Astroknight

Astroknight is an idea I’ve been meaning to expand on for a while, and the course I’ve been taking on schoolism.com has given me the kick up the arse I needed. The original idea was hatched when I went back to college to do an art and design qualification – only the finished pieces were nothing more than a half-baked attempt at a storyboard (and a pretty awful one at that). I also couldn’t draw very well then either.

Astroknight is set in the far future and is the story of an asteroid miner who crash-lands on a planet that has had it’s information mysteriously wiped from all known charts. The miner (who will become known as Astroknight later) must scour the planet in order to fix his ship and get home. As he looks for parts to make repairs he discovers why the planet has had it’s information wiped, which sets in motion events that will rock the very foundations of the galaxy!

I’d like to think this would appeal to older kids, perhaps in the same vain as the Asterix or Tintin series’ (minus the racist stuff in Tintin of course). I could even see myself animating it. Either way, i’ll be posting more Astroknight stuff in going forward. Enjoy!

Booking heaven!

This was going to be a quick piece – a bit of drawing from life, but then I got carried away. As with every illustration I do, I get to a certain point (usually when all the flat colours are applied) and I think “I hate this stupid picture and myself! Why do I even do this?! Aggggghhh!” Then I unfold myself from my desk, stretch, and contemplate jumping out of a window. Luckily I’m not a complete moron, so I just go for a walk instead. This one took a long time. Not because the lighting is complex, but because there are so many bloody books that had to be individually detailed – which is my own fault, so maybe I am a moron. My computer is old and slow as well, so I had a couple of instances where Photoshop refused do anything, then promptly died, losing me about an hours worth of work, which is not at all causing me to lose hair. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this as much as it was inconvenient to draw. Cheers.

The Book Man

This is a two hour study of a photograph I found Pinterest. I find that I don’t really do that many studies, which is stupid really, because drawing from real life is so informative. I’ve taken some artistic liberties with the scale, as well as few adjustments here and there. I like the composition in this piece and the way the eye is drawn to the man reading the book. The reason your eye is drawn here is because the shape of the man is so different from the geometric and angular shapes of the books and doorway, so it interrupts the pattern. Anyway, I need to get on with colouring it. Enjoy!

Do not spill the pint of a man who wears Crocs

Super simple character design here. Still working through the Schoolism.com class on character creation and this is part of it. The lesson is to use the prompts “aggressive” and “bully” and create something from that. I googled “aggressive animals” and got some reference images of grizzly bears and based the character around that. There’s nothing worse than spilling your pint, unless you’re spilling the pint of a guy the size of a bear who wears Crocs on his feet. Pretty sure I’m the skinny guy about to get punched. Enjoy!

Bully

I tried something different with this one, that being the light being overcast and thus diffused, rather direct light. Not sure how I feel about yet. I think perhaps I haven’t fully grasped how to paint this type of lighting yet – it could be my values are off a bit or maybe my use of colour is wrong. Either way it’s good to do this type of work because it breaks me out of my comfort zone. I also messed around with the hue and saturation to give it a bit more atmosphere and washed-out look. Enjoy!

The Clock Maker

This was a fun piece to do (even if it took a while to finish, but i’m sure you’ll all appreciate that procrastination won’t get done on it’s own). I added the lighting effects to the main character in the same why (I hope) that SPA Studio’s did for their movie, Klaus. There’s a lot to take in to consideration for the lighting in this piece, which subsequently made it quite tricky to pull-off, and I’m still not a 100% sure I’ve got it right. So, what are the principles of lighting I’ve used here;

  • Ambient light – this is the soft light coming in from the moonlight on the top planes of the character.
  • Contact shadow – simply the darkest shadow where two things touch.
  • Bounce light – this is the light that bounces up from the desk where the lamp light hits. So all the planes that face down get illuminated.
  • Direct light – this is the light cast directly from the lamp.
  • Rim-light – this is the thin strip of bright light we see around the edge of the character and certain objects cast by the moon.

There also the texture of things to take in to account. Wood for instance is less reflective than polished metal or glass and thus has to be rendered appropriately. Anyway, that’s enough technical waffle. Hope you like the piece and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the process GIF up top, and whether you’d like to keep seeing them. Cheers

The Clock Maker WIP

Working on this bad boy at the moment. The above piece was made quickly to give me and idea of the atmosphere and values I’d be focusing on before I fully render it. I did a similar illustration to this for Inktober on instagram a couple years ago and always wanted to expand on it. Stay tuned!

Paper Planes

A friend of mine has been nagging me for a while to do an illustration of a group of us that all met a few years ago in Ibiza. One of the first things that happened in our apartment was the maiden flight of a paper airplane, I can’t remember why and we probably should have been out drinking instead. Anyway, it flew like I’ve never seen! In all my years of watching paper airplanes fly – through primary school, middle school, high school, university, and in to my professional career – this one was hands-down the most impressive. I don’t know why i’m going on so much about it, but trust me; it. was. impressive. This is my somewhat unimpressive retelling and illustration of said event. Enjoy

Sailing the skies

This is a children’s book concept I’ve been toying with for a while. It’s essentially a story about time and death, which doesn’t sound too children’s book-y, I know, but the story would address the issue in a subtle and abstract way (I hope). Anyway, this a full page spread in which the two main protagonists take a journey in a flying boat (also the little girl is an Eagles fan… of course). Enjoy!