Tuesday 19 November 2013

Wreck It Rock

I was asked by Starburst magazine (The UK's longest running Sci-Fi, fantasy and Horror magazine), to come up with a poster featuring one or more characters from Guardians of the Galaxy. I opted for Rocket Raccoon.

Here's the blurb from the official page.

To celebrate the release of our new Movie/TV Preview issue, we're pleased to unveil a set of free Limited Edition Collectors Prints, each dedicated to one of our specially selected Icons of 2014!
There are 3 to choose from, and they’re available exclusively from TESCO stores when you purchase Starburst #395. Pick your favourite below and get down to your local TESCO while stocks last!

Here's the original line drawing:

For those not in the know Rocket Raccoon is a Marvel character and will feature in next year's Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I won't pretend that I knew much about this particular Marvel strain until recently, however funnily enough I was reading "The Thanos Imperative" when I got this commission. That particular book features not only the Guardians of the Galaxy but an overwhelming ton of Marvel characters so start there at your own risk.

Here's the colour version:

Big thanks to "Starburst Shauna" for finally getting me into the magazine and to the others for agreeing. As Stan Lee would say "Excelsior!!"

Saturday 12 October 2013

Inglorious Bastard

A couple of months ago, a commission arrived in my inbox which was so baffling in concept that it made me think that a friend was playing a trick, just to see what the most outlandish thing I would ever draw for the promise money could be. However, soon I found myself getting stuck in, getting down with the synopsis presented before me and treating this job the same as I would with any other; by employing a high degree of professionalism (what? I can be all self-promoty sometimes.) ...I can't wait to read it.

I'm rambling. The project was an E-book cover image for a story titled "The Adventures of Bastard." The Author is Sam Gwillim and it is unleashed upon the world in December this year.

I won't say any more about the project, rather I will leave it to the official website which acts as a virtual  companion to the book; containing extra features, diary excepts from the characters and fun facts. Go there: http://adventuresofbastard.com/

Thursday 26 September 2013

Dangerous Games!

Remember school books? Usually they were boring and occasionally stank of fish for some reason. The ones I was involved with, not so much. Back in 2009 I co-illustrated a series of books-for-schools entitled "Dangerous Games."

The concept behind the book is best illustrated by quoting from Rising Stars UK (those who hired me): 

"This exciting range of adventure stories features a trio of computer games 
designers testing out their work for real, entering new virtual worlds and 
encountering exciting and sometimes deadly situations."

Essentially it was my job to illustrate those scenes which take place in the real world, whilst another artist, Rob Lenihan provided the artwork for the more colourful virtual world.

Kojo gets busy making the ultimate video game...

The idea behind the series is to get "reluctant readers" into books via the approach of both video games as a subject matter and a comic book stylistic approach. Probably would have worked for me when I was at school and all I could think about was going home to play on my ZX Spectrum or Sega Megadrive (depending on what year it was).

Skip forward to 2012 and the prospect of illustrating a second series was thrown my way. Of course I said yes! By 2012, I was into using brushes rather than pens to create my lines. See if you can see a difference between the image above and those below. Just for the record, I used (and continue to use) a "Pentel Color Brush." Larger black areas were usually filled in with a black marker, whilst for straight lines I opted for a the classic, cheap Berol Fine. Backgrounds were achieved by scanning in some painted sheets of paper (the same two or three repeated throughout the books.) Compiled in Photoshop.

 Who needs a TV when you've got T-Rex?
The plucky trio go to a museum to inspire a video game.

 Fun and frolics in the office with Tom, Sima and Kojo.

 Just goggle it.

Making video games is no picnic, oh wait, it is!

I massively enjoyed the project. I was given clear instruction and yet, the freedom to employ my preferred style, which I would later go on to employ for the Long Division With Remainders project. If you are in education go and order these books today!! ...Tell 'em I sent ya.

Sunday 8 September 2013

This Is Not a Love Song

This is a guest post.

Call me a friend, a helper, pain in the arse...whatever. I've tried for ages to let Paul allow me to blog and well, now I have full reign *mwwaaahahahaha*. I'm not allowed to post 'as' him though.

I've known Paul on and off for some years now. Look, I have proof...yeah, check that one out. We were doing some filming for a friend's rendition of Doctor Who. I look really impressed on that pic. BTW, I'm not the one in the combat gear.

Anyways, enough of this nonsense. 

I am here to try and help Paul achieve world domination as an illustrator. I think it can definitely happen, after all, he is like one of the most talented species of illustrator that I've ever seen. I'm also here to fill in with bloggy stuff when he is taken away from us by unforeseen circumstances. Y'know, like a job. I on the other hand, cannot draw, nor can I paint, although I'm pretty damn killer at painting my nails.

But that's not why I'm writing.

