Monday, 23 August 2010

One Of Us, One Of Us...

I learned one of the most important lessons of my life the other day;

Laptops are not Ribena- proof.

Now this might seem fairly obvious to most of you, but ask yourself; "Am I sure? Have I actually tested the theory?"

I have. They're not.

So you can tick that one off the list. If you were ever unsure, now you don't have to be.

So my blessed old HP lappy is dead- drowned in a sticky puddle of delicious strawberry flavoured syrupy goodness. Have you ever spilled liquid on a computer? There's a tantalising second or two where you will be lead to believe that if you can just invert the machine and drain the wetness back the way it went in before it drips onto anything important then everything will be okay. This is a cruel deception. There is no hope. You're fucked. As soon as that water/ beer/ wine/ Ribena makes contact with you beloved electronic life-partner it's on a one-way trip to a flickery spasmodic death. And don't expect anything dramatic either, chances are for all your trouble all that'll happen is you'll get a ghostly after-image of the last thing your computer displayed before it unceremoniously fades to black, never to be revived.

But all is not lost.

Wise people keep backups.

Wiser people keep Mac-ups. (See what I did there?)

It took a few days, some wrangling with the financial department (Mum's can be ever so helpful) and a frantic search around the local PC World stores but I am now the ever-so-proud owner of a brand spanking new iMac!


Never again do I have to worry about spillages on my desk- the sexy innards of my computer are now suspended four inches above any kind of liquid death housed behind a rather splendid 21.7" screen.

I've spent the last two days getting the thing set up the way I like it and transferring my iTunes library (a process nowhere near as arduous as I had been lead to believe) and now I'm ready to start work!


P.P.S. I've been playing around with colouring a little on one of my DECONSTRUCTED pages, just to get used to using a mouse with no buttons and an OS that feels like someone turned WINDOWS upside down and tipped all the shit out.

Sunday, 15 August 2010


Yep, that's right- two posts in two days! I'm on a roll baby! No seriously, I fear I may have been replaced with some sort of over productive pod-person. Please advise me of any other abnormal behaviour if I exibit it- for your own safety, and the safety of the planet.

So, what do the pictures below have in common (other than a less-than-usual adherance to form and proportion)?

They were all created using 'Sketchbook' rather than Photoshop.

'Big wow' I hear you say but the cool thing about Sketchbook is not that it offers an easy to use alternative to more expensive competitors (it retails at £1.79) but rather that it's an iPhone app.

The pictures below were constructed variously in the time between customers at work, on lunchbreak or, in the case of the last one, during the finale of the BBC's superb Moffat/Gatiss reworking of Sherlock Holmes- 'Sherlock' (Masterful, really really just bloody good television).

The app features a very respectable selection of tools and brushes, allows you to fiddle with layers and filters and even gives you a free-transform tool which, thanks to the touch interface is actually much easier to use than the one in photoshop- nifty.

From time to time I may upload more of these little pocket artworks, if nothing else creating them is teaching me better use of brushes and such- something I have historically never been too good at (always been more of a sketcher).

Hope you like these, and please forgive me if they're a bit rough- it's surprisingly hard to paint with your fingertip.

Beware 'Nudey Burning Chick'! I sometimes use this one to demonstrate the power of the iPhone for customers. I'm all 'Dude- I totally painted this in my iPhone' and they're all 'No way! You're a big fat liar!'

This is actually one of the first sketches of DECONSTRUCTED's Sophie I ever did!

And this is one of the most recent. The weird framing is to hide the fact that her body mysteriously stops at the shoulders.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Johnny Five... Is Alive!

Here we are again then... a couple of weeks later than planned. Again. Work continues to eat away at my time like a ravenous parasite that feeds on my ideas. Starting your day job at 8:30AM and getting home 12 hours later is not exactly conducive to the creative process.
None the less; here is DECONSTRUCTED page 5 in both its rough form (above) and the finalised version (below).
Please note in particular the tool box and equipment strapped to the front tread housing in the rough. An idea I really liked but forgot to render in my pencils for page 1 and thus had to leave out here for continuity. In fact if you look at the pencils for page one you'll notice that Sophie's footprints stomp around in place a little at the front tread- originally where she was to be retrieving tools. Maybe I'll get a chance to correct it later or it can be picked up in inks.

Nothing more to say other than to thank DECONSTRUCTED writer and creator Den Patrick for the awesome hardback copy of 'Slaine- The Horned God' (signed by Simon Bisley himself) I received in the mail today- a gift that actually made me SOL (Squee Out Loud) when I got home this evening.

Friday, 23 July 2010

De Page Boss, De Page!

