Sunday, 16 October 2011

Laus part 2

I had a lat tweak before calling it a day on Laus' portrait.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


Hi Blog, aint seen you in ages!! Working my butt of at Playground Games now so I'm not so much with the personal projects. I'm going to try and get some work up from the studio once the project is no longer under NDA though.

I did do a quick painting of Laura this evening which I thought I should post. It still needs some tweaking, but I'll sort that out tomorrow once my eyes have reset. Captured my purple walls pretty nicely though! Oh and hopefully the piece of artwork on the wall is recognisable......?

Saturday, 20 August 2011

1999 to 2007

While visiting my parents last weekend I went on the hunt for all my old sketchbooks that I used to keep. Luckily my mum had actually kept them all tucked away in a cupboard. I started going through and thought I should make a blog post with some excerpts of my artwork from as early as I could find.

It's always interesting to look back on old stuff to see what sort of progress you've made and obviously looking back this far (some of this was done when I was about 14) is real eye opener.

1998 /1999 (13 / 14 years old) dodgy anime faze....

The old fella was an English teacher which is the way I managed to work out when I actually did this. I kind of discovered anime for myself before it became crazy fashionable and watched all the great classics like Ghost In the Shell and Akira via the midnight screenings on the Sci-Fi channel. My parents thought I was weird but it was pretty cool feeling like I'd stumbled upon something going underneath most peoples radar.

2004 (A levels..... omg how I hated them)
Also the anime obsession had given way to a Jeff Buckley obsession hence the various portraits of the man that tend to pop up. Seems like I was finally getting a grasp on certain elements of my anatomy. I guess it was at this point I started doing some actual observational based studies.

2005 (Art college. The best year of education I've ever had) During this period I really started experimenting with all sorts of image making techniques and also went to compulsory life-study classes which where sooooo useful. In fact I would love to do some more in the near future to top up my human form skills. Always had the same model though... Patrick, I can still see his naked body if I close my eyes...

Home-made paints, crushed berries, roasted canvases, ink drawing, brushes on meter long sticks and sketches of Birmingham city centre, these are the bits I remember most.

2007 (university visual communication) I had a bit of a crisis of confidence at University and decided to study up on the course for a career more based in Graphic Design (selling out no?.. lol). By the time the third year came along I knew illustration was the only way for me. Anything else was just going against the grain. This was also when I first picked up a graphics tablet and began using digital paints. I haven't really looked back since. Although I do miss the mess you get in with a load of traditional media.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Nice Monster Crew

So in these last few days before I start my new Concept Artist position at Playground Games I'm working with Mr Steven Spencer and Nixon Leung on a new commission. The brief is to create a trio of cool characters that will present a series of how to videos on the subject of film making. Currently were going through the process of concepting the characters and find the right visual language for the task. Here is a big splurge of sketches and models that have been batted around thus far!

OH! and Daniel Tarrant thanks for the inspiration on the t-shirt!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


this turned out sweet so I post yes...

Friday, 24 June 2011

Alien God stage 2 and Dave McKean

First off and update on the previous painting. It's really starting work for me now. It's got beyond that "what the hell am I doing stage" and now coming to that stage that's like when you get near the end of a jigsaw puzzle and every piece seems to fit pretty easy.

I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design's Visual Communication awards for 2011. This year was headlined by the attendance of Dave Mckean which was fantastic to see such a renowned illustrator being associated with my old Uni in such a fashion.

Considering he admitted to not being a big public speaker he did in fact deliver a great key note talk about his career and I even managed to get a quick chat in person later on which was very cool although I'm afraid I may have come across a little fan-boyish.

Final image should be done soon and as Dave said "Start things and finish them".

Now I'm going to watch the Tennis.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Ancient Aliens (part 2)

The image has since had a rejig. I decided on putting more focus on my Alien demi god so I've switched to a portrait set up. I'm aiming for a strong sense of atmosphere with this and so far it seems to be going in the right direction. This is just a small section of the entire image. More to come soon.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Ancient Aliens

I keep reading too much stuff about 2012 and Aliens. Above Top Secret is one those sites that you can't stop exploring once you read your first crazy alien thread. In fact I've been reading so much that it's been leaking into my dreams (they were quite nasty too).

