Still Alive!

As the title says: Still Alive! It’s been a while, right? I’ve been making bits and pieces in my brief absence, but honestly not as much as I’d have liked. I’ve really felt unmotivated and not driven (or arsed) to make art most of the time. I started a new full-time job, but that’s really not an excuse. Maybe I needed a break from it after all the work I was doing during the lockdowns? Maybe I need to set myself some new goals? Maybe I just need to pull myself together and stop being so soft? Probably the latter… Anyway, above is a character I want to make an animation with. Stay tuned!

Old Men and Bears

I guess this puts to rest the age old question of “does a bear shit in the woods?”

Also a sketch of an old dude reading. Where would we be without books?

Cheers

Matt

Troll Bridge

This is a commissioned piece that the client has kindly allowed me to share. I did a pencil sketch like this years ago, probably about a year after I started drawing again, and although I liked it at the time it now looks incredibly naïve. I also like how the troll has crammed itself under the bridge, which makes me wonder if trolls are like hermit crabs; do they move to ever larger bridges as they grow in size? Someone should look into this I think.

Cheers

Matt

Faun-ication

Before I drew this I did my usual scan of pinterest for reference images to work from (stuff like goat horns, faun, satyre etc…) and I then did a few sketches of what I thought the character might look like and how it might pose, but nothing seemed to work. This occasionally happens and I suppose it’s a bit like writers block, except, well, for art. What I’ve found, through much trial and error, is that if you continue focus on what you can’t do then you’ll never get anything done (or worse, you’ll hate what you produce). Instead work around the problem and the answer will appear in a more organic manner. In this case, as I’ve mentioned, the character was the problem. My issue was trying to make the character pose in a certain way and I was drawing blanks (pun intended, thank you). So instead of focusing on this I decided to start drawing a background in which the character would exist. I must have spent no less than a minute sketching a very rough tree before the answer came to me and the rest of the illustration grew from there. It seems obvious, but the best characters come to life when they are put in imaginary situations or are reacting to the world they live in in some way. That has been, in my opinion, why some of the most interesting characters I’ve drawn recently appear to be reacting to something. To hammer this point home to myself there is now a note pinned to my board that reads “With characters think about; the world, interaction, reaction”. I think this fairly sums up in a succinct manner a great many aspects of character design without getting too specific, which is a good thing because you can’t see the woods for the trees sometimes.

Anyway, I’m tired now and I’m going to bed.

Cheers

Matt

Dinosaur week has come to an end and we move on to mythical creatures! However, apart from the gryphon and unicorn I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to draw. Dinosaurs were easy because a few spring to mind straight away and we seemed to be taught a great deal about them at school, though for what reason I’ve yet to discover. Mythical creatures weren’t so much on the curriculum, except of course the Greek ones like Medusa, Cerberus, the Hydra, and the Minotaur, but I’m wanting to focus on more general ones, which in itself poses the question; what other mythical creatures are there? Is Bigfoot one? The yeti? Or are they the same, but geographically different? Dragons are a possible option as they appear in many different cultures but again; which type to choose? Are goblins and orcs mythical or were they made up by fantasy authors? I will ruminate on these questions and get back to you. You’ve been most helpful.

Cheers

Matt

Don’t Go Into The Long Grass

I’m still not completely used to seeing depictions of dinosaurs with feathers, especially Raptors and Tyrannosaurus, but I’m fully onboard with the whole “dinosaurs evolved into birds” theory. I like the idea that you’re seeing living fossils pecking around the garden and flying around your head (less so when they shit on you of course).

The Jurassic Park is still THE dinosaur movie. I don’t think any of the sequels have even come close to the original. The T-Rex in the rain; the raptors in the kitchen; what an outstanding film! I remember watching it with a friend when I was about 10, and we shit ourselves when we found out that the Raptors had escaped. I think we thought they’d be at the front door jimmying open the locks.

Cheers

Matt

More Beasts

I’ve been trying less and less to clean up the gesture lines I use to construct these characters in order to maintain a feeling of energy and movement. The wildebeest I think is a good example of this. You can see the lines are more chaotic and less precise than any of the previous characters and I think that adds to the overall aesthetic of the piece. As well as maintaining a sense of movement and energy this process is also training me to work in an almost traditional “pencil and paper” manner. I’ve said before that I’d like to start working using traditional media, be it pencil, charcoal, or ink, and make some originals, so these characters and this style of work would be a nice gateway to that.

Cheers

Matt