Friday 20 June 2014

The Apes of Wrath

 "Damn you all to hell!"

Followers of my Facebook page will know about this, however, there are extra bonuses in this blog, including a tutorial below - sort of.

I have just fulfilled an ambition: front cover of Starburst Magazine (out now!) It is the UK's longest running magazine of "cult" entertainment, beginning with a Star Wars cover back in the 70's. Speaking as someone who likes science fiction films, comics, horror (well, parts of) and several other things of that ilk then this is a big deal for me.

Little over half a year ago I did a Rocket Raccoon (Guardians of the Galaxy) poster for the very same mag, so I must have done well with my scribbling for them to call me back for something more prominent. The cover in question is the alternative Planet of the Apes cover. Which I like to think of as the retro apes cover; there is another cover which acknowledges the new movie Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (a title which sounds like it needs shortening.)

I'll go through the process for anyone interested.

1) Scamps (or sketches) I only made two...because I don't always (if ever) think a ton of sketches is a good idea, preferring one or two at a time. Anyway the one they went for was this:

2) I created the elements separately. This allowed me to move everything freely in Photoshop. So the apes and background elements such as the Statue of Liberty were drawn by hand and scanned in, looking like this:

3) Drag the elements together on screen and colour them. The rocky backdrop was done with a mouse. So I sent them this (minus signature):

4) Lastly they added their own magazine logo of an appropriate colour:

Ta-Daaaaaa!!!! - I have my copy.

Tuesday 10 June 2014

After Eden

Promotional work for music group "After Eden."

Involved creating a logo and turning a photograph into a comic-book style image. Tools used: ink and pencils including some tracing. The group have a Facebook page here:

 The band with logo...

...And the logo on it's own.

Monday 9 June 2014

Keyman Vs Death

A mock-comic book cover for a corporate insurance company. 

The "Death" concept was mine; the brief originally was that a businessman was ill so "Keyman" was to save the day (...essentially wrestling the company profits from all the red tape). I felt I needed to draft in a villain in order to make it work as a single comic book cover.

Tools used: pencil, paper, brush pen, photoshop. ...That is all. So, if you own a business or corporate enterprise, check them out In fact if you're rich and powerful, commission me whilst you're at it!

Keyman punches Death in the face.
One can't help but think of He-Man  
(because Keyman sounds like He-Man)
and Skeletor (because he looks like Death).

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Alice and the Invaders from Wonderland

Tres important announcement!

Alice discovered Wonderland as we all know, but what would happen if its kooky inhabitants found the rabbit hole and invaded Earth?


Myself and author, Bret M. Herholz are currently "crowd funding" to support the creation and publication of a graphic novel. It will be drawn by me! Click ---> HERE <----to go straight to the Indiegogo page. For the uninitiated crowd funding is a way of sourcing funds from you, the interested public. Donating can lead not only to the product being made but also exclusive rewards.

The Graphic Novel "Alice and the Invaders From Wonderland" is a great concept and I'm keen to get stuck into something of this scale. IMPORTANTLY you can not only donate to the project but also purchase some artwork along the way. Prints and postcards featuring character designs by both myself and Bret (he's a fellow scribbler in his own right). All proceeds will be piled into the production costs.

Here is an example of one of my original character designs currently up for grabs:

Original art. Ink on A4 paper.

Click HERE to view the page.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

The Manchester and London Marathon

If I'm an illustrator first, then I'm a runner second. Specifically I'm a member of "Chorlton Runners," though no membership is required.

Recently a whole bunch of us ran marathons. Chorlton being in South Manchester, meant that many from the club ran the Manchester Marathon, though myself and several others ran London the very next weekend instead. ...Or the "Virgin Money London Marathon" to give it its full contractual title.

I ran London because I was lucky enough to win a place through Chorlton Runners (yay!). ...A wonderful, painful, exhilarating day was had... though this is slightly beside the point because this post is really about who I trained with and moreover who coached me and my fellow marathon runners to overwhelming success. ...(Success as in a) attempting the bloody thing and all the training, (or is that insanity?) or b) just getting through the bloody thing.)

To cut a long story short, by way of thanks from me and the club I dedicated a framed picture to our coach Gavin Cameron. Giver of many, many man-hours; though a self titled "Dark Lord" of blood sweat and tears, he devised our training plan and was on hand pretty much every step of the way. A good man. This picture was presented to him during the post-Manchester marathon party...
Me and Gavin: Incidentally, I was a marshal at the 
Manchester Marathon so felt entitled to join 
in with a celebratory a pint (last one before 
London, the week after - hey, I never said I 
was Mo Farah).

The caricature in all it's glorious fun-poking detail. 
Yes, he does indeed say all those things.

Me, just after finishing the London Marathon. 
Mmmm, tastes like running-bling.

Thursday 17 April 2014

Softball Girls

Pull your socks up, let's play ball...

Dee Foster is the marvel behind, and she commissioned yours truly to draw a ton of female softball players. She knows how to add colour digitally, so I just got down and dirty with the old brush and ink.

Now, why is there not a comic about a vengeance-
hungry team of female softball players?

Also, this guy.

What was that Simpsons song? ..Oh yeh (I haven't copied and pasted this in a pathetic attempt to get more hits, honest).

Well Mr. Burns had done it,
The power plant had won it,
With Roger Clemens clucking all the while,
Mike Scioscia's tragic illness made us smile,
While Wade Boggs lay unconscious on the barroom tile...

We're talkin' softball...
From Maine to San Diego.
Talkin' softball...
Mattingly and Canseco.
Ken Griffey's grotesquely swollen jaw.
Steve Sax and his run-in with the law.
We're talkin' Homer... Ozzie and the Straw.

We're talkin' softball...
From Maine to San Diego.
Talkin' softball...
Mattingly and Canseco.
Ken Griffey's grotesquely swollen jaw.
Steve Sax and his run-in with the law.
We're talkin' Homer... Ozzie and the Straw.

Thursday 13 March 2014

Book Preview!

I am currently illustrating a book for Mr Shaan Sharma a client in LA, the book is called "A Session Director's Guide to Commercial Acting in LA." It will be available fairly soon, but in the meantime I have some cropped preview images right here...

 Guaranteed to be a clucking good read.

 You'll need some sweet profile shots if you 
want to succeed in the commercial world.

 It's pretty much the best book ever written.

Thursday 9 January 2014

We Got Death Star!

I was commissioned by Scott Jensen of Texas to create this: his family portrait transformed into Star Wars characters. Here's what happened:

1) He emailed me a photo and told me which Star Wars character each family member will become.

2) I did the rest.

 Here's the original photo

Here's what I did

So, from right to left: Darth Vader, a Storm Trooper, Princess Leia, Wicket, C3P0, R2D2, Queen Amidala, Yoda and The Emperor.