Back to the point of this post... There is a theory that humans were actually the result of a genetic engineering of some Neanderthal type creature and Alien DNA. The Aliens did this for reasons that people have theorised over. Slaves or just plan curiosity are the two main contenders. Apparently there is a very early civilisation called the Sumerians who used to inhabit what is now modern Iraq. They are the earliest known advanced human civilisation to be discovered so far. In their texts (made up of combinations of triangles) they describe scenes of gods descending from the sky in craft and impregnating the women creating half breeds that became kings etc etc. Its all very exciting.

These gods, many now interpret as Aliens. This being based on a few things including the Sumerian's eerily accurate knowledge of our solar system including planets only discovered by modern scientists in the 1940s not to mention they had a sun in the centre of their diagrams. I believe European Christians went around hanging people for spouting such heresy...

Imagine that though. An early civilisation brought about by alien intervention, that, for a brief time interacted with each other and formed the first signs of human culture.

Oh and BTW the 2012 thing supposedly has something to do with these folks doing a return trip...

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Character Paints

This is the second part of my art test pack for the video game peeps. These were really good fun to do. The portrait of the slimy mafia guy came out just how I wanted!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Stage 3

i want to say this is finished now...

Stage 2

The colours have been laid down and shapes tweaked. This has ended up becoming yet another art test. This time its a video game company not a film commission. Actually I need a whole host of character driven images so this is image one of a planned three to put in my little submission "pack". If a job's worth doing its worth over doing right?...

The clouds and background has had a bit of a change from the original plan a little like my beach bums beard. I'm really loving the colours in the sky and sea though. Feels very English and reminds me of the trips to the beach I used to do with my parents when I was younger. The clouds are making me very happy too!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Fiat dream car

Ok so I love this car, and I would love it even more if I could replace the wheels with hover pads. The future always seemed cooler in the 80s so this is my attempt at bringing it back a little. This is going to be painted up shortly.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Morning sketch

This got far to messy. I'm just not used to doing this type of character, which is also why I've done it. It's supposed to be somewhere between the future soldier designs you would see in Halo and something a little more contemporary that you see in the modern military. The idea being that this is a near future design.

Monday, 23 May 2011

New Painting (art test)

This is a new piece that has been submitted for a feature film commission. It was a nice excuse to get into ArtRage a little more as the commissioners have referenced a few traditional painters as the "look" they are after.

They wanted a romantic looking Tokyo. Which after a trawl through google street view turned out to be more difficult to achieve than it first sounded. Its mostly very industrial/corporate looking. I've manged to find a few attractive looking elements from a few places and tried to combine them in this fictional part of Tokyo. The light I've also attempted to capture is something that looks like it's drifted through the blossom petals in the trees. A few fallen petals on the floor to symbolise the melancholy I was getting from the sample text.

Friday, 20 May 2011

BFG Model.

It starts... The BFG model based on the below concept is being made. I've never really worked from my own concepts (Best was all photgraphic reference) so this is an interesting experiance. Enjoyable though as he certainly is starting to look pretty cool. There are a few parts I still need to iron out around the mouth area but apart from that I am happy with where this is going.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

My Haunted House

I have been putting together a promo image for an animated production being headed by Alex Williams who is a fantastic animator I met earlier this year. Hes worked on some pretty high profile films including a personal favourite of mine "The Iron Giant".

This is still work in progress and is based on an original pencil illustration by Alex. The direction on this was to take the original and give it a CG look as that is the medium for the animation.

BFG concepts

EDIT: The one above was based on a photo that Steven sent to me. It was a pretty distorted picture of himself..... ok it was very distorted but the vibe was defiantly interesting. I wont be mean and post the photo though.