Seems like an age since my last post. Time is a commodity that I have little of at the moment. Work obligations seem to consume most of my life and leave very little room for anything else. I had intended for this to be a much larger post with two whole pages to show but sadly time constaints have limited it to one.
Hopefully this will improve soon but for now its all work, work, work - and not the good kind.
Behold, DECONSTRUCTED pencils for page 4 rough (above) and finished (below)
Peace y'all!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Well, technically that should be 'MOAR PAGE' as there is only one today. But don't fret- there will be another on Thursday, which should keep the Dens of this world happy at least.

This is page 2 of DECONSTRUCTED. Below are the rough pencils, and the final version, which you will see have hardly changed at all.

So those are the originals roughs, obviously...

And these are the finals. Let me know what you think, more to come on Thursday.

P.s. Those who follow me on Twitter may recall I recently found my old school yearbooks. You'll be glad to know I fully intend to humiliate myself (and possibly a few others)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Time Is The Fire In Which We Burn

Considering my dayjob title is 'Sales Consultant' (Admin Sales now) I tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time on the phone on hold or just sitting around waiting for customers to actually take the leap and decide the best way to buy a phone is to actually come into the store.

Most of the other staff spend this kind of downtime messing around on their iPhones or pestering friends on facebook.

I get creative. Now I'd love to be able to say I have a mature attitude to doodling but the fact is, when I'm bored, its girls, guns and robots that tend to come to mind. Ive already shown you a few robots , so here's a couple of the girls.

Now because these are just work place doodles and done in biro no less, they are obviously not as polished or well posed as normally my pics would be. Also because they're drawn on a flat desk they tend to have a stretched look to them. I prefer working on an inclined board or in my lap.

In short, these aren't my best work, but I thought you might like to see what drifts through my head on a slow work day.

This one in particular irks me. I managed to make a sniper rifle weightless. Annoying, but in biro, what's done can't be undone.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Blast from the Past, Yes?

I got promoted at work the other day.

Wheeeeee, great.

Of course while the kick up the arse of my stagnant salary is welcome it does mean that things have been a little stressy of late, what with me running around like a panicked chicken trying desperately to upskill for the position I have to assume in two weeks (not easy when you consider that one of those weeks will be spent on holiday).

This has lead to a lot of late nights and early mornings, hardly condusive to the production of 'MOAR PAGEZ' as my DECONSTRUCTED editor Den (channeling the spirt of a pimply internet- spreaking teenager) constantly badgers.

Possessed by a need to draw but having neither the time nor the energy to crank out the latest DECONSTRUCTED page, I scrawled out the above doodle during the mindshattering drama of South Africa vs. Uraguay.

Now anyone who grew up in the nineties will recognise the fellow above as Death's Head II and his trusty sidekick, Tuck. For anyone not in the know DH2 was a creation of Marvel UK during the early nineties who bounced around time fighting various well known (and plenty of not so well known) baddies from around various Marvel franchises.

Many despise DH2 for replacing the original wise cracking smartly written DH but I always had a soft spot for Big Blue for a number of important reasons. Firstly, he was the figurehead of the Marvel UK pantheon during the formative years of my teens. Secondly he looked totally badass and thirdly, and perhaps most importantly; whilst the original DH was a quipping, one- lining sociopath and DH2 tended to be a little less complicated he scored over the older, smarter incarnation when it came to sidekicks.

The original DH had Spratt- an ironically bumbling street kid who DH claimed to openly despise but secretly harboured a soft spot for.

DH2 had Tuck- a bio- engineered love slave turned amazon with a taste for skimpy clothing and heavy artillary.

I was 14. Do the maths.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Internet Told Me To.

So, totally out of order; here's page one! First the roughs:

And then the finals:

You'll notice very little difference in the composition between the two, although the Donkey has undergone some cosmetic polishing. The main difference is that the finished pencils are drawn using three point perspective, which required the use of so many construction lines that halfway done the piece looked like the work of a demented but very spatially aware spider. I also got rid of the Donkey's snowplough, mostly because although it had a kinda cool retro cow-catcher look to it, in practical terms it served no purpose- in fact it was positioned in such a way as to move snow into the path of the tracks.
More to come soon. Den has found me on Twitter so now there's no escape from his 'encouragements'.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

I, Robot(s)

Fuck Blogger. Fuck it in it's stupid ass.
As soon as I work out a practical replacement I'm moving this blog to a different host. The Java powered editor I use to write this is a ghastly fuck of a git. Using it is like a punishment. Wrote a full entry this morning before work, in the hours that I think are some of the most important of the day, the ones that set your mood for the next eight hours or so and was very happy with it. Then I tried to upload my work and the stupid bastardfuck decided to instead irradicate my hard work and put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Pity. It was looking so good until then.
Here's some bloody robots. First two black ballpoint doodles from work. Second two out of sketchbook. Want more description?
Blame Blogger. Dumb piece of shit.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


What? A post? Here? From Me?

