Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Mraw (version deux)

Updated version of this little fellow following feedback from my tutors: they recommended I use a more painterly approach to the fur because my previous painting was pretty crudely done.  I used a slightly larger model which helped me put more detail in (prize* to first person to spot the dog references)  I had some real trouble with making the model though  and the ears annoy me because they are too flat.  But generally I think it's an improvement.  Let me know what you guys think!
*prize is a virtual pat on the back.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Illustrator As...

...A Thinker.  Yes, this is a depiction of some of the things that run through my head on an average day.  Not as crazy as you may think.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Life Drawing

It's not the best quality photo but here is a simplified tonal drawing of Ashley. 
Coloured pencil on coloured paper, 25 minutes.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Musicians of Bremen : The Graphic Novel


The first four pages of a proposed graphic novel based loosely around the Grimm tale of The Musicians of Bremen.  It's a murder-mystery-noir-style story involving love, jealousy and a mysterious Alsation detective.  Colours to follow!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Life Drawing

Until yesterday I hadn't drawn a naked person since December last year and god I missed that experience!  This is my lovely boyfriend, who is not only a beautiful, skinny model but also excellent at staying still.  I'm guessing that had something to do with the episode of The Sopranos he was watching.

#1: 2B pencil, A3, half an hour
#2: Soft, medium and hard graphite, A3, also half an hour

[please excuse the poor quality photos]

Monday, 10 October 2011

Character Comics

So these are the scans of my 3-panel comics about a family of fatties, fat-related jokes and all, that I did for a project at uni.  They got a pretty good reception from my tutor and peers so looking forward to feedback next week!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


3D illustration for a faux article in the New Scientist on genetic engineering of cats and dogs.  I went along the lines of 'designer' pets and how it could potentially be possible to combine the best qualities of our favourite animal friends into one weird, spaced-out hybrid.  Obviously he looks mostly like a cat but the bone, collar and dog patterning on his fur suggest that he is perhaps not quite what he seems.

Materials: DAS air-drying clay, craft wire, acrylic paint, varnish, 6 hours, a lot of patience and a camera.

Sunday, 31 July 2011


<rant>  Is anyone else getting sick of all the crap that's on deviantART?  OK I understand it's a great place for people to share their art and strike up conversations but at the same time it feels like it's become one big popularity contest.  It seems that if you have less than 10 gazillion pageviews nobody pays attention to you and if they do the most you'll get is a "cool wrk" or "lolz its gud" comment but only because that person is trolling for a llama badge or whatever.  I always prided myself on the fact that I reply to every comment I receive and when I give feedback I try to be as useful as possible, rather than just brown-nosing the artist.  On top of all that there is a load of shit art.  I'm not gonna sit here and say I'm the best damn artist on the site, 'cos I'm not, but there is stuff on there that really doesn't deserve the attention it gets while quality artists go unnoticed.  If you don't believe me look at the Daily Deviations for the past week, nothing is original and I've seen better art scrawled on the walls of public toilets (seriously, I've seen some pretty neat graffiti).  

Gah. </rant>

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


If, like me, you are a fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat this film is a must-see.  If not there is still plenty of things to enjoy - the tale of fame and excess and the downfall of a talented young artist, for example, or the fact that David Bowie plays Andy Warhol rather brilliantly.  There's loads of other great actors who crop up in odd scenes which is also fun to see.  Given Basquiat's story I did find the film a little slow in places but maybe it was intentional to make you feel as stoned as he was, I don't know.  Anyway because I love Basquiat here are some more of his wonderful paintings for you to enjoy!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Thought Bubble Festival

I am SO excited about this.  Not only does the festival sound really interesting but I am actually quite excited about organising a trip myself.  I've got a folder full of documents on my laptop already and Darren my tutor seems pretty keen, I think he was impressed that I took the initiative to suggest something valuable to the course.  I was also really surprised at the response I got from people on my course, at least half have expressed interest within a day of me sending a message out so that's really encouraging!


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Understanding Comics

I recently got this book out of the library as it was on my reading list for uni and because I am always looking to find out more about comics as a medium to help in my own work.  Anyway I'd like to take the opportunity to encourage others to read it because it simply blew me away.  Basically it's non-fiction but uses the medium it is discussing to present the facts and theories behind the diverse and often misunderstood world of comics e.g. :
Because of the way it is written McCloud is able to explain things in an exciting visual manner whilst including examples which don't disrupt the flow of the text.  The content itself is diverse and covers a brief history of comics, techniques that authors/illustrators use (note: it doesn't favour author over illustrator or vice versa, more importantly McCloud talks about how the relationship between the two is vital to a comic's success), and the role of comics in culture and society.

Although some people may be put off if they aren't particularly interested in comics, they shouldn't be as there is something in this book for everyone (illustration students - I'm looking at you).  Many of the techniques that are discussed can be applied to other media and there are often comparisons made between film, literature and fine art with the art of comics.  On top of this, McCloud's examples are witty and the visuals are stunning, as you'd expect from an expert of the field.  I simply cannot fault this book and never have I enjoyed reading non-fiction so much - so go read it!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Summer Reading List

Here are all the books I have set myself the target of reading by the end of summer - I shall cross them out as I finish them.  This is as much a guide for me to keep on track as it is for anyone else but I thought some people might be interested - I like to think I have pretty good taste in fiction!

