Thursday, 31 December 2009

Snowman Gordon! ("S novim godom")>

So it's the end of another year. Didn't it go quickly? 2010 is ahead of us, and there's just time for one final drawing for 2009. New Year's greetings for everyone, and in particular all my Russian friends (well, all 3 of them...).

Happy New Year in Russian is С Новым Годом which is pronounced S Novim Godom* which I think sounds a lot like Snowman Gordon so...

Hope you all have a great year! :-)

*and if I've spelt it wrong, blame the internets!

Friday, 25 December 2009

Warm Greetings!

(Special thanks to Arina for the inspiration for the second part of this image!)

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! :-)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Badger's Advent Calender

Here's a comic I drew as part of Badger's Advent Calender for Howard Hardiman's Cute But Sad site. I met Howard at the Alternative Press Fair earlier in the year, and he's currently doing the MA Illustration course at Camberwell.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Dr. Strangeblog or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog (Update #6)

So, I just realised there were a couple of things that I left out while updating my recent scribblings, so here's one final catch-up for today...

It was my mate Joe's birthday the other week. I made a card with him surrounded by the various birds that populate his drawings...

Also, my friend Arina finally got her visa to stay here for at least the next 2 years, after a few rather nervous weeks of waiting, so I drew a quick cartoon to celebrate...

And finally, the other week I was chatting online to my friend Vicky who was telling me how she was finding it really hard to wake up recently and that she thought she might actually be a bear, hibernating for the winter, which gave me an idea for a drawing...

And now really finally, here is a small preview of one final illustration I've been working on. I don't want to say what it's for yet, but all will eventually be revealed in a few weeks...

Okay! Th-Th-That's All Folks! Hopefully I'll be a bit more regular with my blog updates from now on...

Reservoir Blogs (Update #5)

It was my friend Li Jung's birthday this weekend, so I made her a card featuring some of her characters from her illustrations. I also used colour pens to colour the image in a similar style to her work...

Where The Wild Blogs Are (Update #4)

My friend Yuki has gone to do a marathon! In Honolulu!!

Before she left, I made her a card to give her some moral support! Run, Yuki, Run!

The Good, The Blog, And The Ugly (Update #3)

This is an illustration of a dog I drew for my friend Tayana for her birthday after she told me that she really wanted a dog –specifically a basset hound, but wasn't allowed to have one where she lives... least this one doesn't need to go for walks or be fed. And won't do a poo on the floor!

Blog To The Future (Update #2)

Here's a card I did for Lucy, featuring her and her brother Matt, who was on my MA course. Her birthday party had a Royalty theme, so I drew her as the birthday queen, lauding it over her brother, who is not amused!

Even more amazing was the fact that Matt actually wore that exact same jumper to the party!! (But he refused my suggestion that they recreate the card...)

New Kids on the Blog (Update #1)

Hmm... I've been neglecting my blog a little recently, and although I have been drawing here and there, I haven't really had anything to get my teeth into. Anyway, I thought I would take a moment to post a few bits and pieces I've done in the last few weeks...

First up, is a cartoon I drew for Clare, Emily and Aimee, who have gone off travelling for the next couple of months or more, going to New York, Las Vegas, New Zealand, Sydney, Melbourne, and quite possibly some other places I've forgotten...

I guess some explaination may be required... The first time I met Emily at my friend Clare's birthday, she somehow managed through the course of the evening, to end up with chewing gum on her arm, and somehow (which sort of escapes me now) my attempts to help out by removing the chewing gum, resulted in us both getting chewing gum stuck to us! This was my attempt to capture the experience, and combine it with the fact that they're off to Australia.

Why Aimee is dressed in her Halloween costume while on Holiday I can't really explain. It just seemed amusing to me...

I also did a special paint-by-numbers version for Clare after Emily alerted me to the fact that when Clare has loads of paint-by-numbers pictures in her house that she did when she was a kid.

Monday, 16 November 2009

I Love London

It's been a while since my last blog post, and that's because I've been busy working on a series of images for a book project I'm working on with a group of people from my illustration course. The idea was for each of us to choose a different area of London and then produce a short narrative across two spreads. The images should feature animal characters.

For my submission, I decided to focus on the West End of London, specifically Charing Cross train station, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden market and Big Ben. My story follows the adventures of a small penguin visiting the city for the day...


I came to London on the train, when I arrived it began to rain...

I hurried towards Trafalgar Square, the lion statue gave me a scare!

To Covent Garden next, I popped. Fortunately, the rain had stopped.

