Told you so.
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
This dude is just your standard rank and file cannon- fodder guardsman, no doubt soon to become a Tyranid toothpick or have his head burst by the fiendish machinations of the chaos gods. Poor bloke. I always liked the guard- I mean Space Marines are all very well and good but they only account for about a tenth of one percent of the Imperium's fighting strength. In terms of sure volume, it's the Guard who win every time. Plus they get tons of cool tanks and shit.
I freakin' love Eldar. That's all there is to say about this dude. Somewhere, lost within the pages of my books or on a dusty hard drive somewhere there's a pretty cool picture of a Harlequin Deathjester. I'll see if I can find it.
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
I was beginning to think I might not manage to ever upload here again- life keeps throwing obstacles my way like some kind of crazed Donkey Kong rolling barrel after barrel of angst at a hapless Mario who is all out of hammers. Sorry about the insanely dated reference there, I suspect its a reaction to the sudden influx of virtual children into my workplace making me feel old in every regard, right down to the similes.
Still, at least i have a silver lining for, unlike the countless hopeless cases of the workforce who share the feeling that the world is gradually overhauling them and will eventually leave them choking on vibrant, youthful dust, I have a chance to change lanes. DECONSTRUCTED.
Work continues abreast after a hiatus of a month or so and Den will I'm sure be delighted to see not one but TWO designs in this post. Yay!
He's been working tirelessly in his centre of operations in our great nations capital and I just cant thank him enough for all his work and enthusiasm, as well as his encouragement. Not only has Den been recruiting some of the other people we need to get our fledgling project off the ground, but he's also but together a production blog where all of the work to date has been collected. He really has been a busy bee and I thank him immensely for it.
Footnote: I cant wait to get up to London and bang heads Bro!
Anyway, without further ado~
Riley. Riley is in her late thirties, loud mouthed and abrasive. Den and I discussed designing a female character who doesn't conform to the usual comic book stereotypes so as a result Riley is a little more working mum than super heroine. Her trademark accessory is one of those quit- smoking- plastic thingies and I figure she used to smoke ALOT so since quitting she's piled on a few pounds and become even more grouchy. Nice. Actually a lot of fun to draw.
Anyway, that's all for now... Promise more soon, maybe even some non- DECONSTRUCTED stuff. I really want to produce a pic of the Knights of Good- in character from Felicia Day's THE GUILD. Finding time of course, that's another matter.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Just in case anyone was starting to worry about my relative quietness recently following the flurry of DECONSTRUCTED activity, fear not- I have not died (I seem to have to say that with alarming frequency) or lost enthusiasm, I simply have a lot of work to do at the moment.
If any of you have worked in sales at all you're probably aware that the end of the month can be quite frantic as you desperately try to meet those quotas. Commitment to this has meant a few late nights in recent days and I've been left feeling rather drained so my productivity has dropped a little.
Fear not, however for happily I now have two straight days off to indulge my sketchbook so expect some new stuff in the next couple of days.
Speaking of work, the creation you see above is a little something I knocked out during a quiet spell this morning- call it a doodle if you will. Most of the doodles I do at work also have confidential customer details all over them, or it might be fairer to say my confidential customer details have doodles all over them- either way they get filed or shredded. Fortunately this one was done on a fresh piece of 80gsm printer stock so I was free to bring it home.
It's rendered in Biro and depicts one of my coworkers, whom I hate enough to draw having his head squished by a naked demon. He has also soiled himself if you can tell. The demon also raped him. You can't tell from the picture but he did.
In the interest of professionalism I shall not reveal the identity of the individual.
He is not called Steve.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
DECONSTRUCTED requires the design of a spaceship; The Evangeline. I was given the following brief:
DESIGNATION: LOS PERDIDO COMBINE SHIP EVANGELINE
TYPE: COMMERCIAL SALVAGE VESSEL/ HAULER
CLASS: AMERICANA HS B-20
Not a lot to go on huh? well, thankfully Den is more than happy enough to furnish me with additional details as required. After a few well aimed e-mails I was able to ascertain that Evangeline was somewhere around the size of Serenity or Betty- a kind of Millennium Falcon affair which needs to be atmosphere capable, able to carry two 'Donkey' size snowcrawlers and capable of microgravity salvage operations. Den also mentioned that Evangeline is private rather than military so large battle cannons and maser guns were pretty much out of the question...
