Thursday, 27 November 2008

IF: Opinion

Haven't done Illustration Friday for a while now. Haven't done much of anything around here for a while now so here's a comic just for you. (click to fullsize this baby)

It's inspired by Warcraft a little. Everyone has an opinion about what you should be doing with your points and gear.

This was a bit of an experiment to see if I could colour a whole comic in Adobe Illustrator. It's not too bad even if I haven't got the hang of things like 'shading' yet. Could be worse.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

I Return

Sorry I've been away so long. Well I'm not that sorry, but you understand. I was working and it got on top of me.

I've not been doing any drawing (lame I know) but here is a comic I was working on over the summer. I only did 7 pages and I am contemplating starting over as I don't really think it's particularly well written (or drawn but that's another matter).

I'll leave it up to you to judge

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Illustration Friday - String

Just a sketch this week really. Been really busy with my new gig at Thorpe Park. It's only until the end of the season (early November), but it should be a nice sum of money. Although that time does overlap slightly with the release of Fallout 3 so I'm going to be fucking knackered for that last week or so. :)

Anyway, this is inspired by my time there. Honestly this week's IF theme hardly set my creative buds alight. 'String'? What the hell am I supposed to do with that?

Also, for those of you watching Heroes, I hope you took my advice and watched the Wire because two of The Wire's actors are in it now. Big Bad Marlo Stanfield playing Big Bad Knox and the Amiable and Oppressed Crack Addict Bubbles playing Amiable and Oppressed Vortex Maker...erm what was his name?

Monday, 6 October 2008

The Trials and Tribulations of Enrik part 1

Sorry for the wall of text here. I was experimenting with some writing for a change. I had been working on some Illustrations to go with this but they weren't really coming together. This is just some ideas I've had floating around in my head for a bit. I think it's ok. The ending seems a bit abrupt to me, but try to read it and leave a comment. Thanks.

The magical island civilisation of Ulterion was hidden from the rest of the world. Ever since the Emperor had died heirless centuries ago and the five Houses had become paranoid, bickering nations each claiming the throne was theirs. Since then, students wishing to finish their studies at the Academy and become full fledged mages and order members were required to undertake a pilgrimage into the world and bring back something of value. Be it a weapon, a tool, a magical artifact, a book or merely just some tidbit of knowledge and information or news. Whilst powerful mages could cast spells to observe the other nations, the pilgrimage remained the Ulterion's primary method of obtaining information about the outside world, and to aid their own nation's progress.
Enrik had always thought that the Industrial nation of Rubat was of great personal interest and he had headed straight for it. The one facet of Rubatian society that fascinated the trainee mage the most was how magic was no longer practiced here. In fact many of their citizens held the 'realistic' view that magic was no more than a child's fantasy, and that the other nations' use of it was mere rumour and hear say.
He had found this startling back home in Ulterion but when he was finally in Rubat's port capital of Ilstry he could see why. The city was bleak. The streets were narrow with buildings leaning, nay, imposing over head. Smoke billowing out in such volume as to hide the very sun from the land. There was no magic here.
Finally here though, he knew he had no time to sight see and learn all of Ilstry's mysteries for he only needed to know one, and bring it back before one of his classmates had. Officially it made little difference who did make it back first, but to return much later than someone else who had offered the same gift as you was considered shameful.
So he set to work thinking of something he could grab and bring back. Something easy, yet also unobvious. Glancing at the nearby taverns he briefly considered a keg of Rubatian brew. Too crude he thought. Also, Rubatian ale (which he had had the dubious honour of sampling in Rubatian border towns) had a rough aftertaste not to his sophisticated tongue. The gift was sub-par.
Looking at Ilstry's cloudy skyline, he considered infiltrating the buildings that poured the dense smoke from their vertical tunnels.
Lost in his train of thought he hadn't spotted the guards walking up behind.
"Oy, lady boy, shove off, you're blocking the streets." The traditional grey initiate's robes had caught their attention. It was exoctic to them. Different. Didn't come in about fifty pieces and assembled on a person one at a time like Rubatian dress.
Enrik cursed himself, he should have seen this coming and prepared for it, but did as they said whilst apologising to the best of his diplomatic ability. "I am sorry sire. I was not looking where I was going."
"Too damn right you weren't" sputtered the one at the back pointing a wooden staff laced with metal in his direction whilst the other grabbed the one strapped to his shoulder. 'Wait' Enrik thought, why are the Rubatian guards carrying staffs?
"Excuse my curiosity sires, but where did you acquire that staff?"
"Staff?" laughed the front man. "This looney's just wandered out of medieval times this one." A few people passing that were watching this altercation laughed at that.
"I did not mean offence. I was intrigued is all"
"Fucking talks like it an' all" derided the back guard to howls of laughter. Enrik could tell this wasn't going well.
"Look, I was just wondering what the staffs were like. I have never seen any of it's design or operation."
"Never seen a gun?" patronised the front guard, pointing a hollow end at Enrik's shoulder. "Where the hell have you been hiding then?"
"I think he wants to see it's operation, guv." encouraged the other.
"Too right he does" and with an evil grin on his face, the first guard activated it. Fire poured out and landed in Enrik's shoulder, shooting pain all through his body. Blood dropped down his robes and onto the cobbles around his feet.
The mage was surprised. Not by the pain. He'd get over that in no time at all, but by what had happened. A magical device that required no magical knowledge to operate! Even better. A magical device he knew nothing about.
He had found his gift.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Illustration Friday - Sugary

