scale display at the Old Wakefield Museum (The Mechanics Institute building) on Wood Street, hence the tiny looking font. 

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Let the Battle Commence!

BoW 06

Saturday saw the official opening of ‘The Battle of Wakefield Exhibition’ at Wakefield Museum. It was a great afternoon with live medieval entertainment in and around the exhibits and my comic strip, the reaction to which was very favourable. Big sigh of relief all around. My main concern was people would think it trivialised the war, to the contrary it was mentioned more than once, just how accessible it made the subject.

The opening garnered a few inches in the local press with some lovely big photographs. When you enter you are asked to take sides. That of the Yorkist’s or that of the Lancastrian’s. After spending time researching and drawing this strip, I would take the side of the Lancastrians in protecting their land, families and wealth. With the economic landscape of the UK in turmoil this week it shows just how little has changed in 550 years.

I am still struggling to get a decent set of photographs of the comic strip work insitu but my time is taken working on another project which needs to be wrapped up soon, for the sake of my sanity. It’s another set of BIG banners for Wakefield and even with my RAM and software upgrades it’s pushing the limits of my home computer set up. Looking forward to working at a smaller, more human scale sometime in the near future.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

First Look at ‘The Battle of Wakefield Exhibition’

Wakefield Museum 01
The Battle of Wakefield Exhibition at Wakefield Museum opened today and even with my critical eye, I must admit, the comic strip looks good. The pencil line and digital colouring has held up to being enlarged and the speech bubbles are crisp and easy to read. I like what the design team have done on the outside too, using the colouring flats as silhouettes to illustrate the text based pieces. This is something I hadn’t thought of but boy, it works well.
As always, it’s difficult to get a good photo, museum lighting is 40Watts of archival darkness at the best of times. Will try to remedy that in the next few weeks and get some nice photos made.

Wakefield SketchCrawl

SketcCrawl SketchBook Oct 2010 02

Today is also a SketchCrawl day. A day for people around the Globe to take time out a with pen and paper and crawl around their neighbourhood together. A modest few of us got together today to do Wakefield and I had a great time. The dread at drawing in public again was soon conquered by the simple act of doing it. I also came to the realisation that I enjoy drawing people more than I do buildings, from the comfort of a Cafe Table.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Old Nag

old hag drawing

Up late into the night trying to get my head around a drawing brief. Self doubt sets in.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


Portobello Banners
Using a light table to redraw part of a Banner design.

October Sketch Book

Sketchbook October 2010 B

It’s been awhile since I have written anything. I have been busy drawing things that I’m not allowed to reveal, just yet. Moving from one project to another with the speed of a mouse. Even with breaks scheduled in I am looking forward to a time when I have only the one thing to think about. That’ll be Christmas then!

We are in the month of Halloween, my favourite time of year. The pages above are from my recent sketchbook, trying to break away from all the pencil work I have been doing. It seems to have worked as all I want to do is get back to drawing with a pencil.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Exhibition Flyer and Poster

Exhibition Flyer copy
16th October 2010 – Just over two weeks away, I can’t wait.

Battle of Wakefield Detail

BoW Page 06 Detail 02
Detail from the Battle of Wakefield comic Strip.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Battle of Wakefield Museum Poster

BoW Poster
Picked a few of these up the other day from the Museum design team, poster and flyers for the Battle of Wakefield. Better get on and finish the comic strip which is going in to the display.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Colouring Detail

BoW Page 01 Detail
From the first page of the Battle of Wakefield comic strip. I decided to go digital after a lot of trial and error. Even with the water colouring technique which I had planned for the strip, it meant digitally tweaking each frame to get a good effect. I showed the first page to my partner and artist Helen, who knows a lot more about colouring than I ever will, and she liked the digital art more than my feeble water colouring.
BoW Page 01 Detail 02
These are the same pencils with a watercolour wash over the top. Okay, but this is the most successful of the panels and it only has shades of blue, imagine what happened when I introduced brown into the muddy mix.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Last Page Battle Scene

BoW Page 4B Temp
So, Richard takes his small (ish) band of men into merry hell and against all odds, dies. Overwhelmed by sheer numbers. His head is removed and put on public display at Micklegate in York. This is a Lo Res test for the colouring, which is next. Some of it works, some, like the motion blur at the bottom, does not.