First up I went back to an old design you'll find hiding here and tidied it up a bit but I thought it looked a little too airplane-ish
It came down to this; I wanted a ship that looked utilitarian but also shaped like it could enter an atmosphere without any of that 'shields' or 'repulsorlift' jiggery- pokery. It needed to be tough, but clearly not military, and about the size of a middling to large airliner. Obviously we needed space to store and deploy our snowcrawlers and also areas to stow cargo both internally and externally. I wanted to have an engineering section distinct from the cargo and command sections.
All the designs I was producing started from a side elevation design and were falling into the same trap- too streamlined, too nice to look at, too aggressive- some even looking like fighters. Pretty cool in most respects but not Evangeline, so I started afresh. Not fair to say i went back to the drawing board as I never left it but I certainly attacked the problem from a new angle and more importantly a new perspective- I started not from a side- on view but a 3d projection allowing me to create the shape and presence I was looking for, whilst simultaneously making something that was pig-ugly from the side. Much more satisfying.
This looks not like an airliner, but a flying Tonka-toy. I can fully imagine this ship being coloured building- site yellow or John Deere green. Certainly a tool rather than a joyride.
Monday, 19 October 2009
Anyway, on to the work. I've only managed the one new character sketch and it was probably the hardest, this one actually having to look like someone, and someone I've never met to boot.
My apologies to Steve White if my cartoon representation in any way sells him short.
VARENKOV, – He looks like Steve White. He wears khaki combats and a black t-shirt with the legend ‘PUT YOUR DISEASE IN ME’. He is reading a book on Vietnam.
Note to Den; How do you spell this guys name? The documents you have given me variously have it as 'Varenkov', 'Varenko' and 'Varanakov'. I've stuck with the version from the script, and assuming the second is a typo. The third doesn't fit with his nickname 'Ren' so I'm assuming that one is also wrong...
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
For the first time in a few years I am spending most of my free time working on artistic endeavours.
My Xbox lies unused, the Internet unbrowsed and I am at least two weeks behind on all my favourite TV programs.
The reason? DECONSTRUCTED. Around a week ago my estranged friend Den Patrick approached me with the idea of producing a limited run web comic to be serialised online and then, all being well, published in time for next years Birmingham Comic Expo. the industrious little chap had already knocked up a script and list of characters and such to be designed and asked me on board to help out with pencils and design work. Seems he had caught the writing bug at this years event and within hours had passed it to me with all the virulence of swine flu.
I put out the first sketch I did in the previous post but I wasn't sure how much Den wanted circulating just yet so I had to be a little circumspect with the information. After a few (dozen) emails I now have a much better idea of Den's plans (some of which are growing rapidly, fuelled by his burning ambition) and soon there'll be a separate blog charting our progress on the project.
Until then I'm going to post stuff here, and after my first day off since beginning I can offer you the following bits;
Full page. The front end of a large, boxy snow crawler. It is painted khaki green but is covered in ice and snow. It bears the legend ‘DONKEY’, but someone has graffiti’ed ‘WONKY’ just over the top of the word. The grille is opened and a single person is tinkering with the engine. Don’t make it look American, instead opt for that blocky, un-fussy Soviet style. Perhaps decorate the side of the crawler with a big ‘02’.
Orange sirens on the back of the crawler cast a weird light over the surrounding environment. Instead of making the whole thing run on two tank tracks maybe opt for four, like the Jawa Sandcrawler from Star Wars.
This is the Donkey; a futuristic snowmobile-apc type vehicle that features in the early pages of issue one. Den instructed me that it needed to be built like a Soviet era tank and have tracks rather than wheels much like the sandcrawler from Star Wars. The script demands that it have a cabin large enough to sit at least two with good forward visibility and a rear habitation compartment accessible through the cabin. Den didn't specify if it had a plough so I left room for one to fit if needed. I took my inspiration from the photos and drawings that Den handily included in his notes but also from a John Deer combine harvester- recent models of which look awesomely scifi.