I did another one! Finally!
(click to enlarge plaz)

Chicken & Bacon 4

Late post, it's like half 2.
I mean, this isn't late for me really, just that normally I'd be watching Stargate about now. But well, I just finished watching this and it...well you'll see.

(click to enlarge and actually be able to read the damn thing)

Strip 1
Strip 2
Strip 3

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Infinite Undiscovery

Sorry for my abscence. I just haven't been drawing at all. So erm, sorry.

But I have been occupying my unemployed arse with computer games. I was going to do a few brief reviews on a couple of them, but I have the most to say about Infinite Undiscovery.

The story is about a group of oppressive knights known as the Order of Chains who are for some reason terrorising the world by chaining the moon to the planet. Sounds interesting. The main character is a flute wielding fella called Capell, locked up in a case of mistaken identity. And then subsequently busted out in a further case of mistaken identity. Turns out you look identical to the hero of the resistance, a guy called Sigmund.

Bearing in mind I'm only about 6 hours in to a game that comes on 2 discs, I'm still not sure why you get busted out, because when you first meet Sigmund it is pretty obvious that he's not left his band of fellow freedom fighters at all, so why one of his trusted lieutenants (a 16 year old busty brunette) believes you're him and needs saving is beyond me. Ultimately the story feels poor so far, and the voice acting and animation in the many, MANY cutscenes leaves much to be desired.

The combat is pretty good, a cross between Eternal Sonata and Devil May Cry with a dash of FF12. You run around on the map and defeat enemies in real time action stabby mode. A style I appreciate due to it's immediacy and simplicity, although it feels a bit too easy. I've only died once so far and only through boredom really.

IU isn't a bad game but I can't help compare it to Lost Oddyssey which had a far more compelling story and excellant characterisation backed up by some brilliant animation and voice work, but I felt was let down by it's insistance on turn based combat and I was ultimately turned off by it. IU is the exact opposite, with a playable combat system and a rather insipid and predictable story line.

Above: A better game
My least favourite aspect of the game is the two obligatory 'kid' characters, Rico and Rucha. Now, Lost Oddyssey had them, and whilst annoying at first, I came to like them. They were believable enough despite being able to throw it down with the best of them. IU's twins are so frustratingly annoying it's impossible to like them.

Alarm bells start ringing early on when their mother just hands them over to you, a complete stranger to look after. Capell objects, although not very much. And pretty much everytime thereafter when the group gets split up, you're the one stuck with Rico and Rucha. In one occasion Sigmund orders them to keep an eye on you and I just said to myself 'yeah because Sigmund can't fucking stand them either'.

Worse is that, you need both in your party because they buff each other, but they dont ACTUALLY complement each other particulary well, both being essentially the same leading to your team being less balanced than I'd like.

Above: Little Fucking Shits

Monday, 22 September 2008

Bear AFK

Been away for like a whole week. Sorry about that. Just slipped my mind. As a peace offering here is a comic what I did.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Chicken & Bacon cover/poster

I was feeling a bit bored so I whipped together this book cover/poster.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Chicken & Bacon 2

If you haven't seen Porco Rosso yet,

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

On The Global Frequency

Hello there! Sorry for the lack of updates this past week. I've got hooked on Stargate Atlantis.

I've been trying to put together some Graphic Design pieces using some software I'm not particualarly familiar with. In part to familiarise myself with these pieces of software, and also in part to get design job somewhere, as I'm sure the pay will be better than my current level of income (ie nada).