Before I left, I saw Big Ben. I cannot wait to come to London again!!

Finally, here is a spot illustration I created for the index page...

I've really enjoyed drawing the buildings in these images, and coming up with different animal characters to populate the scenes. It's also been fun adding little details like the animal-based advertisements on the buses...

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Sneak Preview

I don't often do this, but I'm currently working on a project, and while it is not yet finished, I'm really happy with how things are progressing, so wanted to share it with the world (well, anyone who bothers to read this blog...)!

I still have some details to add to the drawing before applying colour to the image, but the general composition is pretty much complete. I'm enjoying the challenge of incorporating my cartoon figures within a real world setting, and am also rediscovering a fascination with drawing cityscapes and architectural detailing.

It really is nice to be pleasantly surprised by my own work...

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Happy Birthday Paul. From Paul.

Here's a card I did for a fellow Paul, from my Illustration course (...and the fact that there were two of us with the same first name caused no end of confusion for our tutor!). I wanted to try to create my own version of his street art inspired work, and added some textures and filters in Photoshop to give it a slightly edgier feel...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

It's my Dad's 65th Birthday this weekend so, of course, I made him a card.

He recently thought it would be a good idea to buy a chainsaw to "trim" the hedges in the garden, which struck me as perhaps a tad excessive. Anyway, I began to think of what other household activities he could carry out using a chainsaw... like cutting his birthday cake for example...

Oh, and although it's not his birthday until Saturday, I have no worries about posting this before then, as I can almost guarantee he will not be looking at my blog. In fact, I'm sure he thinks a blog is a type of wooden shoe worn in Holland... Happy Birthday, Dad!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Illustration Friday: Frozen

So, this week's Illustration Friday topic is Frozen. I had a few ideas for this one, but kept coming back to the saying "When Hell freezes over", used to suggest that something is unlikely ever to happen. But what if Hell did freeze over? Could this be the ultimate impact of Climate Change...

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Late Night Blogging: Where The Wild Things Are

Okay, so it's 3am and I really need to go to sleep, but I've spent the evening working on an illustration for a competition run by Little White Lies magazine, to design a cover based around the forthcoming Where The Wild Things Are film, which is adapted from the classic Maurice Sendak children's story. The selected designs will be printed in the magazine and featured on the website, plus there's a top secret prize for the best entry!

The only specifications are that you have to include the white title circle which is part of the magazine's layout, and you must also include the words "The Where The Wild Things Are issue" on the cover, but in any way you like.

As I often read the original book when I was a kid, and am really looking forward to seeing the film, I decided to put pen to paper and channel my inner Wild Thing. I decided upon the idea fairly quickly, and am pleased with the final result...

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Illustration Friday: Germs

This week's Illustration Friday topic is Germs.

Initially, I wasn't really struck by the topic, but after a little while spent scribbling ideas down on a sheet of paper, I came up with this comic about two germ viruses.

I'm not really sure why I went with the vertical layout, it just seemed to work better in this instance than a traditional horizontal layout, or a square block...

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

"Digital Love" The Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize

So I've been working on a submission for The Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize. I decided to try out building a longer story from a series of shorter comics, so I ended up with a series of single page 4-panel strips, which go together to make a larger 4-page comic story.

The story itself is an extension of a comic strip idea I had a few years ago. Although the main character is obviously styled on myself, I can assure you that it is entirely fictional ... Honest!

I really enjoyed the challenge of working on this longer piece, and it's a process I'd like to employ again in the future. I'll know if I won at the end of the month, so keep your fingers crossed till then...!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Stars In Their Eyes...

So, I've been busy recently working on my submission for the snappily titled, The Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize (that I'll be posting soon!), which is why I've not posted anything in the past week or so. However, this weekend my friends had a housewarming party with the theme of Stars. Stuck for something to wear, I drew the following comic strip and then printed it onto fabric transfer paper and ironed it onto a t-shirt! Voila! Stars!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Japan Matsuri Festival

This weekend I went to the Japan Matsuri Festival, in Spitalfields. It was a really good event, and I had a great time eating sushi, and watching Japanese musical performances.

I also met up with Zarina Liew, who was exhibiting her work at the festival after entering a competition to illustrate a traditional Japanese tale. While I was talking with her, material for a new comic strip literally happened before my eyes...

...Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up!

You can check out Zarina's winning illustration here.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Happy Birthday To Me...

So it was my birthday last week, and here's a comic I drew the day after while feeling a little delicate after a very enjoyable birthday drinks the night before...