NAKAMURA –Behind them, at a kitchenette is NAKAMURA, a Japanese man. He is fixing himself a drink. He wears combats but with a Lab Coat, so we know he’s the science bod. I like the idea of him having goggles pushed back on his forehead too.
Nakamura; A member of the Evangeline (an interplanetary salvage and transport vessel in the style of Serenity or Alien: Resurrection's Betty- more to come on that) crew. Nakamura is described as Japanese and wearing a labcoat, thus denoting his place on the crew as 'science guy' but also wearing combats, so I picture him as a pretty laid back type of dude.
AMENT, – is the chief mechanic. A bear of a man, from Russian stock. He wears dog tags and a black bandana. All his gear is scuffed, ripped or worn. He looks like he escaped from a Grateful Dead concert.
I had a lot of fun drawing Ament. His description, though relatively sparse gave me plenty to play around with, and seeing as I rarely draw the huge, musclebound comicbook type guys you often see in mainstream books it made a refreshing change. By the way- his T-shirt is an actual Grateful Dead tour shirt- summer 1987. For anyone who cares.
I've got lots of things still to design before I can even get started on page comps and this is going to keep me occupied for ages to come. Posts about other stuff may suffer but I'm sure most of you won't mind seeing so much new stuff- yay!
Watch this space for news on the DESCONSTRUCTED blog...
Saturday, 10 October 2009
To Den I would say this- I've tried to include everything you mentioned in your description, however you did say she was wearing both a parka and a toolbelt, which would seem to be mutually exclusive if they were to be depicted at the same time as one would cover the other, so I've gone for a shorter jacket design. As for the gun; I had to go trawling through Intron Depot and the Appleseed Databook to find designs to homage (rip off) and I hope what I came up with was more or less what you envisioned...
I've also been working on the Wonky Donkey (reminds me of the Mucky Pig, ah, memories) and thought I'd combine the ideas you had with a combine harvester style design, replacing the wheels with tracks and the whirly deathblades with a plough, then Sovieting the whole thing up a bit (btw I live with a Russian so if you actually want any Cyrillic text on it just let me know and she can translate whatever you want). Obviously pics will follow either here or, if you'd rather I didn't post, then in an email.
Quite buzzed about this project so watch this space (or don't, depending on the level of secrecy required) for more...
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
It's been three weeks since my last post? Damn. I'd love to say that it's been because I've been off around the world exploring exotic locales or doing volunteer missionary work in the Pacific islands but the sad fact is that I've rarely been more than a few feet away from my laptop.
I have only the Xbox and an overbearing feeling of indifference to blame for my absence and I beg your forgiveness for this.
Now lying in a sickness induced sweat I decided to actually write something, you know, in case anyone was still checking for updates. I know Den has been and I thank him for his concern- and offer of involvement in juicy projects! I was looking forward to providing you all with yummy new work that I have been doing (between bouts of Halo 3: ODST and Fable II) but tragically it seems my laptop had come to enjoy its relaxing period of disuse and hoped to extend it by contracting a particularly nasty virus that locked me out of all functions on the machine other than installing 'Antiviruspro 2010'. Being the naive and trusting individual I am I naturally saw no other option but to format my entire c: drive and start windows again from three year-old settings.
I'm sorry to say that all my recently produced work was lost, including everything I've produced for this blog, saddest of which (witch, lol) was the newly completed rendering of Bellatrix Lestrange I was intending to include in the post. I'm afraid all the new work I had been doing on Deadend is also gone, thus teaching me that using a Wacom, though versatile, is no match for a real sketchbook. Boo.
Thankfully all my older stuff is stored on a backup drive, which means although I cant bring you anything new, I can still give you some Darkside, so here you are; I've decided to skip to one of the later colour rendered strips, just because I like this one, and it's particularly geeky being that you can only really understand it if you've read 'Heir to the Empire' or are familiar with the Extended Universe...