Here's a cd cover I devised using Photoshop (which I know like the back of my hand) and Illustrator (which is mostly a complete mystery to me). The unimaginatively named fictional band 'The Global Frequency' (after the Warren Ellis(?) comic) and their even less imaginatively titled album 'Party City'.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Monday, 1 September 2008

Illustration Friday - Memories

One of my fondest memories as a child was making feeble BMX jumps over (more across really) a particularly nobbly bit of tree root with the kids down the street.

I got a bit bored colouring this in. Probably finish it later.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Gotta Keep The Devil, Way Down In The Hole

D'angelo teaches Walt and Bodie how to play chess (click to full size it)

The Wire
is the best show on television.
Considering how voracious my appetite for entertainment usually is it's a small miracle that I've never seen it before recently. I bought the season one box set after Charlie Brooker went painfully out of his way to demonstrate how good it was.
And he rarely compliments any show.

The Wire is about a group of cops tracking down (mostly with the eponymous wire taps and other surveillance measures) an organisation of drug dealers (and then later port officials and then bureaucrats...) But it's more complicated than that. Each character is trapped in their existence, betrayed by the institutions they thought they could trust.

I think I like this show best for the same reason I usually talk to every villager in RPGs. There's a lot of dialogue (which if you miss you're screwed) and a lot of characters get fleshed out and developed. You believe that you're watching the real city of Baltimore, and not a bottle version like so many TV shows that traditionally have a main cast of about 5 and a million of interchangeable extras interacting with them.

I wish I could do the show more justice (both in my urrgh fan art, and in my 'review') but it's hard to do.

Just go watch.

McNulty and Greggs drive by Stringer and Barksdale

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

The Office Workers Are Happy

Probably because they're raking it in. (click to fullsize it)

This didn't actually come out too bad I think. Even though I didn't actually bother with any shading.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Illustration Friday - Routine

I wanted to experiment with watercolours one last time. I'll probably try to move onto colouring exclusively in Photoshop now.

(click to show at full size)

Thursday, 21 August 2008

"Did you see the pool!?!? They flipped the b**ch!"

First of all I want to show a drawing that my brother coloured for me recently. It's an old drawing of the cast from an old web comic I drew called 'The Mi3'. Maybe I'll post some of it up here on slow days. (click to enlarge)

I've been watching a lot of Clone High recently. It's probably the funniest cartoon you've never seen. It's a 'what if' scenario where clones of historical figures are brought together and are in a contemporary high school. Abe Lincoln is a lovesick nerd, Joan of Arc is a misanthropic goth, Ghandi is a relentless party animal diagnosed with ADD etc.

I found myself drawing it with perhaps a little too much fervour.

Some of the shows best bits here.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Illustration Friday - Detach 2

Despite the positive response I didn't really like the original version of this so I redrew it. I think it's a better drawing, except for Henry. He doesn't look round...he looks fat.

(click to enlarge)

Monday, 18 August 2008

Illustration Friday - Detach

I really need to not draw this sort of thing with the sketchbook on my knees...
(click to enlarge)

For those of you coming straight from Illustration Friday, new version here.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Hit Me Baby One More Time

Not doing an actual post today.

I read my blog statistics and apparently the most viewed pages are ones with song titles in the heading.

Hopefully this works :)

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Retro Sam - Deviant Art Part 1

First of all allow me to congratulate my brothers on passing their A2s. They both got their first choices for Uni, so well done Rob and Loz.
I still got better grades than you though ;)

I was going to post an update about colour theory/technique today, but I think I'll probably leave that until Friday or next week sometime. As I was pooling all my thoughts I sort of accidentally found my old Deviant Art profile. For some reason it is still linked on the side of this blog.

I used the site over a period of maybe my entire first year at University with a bit of a buffer of a few months on either side, which is why it says I'm 19 on my profile. (note I am now 21 woot me). I eventually checked it less and less after I came to the conclusion that I was never going to form or become an active member of an Illustration 'group' or community. Far too much of DA is amateurish teenagers posting their recent Sailor Moon fanfics and Bleach art which indulgently inserts themselves in there some how. I'm not going to link to any of it. There's no need, you can find all the anime bollocks yourself in a matter of minutes.

The few artists I found that I liked never seemed to return the favour. It occurs to me now that I was also posting reams of garbage and this may have contributed.
(click to enlarge, mostly at your peril as I never resized most of these)

Titled WoW Rush this was my first image posted. The colouring itself isn't actually quite as diabolical as I recalled. I find it hard to imagine I sat there for so long to do it (I have ADD and can't sit in any chair without fidgeting or spinning around or in regards to computers alt-tabbing to something with flashing imagery).

The blood on the swords is probably the best bit of colouring. What with the dire gradients on the hill, clouds, fire, everything else and the terrible 'rain', there isn't much competition really.