The other day I was watching a show called Cowboy Builders. It's one of those shows where they come over and fix the work of someone who did a botch job on someone's house and then some dude goes off and makes a big fool out of the 'cowboy' in question. In this particular show, they hired a muralist to paint an image on one of the bedroom walls.

A muralist! I immediately contacted Paul and told him he needed to become a muralist. He thought I'd gone mad, but I reminded him of the times he had done some wall paintings of his own.

I seriously think Paul needs to consider expanding his career and add muralist to his repertoire. What do you think?

Thursday 1 August 2013

Unused Article Illustrations

The following illustrations were designated for an online article about not getting into a fight with your best friend. For various reasons I decided not to hand them over, but those of you who know me may spot two characters from my long overdue graphic novel idea "Bust-Up." 

Tuesday 30 July 2013

How I got Started in Illustration - Part 3

I'm gonna make this post really short...because life is short; less talking, more doing I say! My first real commission was a children's book entitled Matthew and the Money tree. It can still be found on such websites as Amazon ---> right here.

The cover is still the most epic aspect about the book.

I got the job through a site called "Elance" ...it's one of those bid-for-projects sites in which talented people under-cut each other ensuring that few people get paid what they're worth and where non-discerning clients get said work very cheaply. Those were dark times and I usually begrudge such sites even though I am in the unfortunate position of crawling back to them once more despite bigger projects since my first commission. Odesk is another such site. You "could" say they are useful for those starting out, at a push. As an artist with moderate success, I find such sites a pain in the arse; whereas students from the Philippines probably have some financial success out of them. Suffice to say, my fee for Matthew and the Money Tree was small.

This is one of the better pages.

The work was fraught with other problems too, namely a lack of consistency in my drawings. I remember that after finishing the book, I had to go back and visit each page and create new heads for "Matthew" because he looked different from page to page. This was a lack of experience on my part in creating anything sequential. What I should have done was create "style sheets" from which to draw reference.

One such page I had to re-visit for head-swapping.

Despite my problems with inexperience and the sheer disheartening workload of the book, I am glad I did it. Better things were to come... by which I do not entirely mean nightclub flyers such as this one:

Apparently they all died of scurvy. 

I was also in a design "collective." ...I did that drawing of women in a boat whilst someone else did the design work. I will always be eternally grateful for such opportunities but boy does the drawing make me cringe. 

Friday 12 July 2013

Thou shalt write on the walls of Manchester Art Gallery

Thou shalt accomplish the task

1) Get commissioned.

I used to work at the gallery, so they know me. This bit was key to me scoring this job.

Scrawling text onto the interior walls of Manchester Art Gallery's early 19th collection is no mean feat; the text in question is the Ten Commandments according to Gilbert and George. It needed to be in gold and in the typeface "Anglican Text." This was part of the current "Do It!" exhibition, which in turn forms part of the current Manchester International Festival.

2) Panic and figure out how to do it.

Having never done wall-lettering before was another daunting aspect, now however, I am happy to say that I am available for weddings, bat mitzvahs etc. Here is a quick tutorial detailing the process which thankfully worked for me:
  •  Purchase some thin wooden boards to practice on. 
  • Find techniques that work and email images to the client to reassure them. 
Thou shalt reason that gold pens were
the way to go (in this case a bullet tip Poska Pen).

4) More figuring out and cracking on with it.

I became increasingly concerned that I could not freehand a specific typeface. Moreover, It had to look deadly accurate and I needed to work up a ladder so the idea of doing it entirely freehand was out. I looked on-line to see what other people had done.
  • Rule evenly spaced lines on the wall.
  • Print out the text in large light grey and stick the printed A4 sheets together using low-tack masking tape.
  • Get some carbon paper and masking tape it onto the walls.
Thou shalt trace over fancy lettering.
  • Stick the printed A4 text over the carbon paper and trace over it with a pencil.
  • Remove the paper to see the text on the wall
  • Go over it in gold pen.
 Thou shalt do one at a time to avoid smudging.

Thou might get tennis elbow.

Thou shalt stand back and admire.
  • Chug down free wine at the exhibition preview.
There was another task too. Copy as near as damn it, the illustrated text of Icelandic artist and musician Ragnar Kjartansson. This was the easy bit...

I was given a print out with this lettering in black and white. 
Copy on to wall (skirting board). I said this was the easy bit.

Start repenting! 
  • Get credited on labels!
 Thou shalt have name mentioned alongside the more famous.
Thanks to all the staff at MAG including Natasha Howes and Paul Morley.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

How I Got Started: Part Two

Where was I? Oh yeah 2005, I ditched the whole greetings card thing because I found manufacturing them way too expensive. On reflection, I could've tried a bit harder but I didn't have the inclination to sell them to a card company either, I don't even recall if I tried to do that. Though I did fantasise about it once or twice because I remember wanting to draw a picture of me waving the little bastards goodbye.