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Continuing on a theme, a character whom I actually believe to be the evilest in the Harry Potter series; Bellatrix Lestrange. Voldemort may have been a nasty piece of work but at least he was an insane megalomaniac- Bella was motivated purely by a desire to cause pain and misery. A nasty, nasty piece of work if ever there was one, she is personally responsible for the deaths of two of my other favourite characters- Sirius Black and the aformentioned Nymphadora Lupin (nee Tonks)
Thursday, 10 September 2009
I think the only extra work I could put in would be to maybe add a shadow and a bit of outlining but I'm not going to let that get in the way of achieving my target of having it finished by the end of the day so there.
Why Tonks you might ask? I dunno, I always liked her and she and Lupin both have this kind of tragic appeal to me. Maybe I'll do him next. By the way; am I the only one who see's J.K. Rowling setting up a Harry Potter: The Next Generation eleven years down the road starring little Teddy Lupin? I called it here first!
Let me know what you think of the pic- it's the first 'finished' piece of art I've produced in about three years!
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
The fact is I'm on holiday and the last couple of days I've spent basically doing absolutely nothing- feels good to take the time and fill it with bone idleness, but now it's time to do something so here you go.
I've been listening to Stephen Fry's Harry Potter audiobooks and I must say they're a great way to keep your brain occupied during the walk to work or while you do the housework. I'm up to 'Order of the Phoenix' and enjoying it massively. In fact I've even been inspired to draw something yes, you heard it here first- I'm drawing something and I thought I'd let you all in on the process so here you go, a work in progress for my picture of Nymphadora Tonks. Updates to come as I continue to work.
Sunday, 6 September 2009
Friday, 4 September 2009
3.) Getting closer... The horrible hair is finally gone, replaced with pretty much what has come to be Myers' trademark style, but she's lost her clan tattoo and gained some piercings... starting to get a little alternative, but the bulky spacesuit is still there.
I thought looking through some of this stuff might help inspire Simon to get on with some Deadend stuff, which he seems to be enthused about according to his blog here.
More to come in a minute...
Thursday, 3 September 2009
This is Anthony Hayes. Anthony Hayes is very special, in more ways than one.
Hayes is the only character Simon and I created for Deadend who has remained pretty much unchanged from his inception. He's always been a well built, tall human male in his mid twenties called Anthony Hayes. Unlike Sam Campbell (name change), Martin Baxter (race change) or Rachel Myers (random changes in height, hairstyle, facial piercings, tattoos...), nothing has changed in his designs from my earliest sketches.
Hayes is something of a genius. A wunderkind perennial underachiever he works in the R&D department of the United Industries Security Force (UISF) and fulfils the role of support for our illustrious squad of heroes.
Hayes is a 'G-man'- a genetically engineered superhuman- that is to say physically fit, super intelligent and disease resistant. This kind of modification does not come cheap however and Hayes is not from a rich background. In fact he is an orphan, though through no tragic circumstance. Three generations of his ancestors voluntarily entered into indentured service and worked their entire adult lives to fund his geneering and upon the completion of their contract Hayes was produced in a biowomb and raised to adulthood at the expense of his parent company- UI.
Sadly it would appear that Hayes is somewhat afraid of failure or at least unwilling to live up to his full potential and as such sought employment in the security force, where he spends his time hacking criminal networks, developing new technologies and field testing new weapons systems, the geneering program apparently having no ability to influence the human nature to rebel.
Hayes wears spectacles although he has no need for them and in fact has better than perfect eyesight and constantly smokes, because his advanced biology suffers absolutely no negative effects from doing so.
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Ok- fine; I've been seduced by the green eyed cyclops and done little more than play xbox for the past week. I noticed that one of my friends was in danger of overtaking me on gamerpoints so I found it necessary to hammer out as many cheap achievements as possible (sorry Toby) even going so far as to buy 'Blazing Angels II' for £8 from Tesco (on the same note, anyone think it's worth picking up 'Eternal Sonata' for the same price? It's notoriously difficult to earn achievements from JRPGs but I must say a Namco game set in the world of a dying Chopin's dreams seems weirdly appealing...).