The colouring is still better than that atrocious line art. That Orc looks RUBBISH.

I'm glad I thought so at the time "It came out marginally better than I had hoped it would in the colouring stages (but still far worse than I had aspired it to)."

Can it get worse?

Yeah a little bit.

To be fair, this isn't in my proper gallery, but from my Scraps folder.
Quoting my younger self, "I think I did this for some project for school last year. I found it today and it was only half finished, so I finished it off and added a background quick. I don't really like it all that much but it has a certain specialness that I admire."

I'm not sure why I kept uploading stuff I didn't like.

It's not a bad concept for an Illustration, but that's all it is at the moment. I should have researched the crumbling buildings, landscapes, and goddamn that's not how water falls!


Now, this isn't actually all that bad, even though it's also in 'Scraps'.
For those of you not in the know, I agreed to draw a comic for internet buddy, Mark 'Frimkron' Frimston. 'Frisbee' is definitely the best of the bunch, with Kevin and Kat (labelled here as '?' because I couldn't be arsed to find the script apparently) needing some work on their designs.

It's a shame we never really did this project. It was supposed to be a bit like Doctor Who and seemed like fun.
Maybe one day...

Ok, I'm sort of scraping the barrel for rubbish art here as this was moved to the scraps folder FROM my gallery, as opposed to the random city and 'Kat' designs which were already in there.

I think my younger self sums it perfectly;
"UPDATE 12 Sept 2006: Why the fuck is this still in my gallery? It's awful. Awful glow from fire. Awful hair on Kurt. It looks like fucking fabric billowing in the wind. WHAT THE FUCK!"

This was for a College project. It occurs to me that my Design teacher was very patient with me.

I apologise for such a wordy post. Let me end with a collection of comics that still seem a little bit funny.

I think one of them got printed in the Uni paper. I can't remember which, the karma one maybe.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

'Rain' by William Somerset Maugham

This is the last project I did at University, and the one I'm probably most proud of. It's a little self-promotion booklet based on the amazing short story 'RAIN' by W. Somerset Maugham. It's not a literal extract, as in I took several passages and arranged them out of order to tell a new story to fit the brief. The brief being something to do with Weather.

This is my favourite project from my time spent at Uni and I honestly can't understand why it's taken me so long to upload it. But without further ado, here it is.
(as always, click to enlarge and fully enjoy it)

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Illustration Friday - Sail

For Illustration Friday. Just some days early :)

Monday, 11 August 2008

Some Sketches

It may surprise you to learn that I am working on a new comic (Shock! Horror!). I'm not quite ready to show you any of it. This is because I've only done two pages and I want you, dear reader, to enjoy it fully for the first time and not in bits and pieces. That and when I start getting a bit behind on showing any of it I feel bad.
I'm uploading these sketches because I wanted to talk about my work process for a second.
(click to enlarge)

These are two character sheets, or development pages. This is how I get a feel for how a character looks, acts and lets me get comfortable drawing them before I commit myself.

Lucien, on the left, came to me pretty much fully formed. He is, in blunt, an arsehole. His mannerisms, style of dress and hair should support this. He dresses similarly to the style of the time but incredibly baggy. He waves his arms around a lot and yells. His hair (the blank bit will later be a flash of red) gives him a two-face effect. He's a maverick who can't be arsed to even dye the whole of his head. The drawing of a young Lucien at school best exemplifies what I mean. His shirt is undone and his tie isn't done up properly.

Barry (who in the comic is renamed Jim) was a little harder to nail down. I wanted him to be the Yin to Lucien's Yang, Laurel to his Hardy. Visually I wanted him to look completely different yet clearly of the same background/world/culture. Cartoonist's rules number 23 state that if one character in a double act is short and a bit chubby, the other must be tall and skinny. I won't tell you who I picked in the end, but you can tell me what you think in the comment field. Or don't, it's up to you.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Tum Te Tum

I apologise for my absence. I've spent the past week lazing about while my folks were on holiday.
I did try to finish that colouring, but I really REALLY hated doing it. It's nigh on impossible to do properly with a mouse anyway. So I went in a totally different direction.

I need a wacom tablet.

Friday, 1 August 2008


Evening (or morning, how can I tell on the internet?)

Instead of putting up a finished drawing I'm trying something new, I'm going to throw up a sketch and what passes for stage 1 of colouring.
(click to enlarge)

I was inspired by this card from Magic the Gathering.

I should have perhaps drawn from it, instead of having a notion of it in my head.

Hopefully next post will look slightly better.