Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hunger Games Commission and an iPad WIP

Hi all,

In my new efforts to blog far more often here's the latest pieces I've done.

The first is Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. I told a friend of mine that I listened to the audiobook not so long ago and in the first book a number of moments stuck with me and I hoped to illustrate some of them. (All of which I'll illustrate soon, I Really enjoyed the first book. And now that I've written it here I HAVE to do it ). My mate Paddy remembered this and since his wife Miriam is a BIG hunger games fan he asked me to do a pic for his wife's birthday. I was more than happy to and was given a direction of ' Maybe a pic of Katniss in the woods hunting deer or something?  She likes those parts of the books.' So I got to work,

This is what I came up with. I'm pretty happy with the result, but more importantly Miriam is! Happy birthday Miriam!

I thought about using Jennifer Lawrence's likeness in the pic, but when I was doing some prep one day I developed a few more designs that I thought were stronger, this one is my fav.  I'll prob do a few more iterations of her yet, she's a great character.

On the note of her hunting I put in two deer amid the trees in the BG, I played around with their negative shapes, tried to give the idea of movement and as they are not both in perfect silhouette, it's almost like Katniss can almost hear them both somewhere in the foliage.

I wasn't going to blog these but they got quite a good reception on Facebook and Twitter so I thought I'd better throw them up here. It's a Wolverine WIP that I have been doing in my spare time on my iPad. Here's pic one from my iPad that I have done with my new stylus

All are done in the Sketchbook pro App using the Griffin Stylus ( many people have been asking what I did them with) , which I really recommend. Still a long way to go with em yet but fun to do and there will always be an iPad drawing on the go now so expect a lot more to follow.

 January has actually been pretty good, I got a rake of commissions in so I have enough Pic's to post for a while. If anyone else would like a commission please contact me via Twitter/Facebook. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another progress Drawing: Batman and Catwoman

Hey Everybody

Here's this weeks post. It's a very (very, very very) belated wedding present for two close friends of mine. One night over a few beers my friend told me he'd love a pic of Batman beating the living daylights out of Spidey. Me being a colossal Spidey fan said "Grand", I'll draw one up for your Wedding, only Spidey will be annihilating Bats!

Now after sobering up, keeping the idea that it was a wedding present and my friends would have to look at this for quite a long time I thought Spidey smashing up Bat's face was the wrong way to go. So I tried to go with something a little 'classier'.  This was pretty easy to figure out what it should be considering Batman was the requested hero, so Batman and Catwoman seemed like the perfect route to go down. 

The trick with this was to make this look like Bats and Catwoman are actually in love. Much like my friends Brendan and Helen. And NOT like a typical over sexed up, fan boy mess of a drawing. It was a wedding present, it had to be right.

So after struggling with it for quite some time starting something, finishing it and starting something else again. I eventually landed on this one. Fell on my feet here having struggled with it for so long. Love is supposed to make people strong and weak, I think I managed to keep the character of both of these iconic comic book heroes while reflecting the love that doesn't make Batman stand so tall, and makes Catwoman give up a little bit of her balance.

Anyways here it. If you read all I had to say above, thanks you're a proper legend!

Some really roughs first just to get it started, I'm liking making more decisions while inking/clean up these days

Started working in the details, I use Sketchbook Pro for most of my digital inking and cleaning up my storyboards

I zoom in and out a lot when I work on pieces like this, its important to see all of what you're working on

Here's the final inks on the Happy couple

After I get the drawing/inked part sorted it's into PS for some painting for a variety of brushes.

Here's a C.U. on Batman and Catwoman. I usually leave the brush editor out so I can twist and move the brush

After I get to a point with the digital flats I bring up the opacity on the greys. After going back and fourth This was the final Black and White of the piece.

I turned back on the grey on the characters and played with the Bat Signal splatter in the BG. The whole idea about displaying the bat signal was even over the city Batman watches, Catwoman still has all his attention ( corny and sort of against the character but hey, this is a wedding present :P I can do this because artistic license and stuff!)

Here's the final piece, a colour change and a re-edit of the bat signal. 

I showed the piece to my friends last night, I woke up to a Facebook message this morning. Everybody's happy :)

I'll have another blog post very soon! Laters

Monday, January 14, 2013


First post of the new year! Hope you're all keeping well.  These are a couple of presents I did for a few friends of mine for Christmas/Birthdays.

The first one is for a friend of mine who asked me one night to draw her a Panda. I was surprised how much a film like Kung Fu Panda had subliminally seeped a default Panda design in me, so when I noticed this coming through in my roughs I went right back to basics blocked out a tonne of new shapes, just really quick gestures. 
Best to keep everything crazy rough at the start so trying loads of new shapes and gestures is a good thing to do and it helps prevent you over working a drawing and falling in love with what should only be a preliminary sketch and never the final product. I always find that when the shapes/pose have been rushed and not planned out/experimented enough always leaves you with a product that lacks that special something and is usually riddled with mistakes. This is the longest part of my process. It deserves the time when this has been figured out the rest falls into place.  
This particular image was when I was playing with some dog-like characteristics and shapes with the Panda. I was told a long time ago that if you're trying to make an animal character likeable it really helps to add some dog in the design/character of the animal. It's something worth keeping in mind, it always helps me anyways. Here's what I came up with. His name is Peter Panda

 The next one is for my girlfriend, it went through a few iterations again. I knew immediately it was going to be a film noir style to it. I got to play around a bit with this one. The original pose of the woman in the pic I really liked but I kept on changing my mind about the environment. I eventually settled on the last. Got to play around with some new brushed in PS that I have been enjoying. I don't think I've gotten the best out of em just yet, but something is starting to click. This is Lady Fatale

One of the many iterations

Here's the Christmas card version

and here's the final one. My fav

And here's another, This is a Mouse Guard pic. David Petersen's Mouse Guard is class! If you haven't read it I recommend you do. This was a present for a few friends of mine ( They're married now so I can cheap out and get em one present :P Ha!) They have some great art hanging up on their wall and i thought that this would fit in with the rest of their original pieces.

Since they're a married couple I kind of liked the idea of couple of mice running away together and the scape of what is at a mice's disposal in these books is huge. I had a lot of fun working on this one too.  I find drawing a good set of wings extremely satisfying. Got to play with a few new textures in this one as well.

More to come soon getting to the other end of the to do list. Hopefully I'll have as much to blog nest time as well.