I’ve been very busy moving house, going into a new studio and generally turning my life upside down, but I’ve managed to keep up to date with my biggest project to date. It’s amazing being able to work in a studio with other artists rather than going stir crazy in my little flat all the time!
Dangerous Children is an absolute joy to work on. When I first took on the job I was worried that I’d get bored of working on just one big project all the time, but the wide variety of characters and environments is really keeping me on my toes. I recently hit page 83 of 150 so I’ve made a pretty big dent in it. My favourite things to work on so far have been the cover and the robotic circus. When I first created this Vuldorian Leviathan carcass it was only the size of a building and I thought I’d nailed it, but Mark the author said “No no no… I mean it’s BIG!” so we scaled it up to this colossal size! Way better! The decaying robo-circus has possibly been my favourite scene, and the rusting ringmaster is such fun to draw. I’m so grateful I’ve got the chance to keep working on this project and can’t wait to hold the finish product in my hands.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on my entry for the Posterspy competition to design an alternative poster for AMC’s hit show “Preacher”. There’s some really good entries by some incredible artists so we’ll see what happens.
This was done using a blend of techniques from both the 3D and 2D world. My intention was to have the realism and and vivid lighting and shadows that come with 3D design, while also paying homage to the show’s comic book origins with some traditional inking and crosshatching.
It’s my first attempt at a film poster so I’m pretty happy with the results.
In other news, on Friday night Claire and I attended James Newton Howard’s first ever live tour performance at the Royal Albert Hall. It was my first time visiting the hall and it was incredible to say the least. We heard many of his classic scores including music from The Dark Knight, The Village, The Hunger Games and many more. Howard himself seemed an incredibly likeable and humble man who gave a lot of credit to the people he’s worked with, and he even let slip that his colleague and friend Hans Zimmer was somewhere in the audience. That sent an excited murmur through the crowd to know we were sharing the space with two musical legends!
It’s been a hard few weeks and I’ve been very quiet as I gradually ease back into work.
Losing Dad was a massive blow and we’re still all trying to deal with it and get used to him being gone. I’ve had some amazing support from the rest of the family as well as some very understanding clients who totally understood why my output suddenly ground to a halt. One new client who I’ve never even met who has been through the same situation recently even offered advice and support which I had no reason to expect from him. So I’m massively grateful to everyone for being so amazing.
One of the things I used to do with Dad was call him up to tell him about my work, complain about the occasional awkward client, and discuss future plans. So it’s a hard thing to get used to.
I’m back at work now and getting back into my old routine. I’m still thoroughly enjoying working on the Dangerous Children graphic novel and one of the good things about it is the massive variety of designs it calls for.
An upcoming scene involves a dramatic chase scene with some futuristic/retro motorcycles. Hard surface modelling is always a bit of a challenge so it was really great to work on a few futuristic cycles. I’ve never ridden a bike in my life but creating these has kind of made me want to join a biker gang.
I love Harley Quinn. Not the one in the mediocre Suicide Squad film. She looked cool, but that’s not my Harley at all. My Harley is the cheeky under appreciated prankster in jingly bells!
I loved working on her hair in this picture, even though that meant I couldn’t give her the iconic jester hat. And there was something else missing in the composition when I first worked on it. Then I realised what it was. Harley is this innocent, hilarious, whacky, loving character that might kiss you, but might also wallop you on the head with her mallet! So the mallet had to go in there.
We’ve all known that amazing woman who falls for the wrong man and dotes on him, despite the fact that he’s clearly a crazy lunatic! Lovely Harley escapes the Joker’s clutches eventually and goes off on her own adventures, but I’m sure he still misses her.
My last post told you about my little cat guardian Josh. For a few months he was a regular visitor and would chase off any other kitty who dared to cross the threshold. But he started to act a little strangely recently. He started to run from me and I wondered what I could have done to upset him. Then I encountered my neighbour who was trying to coax Josh out from under a parked car. Poor Josh was trembling and ran away.
She explained that the poor guy recently got beaten up by another larger cat and ever since he’s been a nervous wreck and running from everyone. I found him yesterday under my car hiding from the rain, so I went to say hello. He wouldn’t come to me, so I slid a saucer of milk and a piece of chicken under there. He wouldn’t touch it while I was there, but I found the empty saucer later. So hopefully he’ll learn to trust people again.
In the spirit of cat guardians, here’s another kind of Kitty. Hopefully she’ll watch out for Josh while leaping across the rooftops.
I’ve never been much of a cat person. We’ve always had big slobbery dogs growing up and my parents actively chased away the local cats who menace the birds in the garden. So I was surprised at myself when I recently found myself enjoying the visits of a local cat.
I’d leave my patio doors open each day and this black and white fuzzball would turn up to say hello. He’d curl up for hours on my bed, walk across my keyboard wreaking havoc on my computer and even sit in my lap while I draw. I really appreciated the company as it was quite a difficult time with Dad in the hospital and lots of dashing about. After one particularly stressful day, I came home from the hospital and flopped face down on the bed. I had one thought pop into my head….”I wish the cat was here.” and then as if by magic I heard a little “Meow”. My little friend had walked in and found me feeling a bit sorry for myself. He jumped up on the bed, settled on my back and even started rubbing my neck with his paws! Magic.
I found out from my neighbours that his name is Josh. Strangely, after Dad made it through his operation and came home, Josh stopped coming by. I guess he’s off helping someone else now. Or pursuing his own kitty agenda.
So I’ve just done this illustration in his honour. Hope you’re doing ok Josh!
Having a great year so far on the illustration front. I’ve been working on an amazing project with author Mark Morrow. Mark is putting together an amazing graphic novel adaptation of his novel “Dangerous Children”, a tale of interdimensional travel, cyborg teenagers, robotic rhinos, and wall climbing jet cycles. So plenty of scope for an illustrator like me! It’s a really collaborative experience as I’ve been working with Dennis Fallon and his team of story board artists, and Shari Wickstrom who provided concept art. My job is to provide the final artwork for the whole novel.
The project also has some ties with LucasFilm and Star Wars veteran Gary Rydstrom who’s been offering guidance and feedback on the project. It’s all going really well so far!
It’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been having a really busy year so far. I’m really pleased to be working on a great sci-fi project for author Col Jonathan Brazee. Jonathan in a retired US Marine Colonel who now writes military themed sci-fi novels.
I love sci-fi so was delighted to have the chance to create some hard as nails space marines. The image turned out really well and I can’t wait to see it available to buy.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted but it’s been a busy few months. 2017 seems set to be the year things kick up a gear for me work wise and I’ve got some exciting projects in the works. One of my new jobs was secured on the strength of my monster work, so in that spirit here’s my offering to the old god Cthulhu!
I’m coming to the the end of my comic project and it’s been a huge learning experience. I’ve picked up a ton of new tricks and my workflow is a lot smoother.
The author seems pretty pleased with the results and is now in the middle of a rewrite to make sure the art and text blend together seamlessly.
I’m hoping to get more work in book covers after this, but also have plenty of comic work coming in too. Can’t wait to get to the end of this one and see the finished project. Just two more pages to go!