That's right peeps, I'm back and no amount of work related worries, finacial woes or Xbox releases are going to stop me this time!

Met up with the awesome Den last week and had a good old chinwag about numerous things, like two friends who haven't seen each other in nearly a decade might be expected to do. Most important and exciting of which was obviously our treasured project, DECONSTRUCTED.

Its been nearly three months since I posted my rough pencils for the first half of issue one and I'm please to give you the first page of final pencils that I've produced. Below is the rough for page 9 for reference so you can see the changes I made to the final version.

Now its probably handy to give you a couple of bits of information about me. 1.) I work almost exclusively in A4. 2.) I almost never produced finished work. 3.) I very rarely place my characters in an environment.
Now knowing Den was going to need some exciting pages to show to potential publishers I decided to throw myself in at the deep end by drawing the most action packed page out of my section of the book; page 9.
More of a challenge than I imagined. turns out my roughs were a little basic in composition so I made a couple of cinematic changes- switching in a few close ups to pull the reader into the scene and breaking up the linier setting with some more exciting angles. Took much longer than I expected and a couple of high profile Xbox releases ended up battling for my attention. In the end I ended up making a new playlist for my iPod entitled 'Youthful Dreams of Success' containing all the music I used to listen to back in the mid 90's when I first invisioned being a comic book artist. These tracks were the same ones I used to listen to while hunched over my parents dining table creating some of the characters you may have already seen on this blog and it was amazing to see the psychological effect those tunes had. I found myself enthused as I haven't been in months with that same naive energy I had in my teens.

The energy it turns out is still there, just buried under tonnes of adult concerns which mostly amount to issues about what I am, not who I am.
Turns out that even if my adult life gets mired in mediocrity on a day to day basis I still have the power, as do we all, to escape into imagination and what is even better; I can put it on a page. Never realised until now how grateful I am for that.
Still wish I could play the guitar though. Stupid little hands.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Down a Hole.

Ha! At long last the much anticipated, much delayed second part of DECONSTRUCTED issue 1 is here! Featuring much more action than the first part as well as a whole number of perspective related problems; seriously- setting an action scene in a ribbed corridor? That's just mean!

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

Page 11

Page 12

Think I need to do some proper design work on those cryo pods before commiting to the final pencils- sometimes I wish I had any skill at all with 3d modelling; it would make many elements a heck of a lot easier to cope with!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

There's Too Many Of Them!

Hardly a post at all, just paying respect to Den's love of the Republic Cruiser from the Star Wars prequels. Be careful what you say to me in jest!

Big update with five more pages of DECONSTRUCTED to come tomorrow- 'night y'all!

Friday, 19 February 2010

I Can Sing a Rainbow

Just playing around with some colours, not that it really falls within my responsibilities on DECONSTRUCTED- just a bit of fun. Wanted to mess around with some more interesting colours than you normally see on typical scifi spaceship- they're all so typically dour. No idea if Den will like any of them though.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!

Hallo everyone!

Very exciting post this time- I've finally finished a design for Evengeline and I'm pretty happy with it. To anyone not sure what I'm going on about Evengeline is the salvage ship from the project I'm working on with Den Patrick called DECONSTRUCTED. For some reason a design that both Den and I are happy with has eluded me until now (I think- Den has only seen the front and side elevations so far).

This one takes elements from numerous design concepts and combines them in what I hope looks like a pretty sturdy functional vessel. Anyway, stuff I've said earlier on the subject can be found here.

Friday, 12 February 2010

It's Been a Hard Day

Tough day at work. Early start tomorrow. Need to sleep. Haven't time to scan and watermark the other pages of DECONSTRUCTED so here's a portrait of Sophie I knocked out the other day to relax when I was stressing over page comps.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Herr Durr Derp Derp Derp

So it's been over a month since my last update. Consider it a winter hibernation period from which I have now awakened. Or blame Modern Warfare 2, Trails HD and Mass Effect 2.

I've also invested in an iPhone so Doodlejump probably has some blame to share too. that and Twitter. Twitter rules my life now. With Twitter I can pretend I know celebrities and converse with them through the medium of shortform blogging, a delusion not discouraged in the least when David Hewlett (@dhewlett), Dr. Rodney McKay himself from Stargate: Atlantis deigned to respond to one of my comments. Just how geeky you are will determine if you think this is a) Awesome or b) Tragically sad.

Anyway, mega-bumper-update to make up for the recent laziness: The first seven pages of DECONSTRUCTED in rough form, sans dialogue.

Note for Den; I realise this isn't the 12 pages you wre expecting but I figured spreading it over two days will get me back into the habit of posting regularly, plus the scanning took way longer than I expected and I had to watermark everything to boot!

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

The rest tomorrow my friends! Promise!