Got a Webby:
Next stage was to have a website to sell myself as a freelancer: www.paulloudon.com. My first website looked quite different and is lost unfortunately, well, saved somewhere perhaps amongst a stack of CD's. Though I did find one image from it:

 It was styled like this, pretty cool eh?

Oh yeh, forgot to say "obtained" a copy of Dreamweaver 4 and learned how to use it via the medium of books: "Dreamweaver 4 for Dummies."

Got Artwork:
Obviously starting out in freelance, what work will you have? Nothing. Well, perhaps some conceptual crap left over from university, but I always found that having a website entirely of university projects especially the dross I had churned out, is a bad idea. A friend of mine also advised me that potential clients want to see skill and enthusiasm over a list of other clients. I was supposed to like drawing right? So I made artwork. Plus I enjoyed making it, getting views on Deviant Art, and I've always been a sucker for not living in reality.

This He-Man vs Lion-O pic was the amongst the first I
whacked down on my site back in 2005. Available to 
purchase as a print on Etsy: HERE

"I Hate Mushrooms" 2007 also available as a print: HERE

I'll create another post featuring more of my artwork soon. Worth noting that this process is a long one (that second pic being from 2007). In-between those years, other things happened too such as my first ever commission which I'll show you in the next post...

Thursday 20 June 2013

Art For Starters ...or how I got started in freelance PART 1

Sick Animals:

I was for the last few years, somewhat half-embarrassed and half bemused whenever I thought about my final major graphic design project at university, recalling that it involved cartoon animals. Moreover that these animals are depicted killing each other and being generally vile in ways that only school children would find amusing. Now, on reflection and with the passage of time, I can just about comfort myself with the idea that it showed "some" initiative on my part. 

Back in 2004, I had decided to come up with a range of greetings cards that was both fun and something that I could make money out of when I was let loose into the big bad world post-uni (The University of Salford).
 They even had a logo, typeface and
vomit-inducing range of T-shirts that
no one in their right mind would wear.

I did manage to get the cards on sale in various Manchester shops including Thunder-Egg, Urbis (formerly the Museum Of the Modern City, which now houses The Football Museum), Magma Books (including it's London branch). Here, for your viewing pleasure are a few of the cards...

 Some of the cards are references to
various movies; including Indiana Jones, 
Star Wars, Kill Bill, The Omen, Reservoir
Dogs and The Wizard of Oz

Friday 31 May 2013

Video Killed the "Illustratar"

I made a youtube video. It has most of my best work on it, though annoyingly there are a few things I forgot to add. Ah well, gives me scope for a sequel. I'd be interested to know from other illustrators and arty types if they've made portfolio videos. ...Leave comments below.

Thursday 23 May 2013

Long Division with Remainders Part 2

And the rest... Here's a link to part 1

From the official site:

"Collision/Detection is the second experimental audio project from Long Division with Remainders (LDWR) which sees invited artists submit audio clips into a central pot, which is then distributed around the group for them to do with as they see fit, resulting in a series of digital EPs released across 2012 and 2013.
These EPs are now collected together for this 2 CD box set, presented in a bespoke package, letter pressed by Red Plate Press (www.redplatepress.tumblr.com) with artwork from Paul Loudon (www.paulloudon.com).

The limited first edition also includes a bonus digital album containing new tracks by Collision/Detection contributors and the original sound clips which started the series (if you order from our shop, we will email a download code to you)."


 Kemper Norton

 The Doomed Bird of Providence

 Isnaj Dui

Sone Institute

The album is available on pre-order now. LINK

From the website: "We are delighted to announce the release of the Collision/Detection box set – collecting together 9 EPs from a whole host of incredible artists, creating exclusively for the Collision/Detection project. The box set will be in shops on Monday 10th June, but you can pre-order it below."

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Busty Teela

Not so much an illustration project as a mindless bit of fun. Most people of my generation grew up watching He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. They may also remember his female ally Teela, helping defend Eternia from the likes of Skeletor and his evil cronies.

What my contemporaries may not recall is just how curvy Teela was; either that or artistic license can be a dangerous thing. 

Wait, there's more: For those not in the know “Battleground Teela” is a character from the range of "classic" Masters of the Universe toys. Her outfit is based not on that of regular Teela, from the He-Man cartoon and toyline, but rather from the limited run of DC comics from back in the 80's (get’s complicated doesn’t it?)
Essentially for some reason the makers of the comic decided to put her in a gold bikini. Going one-step further, I made her outrageously curvy… just for the fans.

Both of these images are now available to purchase from my Esty shop http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LoudArt