Anyway, the guy illustrated above is another of my creations for my steampunky fantasy idea; 'Untitled Fantasy Project No. 2'. He is but one of a whole range of nasty beasties I envisaged to inhabit the valley floor below the floating islands of the Avian people. These guys I imagine to be somewhat akin to the Morlocks from H.G. Well's 'The Time Machine'- devolved canniblistic cavemen. Looks pretty threatening, no? I wanted to create a kind of hulking heavyweight creature without putting all the strength in the arms, which seems to be the cliche for such things. This guy carries all his muscle in his chest and neck, supporting powerful jaws for clamping and ripping.
Friday, 28 August 2009
These ugly fellows are members of the Cornhalli race, the proposed antagonists in mine and Simon Odd's dream project; Deadend. Obviously I've posted a fair bit about Deadend previously but all I've focused on were the main characters, so here's something a little different.
The Cornhalli are an aggressive species bent on galactic domination. They are not members of the galactic senate and have no political relations with any race- in fact no communication has ever taken place with them at all. Immensely powerful, they utilise advanced weapons technology to obliterate any advanced species they find within space they have entered.
As it would turn out, the Cornhalli are actually a genetically engineered slave race who have overthrown their masters and set about expanding their domain throughout inhabited space. Their geneered nature means that specific breeds of Cornhalli exists to fulfill specific roles- those of pilot, worker, warrior etc. Though I thus far haven't drawn one I have little doubt that somewhere within their sprawling empire you will find Cornhalli administrators as well.
The reason for the Cornhalli's aggression stems from their origins- as a genetically engineered slave race recently emancipated they have developed no culture of their own, no society. In this manner I imagine them as being similar to the Borg from Star Trek, although the Cornhalli do not share a hive mind, they do have a common purpose, to exercise their right to freedom. Sadly, the only way they are familiar with earning freedom is through violence.
By the way, you may have guessed from the title that the name 'Cornhalli' stems from the caffine-crazed Beavis alter-ego 'Cornholio' from Mike Judge's 'Beavis and Butthead'. If you can find out what year Cornholio made his debut you will know when simon and I first thought of Deadend.
Yes. That long ago.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
As promised here is a more detailed post about the Bournemouth Air Festival. I'm focusing this one on the vintage aircraft that were on display this weekend (there'll be a separate entry about the aerobatic planes later).
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Consisting of a Spitfire, a Hurricane and the mighty Avro Lancaster bomber.
Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk- I love this plane; there's just something about its proportions that appeals to me!
Boeing B- 17 Flying Fortress. It's important to note that, while this bomber bears 'Memphis Belle' nose art it is not, in fact that plane, which was an earlier model- notably lacking the nose turret. This one is painted as an homage. Still looks awesome though, especially when escorted by its little friends.
North American Aviation P- 51 Mustang. This thing is just beautiful- aside from it being very difficult to photograph with its polished finish (this Mustang is G-BTCD S/NUMBER 44-73419 - Painted to resemble 44-13704, "Ferocious Frankie," Operated by the Old Flying Machine Company, Duxford, Cambridgshire, UK- amazing what you can find out from Wikipedia). I have to say in my opinion, aside from the Vulcan this plane definitely made the best sound of the show!
de Havilland D- 100 Vampire. I love the sound of early jet engines- they kind of whistle rather than roar. There's something a little more refined about them.
Avro Vulcan. It's difficult to describe how awe inspiring this aircraft is. Recently restored for air demonstration flight this plane is a show stopper. Having seen one before, long, long ago I knew what to expect, though apparently many in the audience did not. After completing it's first pass at a leisurely idle speed the crowd seemed slightly underwhelmed, perhaps confused as to what all the fuss was about. The Vulcan, however then turned and proceeded to climb, increasing her engines to full thrust. Then all the babies started to cry. It's a sound felt more than heard and it roared in terms of sheer volume was exceeded only by the Eurofighter Typhoon. I swear at one point as it turned toward the crowd some acoustic hiccough or other caused it to sound as though the plane were actually roaring like a living animal. Everyone knew as it left that they had witnessed something special.
That's it for the vintage planes, hope you liked the pictures!
Ps. Had to include this brilliant picture of my buddy Ross standing next to a Vulcan fan. Not sure which event would be noisier- Download Festival or XH558, heh. If you'd like to make a contribution to the upkeep of the Vulcan you can do so at http://www.vulcantothesky.org/ by the way.