Key: Currently reading. Finished.  Yet to start.

Burmese Days - George Orwell
A Long Way Down - Nick Hornby
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
The Beach - Alex Garland
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson

Daytripper - Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
Persepolis  1&2 - Marjane Satrapi
Embroideries - Marjane Satrapi
Ghost World - Daniel Clowes
David Boring - Daniel Clowes
I Kill Giants - Joe Kelly and Jim Ken Niimura
Arkham Asylum - Grant Morrison and Dave McKean
Complete Sandman series - Neil Gaiman and others
The Luck In The Head - Ian Miller
Watchmen (again) - Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
The Invisibles: Say You Want  A Revolution - Grant Morrison and others
Black Hole - Charles Burns
The Complete Essex County - Jeff Lemire
De: Tales - Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken - Seth

Thinking Visually - Mark Wigan
Sequential Images - Mark Wigan
99 Ways To Tell A Story - Matt Madden
Pictures And Words: New Comic Art And Narrative Illustration - Roanne Bell and Mark Sinclair
Understanding Comics - Scott McCloud
Comics And Sequential Art - Will Eisner

The list keeps getting longer.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Shape Contest Attempt #1: Coloured and edited

Here are the coloured and finished characters, as promised.  I changed the second one into a zombie to fit the monster theme but it's still my least favourite.  Oh well.
More of these to come soon, I aim to complete all the shape challenges by the end of summer... wish me luck!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Shape Contest Attempt #1

Plain line art for my first attempt at Design a Character's shape contest on Deviant Art.  The order of the shapes makes it look like I just got lazy with regards to detail when really I think the colours on the last two particularly will improve them and that won't matter so much.

There's no prizes or time limits for the contests, they are just a bit of fun and I've found them really useful already!  More attempts and coloured versions to come soon!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Bill Murray

Images of my papier mache chicken (nicknamed Bill Murray).  Part of an illustration to accompany the poem by John Hegley below:

Poetry in India
I'm in India
feeling more secure
and less likely to get chinned 'ere
I made friends with a steam-train firemen
who asked how long I would stay in his country
'Two weeks,' I replied
'Very short?' he probed
'I'm a very busy man.' I joked.
'What is it, the you do?' he probed further.
'Poetry!' I announced.
'Aha!' he pounced,
'Now I understand you,
my brother does the same.
Yes, very hard work:
the feeding, the cleaning, loading all the eggs on to
the lorry.' 

Monday, 23 May 2011

Al Columbia

I went to a job interview at the Odeon cinema in Lincoln today and one of the other interviewees looked as if he should have been drawn by my favourite black and white comic artist, Al Columbia.
As you can see from the image, that's not a compliment.  Nonetheless he made me want to read The Biological Show all over again and for that I'll give him credit.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

New Competition Entry

Boredom has left me entering more competitions which is definitely a good thing.  Not only does it improve my chances of winning some money but it also keeps my creative juices flowing nice and steadily, metaphorically hydrating my artistic self.  Anyway this is my latest entry for a competition to simply design a poster for indie-pop-soul band Givers: remember to click and like or you'll end up like the guys in Troll 2. Not cool. 

Saturday, 14 May 2011

First year = OVER.

I cannot begin to describe how quickly this year has gone or how wonderful it has been.  Yes I could have tried harder, yes I could have spent less and yes I could have gone out more but if I could go back in time I'd do it the same all over again.  Coming to university was the best decision I ever made: it's been a year of firsts (except in relation to my grades, they're more 2:1s) and I just hope the next two years follow in the same vein.  It's definitely gonna be hard to top this.

Anyway on to some illustration.  Even though it's been less than a week since I finished my first year, I kinda miss it already.  It only took me a couple of days to notice and the moment I did I searched for something to do.  We do have a summer project (which I will keep you all posted about as it develops) but I wasn't quite ready to start it yet so I headed over to creativeallies.com, my favourite illustration-based competition site, and found this.
Unlike most of my degree work I came up with a rough idea almost instantly and roughed out a few thumbnails in pencil before scanning in the best and vectorizing it in good ol' Photoshop.  And here are the results:

You can like and rate my entry to help my chances of winning the $300 prize here. 

Thursday, 21 April 2011

First Ever Blog!!

Ok so I'm pretty new at this kind of thing but I figured it'd be a great way for me to express myself and keep my friends and family updated on my life - so why the heck not?!  Also I'm currently trying to advertise myself as an Illustrator-in-the-making so establishing contacts sooner rather than later is probably gonna help me in the long run.   Also this is somewhere for me to show you all my influences and things I find interesting, and hopefully those things will in turn inspire you guys!

Anyway I doubt many people will actually read this post because it's just a test but if you do happen to here's an interesting little fact you might like to know:  Before Stanley Kubrick took over, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones were considered to play the droogs in Clockwork Orange.  Rock'n'Roll.