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Look What They Drawed...

So, yesterday was my birthday, and I got a lot of hand-drawn cards from my friends which I wanted to share. As someone who is always drawing cards for other people, it was really nice to get some of my own, so thanks to everyone!







Monday, 14 September 2009

Illustration Friday: Welcome

Okay, stick with me on this one! So this week's Illustration Friday topic is Welcome, which made me think of the opening lines from the song Welcome To The Jungle, by Guns N' Roses:
"Welcome to the jungle, We've got fun 'n' games".

And what better "fun 'n' games" than an interspecies game of Pop-up Pirate to determine who's the real King of the Jungle!

Paul Shinn covers Amazing Spider-Man 16

So, I found this really cool blog site called Covered where a variety of artists have redone existing comic book covers in their own style. It's an open submission site, and updated daily (Mon–Fri) with a new selected work.

Last week, I had a go at producing my own cover version of Amazing Spider-man #16, originally drawn by Steve Ditko in 1963. Unfortunately my submission did not make it onto the blog this time, but I was happy with the final image and wanted to post it here. Here is my submission on the right, next to the original cover:

I enjoyed working on this piece, and will definitely work on another cover to submit in the future.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

It's a nice day for a white wedding!

So yesterday was my friend Laura's wedding, and was a beautifully sunny day, with not a cloud in the sky! Here is the wedding card I drew for her and her new husband Callum, also featuring their absolutely adorable dog Pippa, who was not at the wedding, but this is my idea of what it might have been like if she was there...

I spent quite a while trying to come up with an idea, before finally reaching a Eureka! moment and doing a quick thumbnail sketch...

...then I drew up a pencil rough to size...

It then struck me that although in my head I was sure that Laura had mentioned that Callum would be wearing a kilt to the wedding, the more I thought about it, the less certain I became. I sent a quick email to Laura to check (which probably sounded very strange: "Hi. Yeah, I was just your future husband planning on wearing a kilt to the wedding? Bye!"), and she replied slightly curious, to say that he had been planning it, but then decided against it! Good job I checked so I was able to change my drawing before I finalised it.

I then used a dip pen and black Indian ink to draw the final version onto card...

...before adding colour by hand using marker pens and using a metallic silver Sharpie pen on the lettering for a bit of razzmatazz...

I was torn for a while over whether to leave it like this, or to add a background to make it more complete. I sort of liked the white space, but also felt it was maybe a bit too empty. As you can see from the final version at the top of the page, I eventually decided to add a quite minimal background just to give the image more a semblance of space and setting. I drew this using a fine liner pen rather than ink to make it visually move back from the main image.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Birthday Bonanza Month #1

September is truly the month of birthdays (which is probably due to people getting particularly amorous during the Xmas and New Year period, which is about 9 months earlier...).

Yesterday was my friend Hayley's birthday. I was thinking of what to draw for a card, and then remembered a rather unusual Facebook status update she wrote earlier this week:

"Hayley Clarke saw Bob Dylan and Boris Johnson buying Citizen Kane outside my house this morning." turns out that what actually happened was that she saw somebody that looked a lot like Bob Dylan walking by, and then a short while later saw Boris Johnson on a boat called the Citizen Kane that's been for sale for ages, and she assumed he was there to buy it. In this case, I think I prefer my version of events...

Monday, 7 September 2009

Illustration Friday: Strong

This week's Illustration Friday topic is "Strong". I immediately thought of a drawing I did early last year which fitted the topic, but I wanted to update it slightly and make more of a scene out of it, so I redrew the main figure from the previous image, added some more characters, and coloured the figures with marker pen. I then added the background and coloured this in Photoshop.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Collaboration project 1

After working on a sketch together during the Collaborama! event last month, me and Kazu have been working on another collaborative illustration together, which we just finished.

I started it off by drawing the initial image on an A4 page, and then scanning and emailing it to Kazu, who then drew another part to the image, scanned it and sent it back to me. We kept on sending it back and forth until we'd pretty much run out of space to draw. Here is the finished piece...

It has been very interesting to work together on a single image, and I'm very happy with the final piece and seeing our characters and styles interacting. We've decided to work on another collaborative illustration and see where it leads...

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Florence And The Machine

I was watching footage of this year's Reading & Leeds Festival over the weekend and really enjoyed seeing Florence And The Machine. But then I got to thinking about what that name actually means, with the only logical explanation being that she is, in fact, a cyborg...