Monday, 30 August 2010

“Lets Get This Over With”

Page 4A

The Duke rallying his men for a ‘quick’ skirmish beyond the Castle walls, over confident in his martial abilities and strategic position maybe? While forces loyal to the Lancastrians have infiltrated his troops and are getting ready to turn what might have been a bit of sport into a political and physical BLOODBATH.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

The Lancastrians Are Coming...

BoW Page 3B
A grey foggy winter scene. Richard at the top of Sandal Castle with his son and other Nobles, viewing the first of the estimated 15,000 Lancastrians to arrive.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Quiet Before The Storm

BoW Page 3A

It’s the dead days between Christmas and New Year’s eve 1460, castle business goes on apace keeping up with the influx of Richard’s men. The Duke of York in the forge is having his armour adjusted to accommodate his recent good living when suddenly the Earl of Salisbury bursts in. “VIENE TORMENTA!”

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Christmas Time Already

feast Scene

Pencils for a half page banquet scene. There is going to be a fair bit of writing  here hence the large areas of texture. I tried to make this as accurate as possible, but it got a little boring, so I played around with the room layout. Whether a room like this would have existed is hard to tell, so this is my best guest with reference to hand and a bit of drawing ‘voodoo’ thrown in for good measure. Drawn with a 2B pencil and then the contrast upped a bit to get the chiaroscuro effect from the candles.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Richard Loses That Damn Hat–Hurrah!

Page 2A
Duke of York with a funny medieval hat, kinda glad he’s lost it.

Character Heads

Character Heads 02

Character test drawings from my best guess pixelated web and medieval manuscripts research.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Weapon of Choice = Pencil!

BAttle of Wakefield Page 1A

Pencils for the first half page of a short strip I'm working on. This page is A4 Landscape and drawn with a 2B pencil. This will be scanned in at high resolution, resized to A3 and then coloured digitally over the top. I was going to use pen and ink and watercolour but changed my mind at the eleventh hour. I'm just not accurate enough with a pen, where with pencil I can erase and redraw to at least get a passing resemblance to the thing I'm supposed to be drawing. And I like the smoky atmosphere it creates too.

As a side note, I decamped to Helen’s studio for the day to do this and plan on doing that for the next few days to get this pencilling stage complete. Three and a half pages to go, which will now get quicker to do with the style worked out I hope.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Wire, wire, wireless…

Sketchbook 18 August 2010

Frustrating past few days spent sorting out a new wireless router, three computers and a wireless printer/scanner on a home network. Did these quick sketches of our grubby old ginger cat as a way of celebrating me getting it all working.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Medieval Weapons Research 2

Monday afternoon I was allowed to sit in on a session at Sandal Castle Visitor Centre. Drawing and taking reference photos of re-enactment weapons and helmets and costumes. A lot of my research so far has been from websites and black and white locally produced books, so to be able to handle and feel the physical shape and weight of medieval equipment is an eye opener to what these objects actually look like. Now, I just have to find a complete working medieval castle and an army of 28,000 fighting men and my research will be complete.

Sandal Castle visitor centre 01

Sandal Castle visitor centre 02

Sandal Castle Artifacts

Saturday, 7 August 2010



Above: These are the first set of layouts for a comic strip I am working on. Being roughs, they include a lot of mistakes and rethinking and blank boxes towards the end. Most of the content is in there though, it’s now a matter of working on timing and panel flow to make it work as a comic strip. I’ll redraw these pages a few times using a light box and layout paper and then it’s time for some editorial input.

Character, Materials, and Illustration Tests

RoY 02RoY 03

RoY Character TEST

Top: Drawings getting into a character.

Bottom: Image is a ‘materials test’. Trying to find the way this project wants to be drawn. I have no choice in this matter, my drawing power is connected to the wind and tides. Dip Pen and Ink is the winner, (now there’s a surprise).

Monday, 2 August 2010

Cumbria Sketchbook

Helen and I spent last week in and around Keswick in Cumbria. The weather wasn't that brilliant, with cloud hugging the mountain tops for most of the time we were there. Here are a few of the pages from my sketchbook. Soft, water soluble things to draw with are good for this type of environment.
And being on holiday I lost count of what day it was, is that good?