More of the BFG for Nice Monster

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

BFG and Paris

I have been drawing up some concept sketches for the New Nice Monster project. With out giving away the game plan here is the sketches in question. The BFG from Roald Dahl's book. It's a tricky one as I want this to be true to Roald's description but at the same time look unique from previous designs from the famous animation and Blake's original illustration. I wanted to capture a more surly feel to the BFG's character as I always thought he came across that way in the text. Obviously he needs to be lovable too. Nice giant not just a nice guy, is the best way to sum up this challenge

As well as the BFG I'm carrying on a painting that has been begging for re-visit for a while. A long time ago I explored the idea of 60s redevelopment if it had hit Paris the same way it hit poor Coventry (BTW no disrespect I love Coventry and may the Tin Angel rest in peace) There were a few paintings and models that really worked. This was one of them but it always felt like it needed a boost in certain areas. So consider this still a work in progress.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Cannes film festival.

So it turns out that the below post turned into good things. The film "Internalised" that I produced the matte paintings for has been selected to be played at Cannes film festival!

Great news for all involved especially director Jazz Virk

woop woop! a credit at Cannes

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

New Matte and website revamp!

So the sketches have taken a slight knock but not through laziness. I have been finishing off a few matte paintings for a small film project I have been involved with. The last painting has also been the basis for a new look to the website. It was an attempt at getting close to a photographic look from fairly simplistic brush work due to time and budget constraints. Over all I think the image was a success and looks pretty bad ass.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Mafia Man

Sketch of the day, scanned a day late... I'm so rubbish sometimes. The drawing is nice though. Love his shoes!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Morning Sketch... project... maybe...

So I was up crazy early this morning so I decided to use the extra time productively. After the last Art Test Sketch I realised how rusty my figure / character work was so I'm thinking the early mornings should become a regular thing as a dedicated practice period. Gets me using pencils more often and hopefully will boost my anatomy skills and character design.

This morning I ended up with the following sketch. Initially I was going to do a sci-fi Master Chief style illustration but while I was looking up some references for various armour types I saw the Samurai images and settled on this awesome look. Gets me out the comfort zone of sci-fi imagery too which is a good think me thinks..

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Art Test

Quick sketch, of a Amazon lady in action pose. Did this as an art test for a job application. It had to be in pencil and B&W. Havent used a pencil in ages but this was great fun. I hope I get the job.

Monday, 11 April 2011


So here is a model of a fly. Part of a bigger project with Nice Monster
The fly I am now affectionately calling Jeff for obvious reasons. I want him to look black and mean! I've seen some fantastic Fly sculpts around since I started this which makes me want to start again quite badly actually but I will plough on with my Jeff. I'm most happy with the eyes they look both buggy and scary so thats a win. Heres some piccys!

Monday, 4 April 2011

The Sky At Night

Working with Chris Randall at Second Home Studios and Steven Spencer of Nicemonster I have been working on the new intro for the BBC show The Sky At Night. This is obviously a fantastic project to be involved in as I'm a great fan of the show and Sir Patrick Moore who I have loved even as a giant alien/android head in Games Master back in the day. So apart from being able to be loosely affiliated with a personal hero it's also my first chance working on a project that will be on TV. HOORAY!

I worked mainly as a texture artist on the project and between myself and Mr Spencer I think we came up with some pretty nifty planet texturing techniques. Obviously working on a model of the solar system was a dream come true or a Sci-Fi nerd like myself and I have to say the project was fantastic to be involved with, which will hopefully come across in the all important 30 seconds of animation!

Check out the Nice Monster and Second Home websites (links above) for a preview of the intro or simply tune into the show via your TV or iplayer...

London Scifi 48

OMG what a night!
A few days ago I had an email sent to me asking if I would be interested in helping out on a film production team. This was no ordinary film project however...

The film was being entered into a competition described as the Sc-Fi-London 48 hour challenge.
As you can kind of gather the whole film has to be written shot and edited in 48 Hours on 0 provided budget. The film crew who I was helping out were Film Division and last night was Sunday night and I just didn't go home. Crazy amounts of coffee were poured down necks and eventually at around 7 in the morning I finally went home. Sleeping is something I would love to do now but instead my phone keeps waking me up so I thought this quick blog would be a good way of waking my self up!

Check out the animated shot that was matte painted pretty quickly with this link ANIMATION

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Painting Splurdge

I love playing with paint and now I have this fancy Artrage thing I don't have to clean up afterwards which is awesome. There is something about scraping a knife through paint...

(Sky Pram)GIF concept. this film will be made!