Showing posts from May, 2017

Frankenmay Process

I had this idea for a political cartoon. Theresa Maybe and her cobbled together monster of lifeless Conservative  policies. After a year spent dismantling public services she is suddenly all for the working classes in the run up to the snap general election on June 8th 2017. That was the nub of the idea. Cobbled together policies and a slogan that is so 'We're all in this together' bland and meaningless she might as well be saying 'UP YOURS'. The one thing the UK is at the moment and that is STRONG and STABLE. I live in the North of England and it is particularly GRIM, especially for anybody involved in the 'creative arts'.
I digress, back to the illustration process business in hand. Above is the blue pencil sketch which was to become the underdrawing to this piece. Using a lightpad I drew with a dip pen and ink. It is NOT TRACING but using the sketch as a layout guide. I use a dip pen because I find, it is difficult to get precise lines and creates a mor…

Frankenmay and Her Monster


Book Cover Illustration
'The Knights of Shire'

The commission was specific in that it had to be an image of a tram on Chantry Bridge in Wakefield (which was a real thing in the 1950's and 60's). David (the author) sent me descriptions from the book that talked about specific things, like the ads on the side of the tram.

I started with a thumbnail sketch illustrating the authors initial brief. Then I did a tighter pencil drawing from photo reference of trams and bridges and a quick trip out with my camera (I live 10 minutes down the road from the bridge). It became obvious that the bridge is a totally different design from how I first sketched it.
My first attempt at inking was with a dip pen using a light box to ink over the pencil drawing, on a fresh sheet of heavy weight cartridge paper. The lines were too fine and a bit hesitant, making the inked drawing feel like a colouring-in book illustration.
I was much happier with the second attempt at inking using a Pilot Parallel Pen. This time I forgoed the light pad and inked…

Sketchbook Scenes from
'To The Stars By The Hard Ways'

So I came across this Russian film on Youtube, via a music video which recommended that I watch Ran by Future Islands next, which I did. From their I was intrigued by a thumbnail for a track called 'Like The Moon' which someone had made an unofficial video for. I liked the imagery, wasn't sure whether it was old ‘old’ or modern, filmed in the style of an old movie but liked it enough to follow the link. The film has a few titles and has had several releases over the years. I'm going with 'To The Stars By The Hard Ways (1981/2001)' and yes, it is bonkers (inflatable robots, rainwear capes as everyday clothing etc), considering Star Wars was well in the world at this point it was a throw back to the cardboard SFX ‘outer space’ films of the 70′s.

For all its low budget Sci-Fi imagery it has a serious eco warning in that all the pictures of the dying planet Dessa were filmed here, on Earth.

Per Aspera Ad Astra (1981), Richard Viktorov, with English subtitles