Monday, 29 August 2011

X-Rock: Banshee

Okay, last one for a while as I have important stuff to get on with, but if there's going to be an X-Men rock band, I think it's only appropriate to have Sean Cassidy aka Banshee on vocals, yeah?

When I get the time, I'll finish the rest and draw a full band shot (maybe more than one). So you know, the band consists of:

Wolverine (rhythm guitar), Banshee (vocals), Nightcrawler (lead guitar), Rogue (bass) and Beast (drums).

X-Rock: Wolverine

Ever wonder what the X-Men would look like as a rock band?

I enjoyed drawing this as a warm-up for what I'm hoping is going to be a fully digital project in a similar style. Think I might do some more X-Rock portraits when I have the time, since I already have a few sketches. Rogue on low-slung bass, anyone?

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Suited and booted

Firstly, apologies for the scarcity of new art on this blog. I had a tight deadline which I actually beat like a ginger stepchild (I'm ginger, so I can say that... although I'm not big on domestic violence, you understand), but since that day passed, my attention has been caught on a few projects I'm planning. I'll try to be a little helpful and less vague.

I plan on submitting three comics to CLiNT magazine. I know, I know, I keep on saying that I'm DONE WITH COMICS and all of that, but my reasons for quitting were always based around the fact that the style of art I am known for is not something which allows for a career in comics. It takes too long for a monthly gig to be realistic, put it that way. Handy for me, then, that one of the planned submissions is already drawn in full (in fact, it was completed in 2007) so all that remains is to remaster and quality check, then pitch! The second is something I've been drawing for over a year and really need to finish. It's a short, so no worries. The third, I plan on writing but not drawing. You haven't seen anything of my writing yet, I suppose, unless you count these blogs and my Bames Jond strip. It's not perfect, but it can make fish cry. What does this mean? It means that I'm looking out for the perfect artist for this project.

In all likelihood, I'll do my research and approach the artist(s) myself, but if anybody contacts me I'll give them a look. Although the project is still in the planning stage, I know the art needs to be huge, kinetic and off-kilter. I'm thinking James Stokoe, Eric Canete, Sheldon Vella, Sean Gordon Murphy, Andy Kuhn and Dan Hipp. All very distinct from each other, but all BIG.

Anyway, that's a way off.

Also, I'm working on a project with a writer I've enjoyed collaborating with before, Stephen Reedy. Cool bloke and mega talent. I can't show you sketches yet on that.

What this means is that this blog is suddenly getting wordy rather than picturey. I want to do something about that, so when I have any spare time I'll do my best to get some cool art posts on a regular basis. It would be more interesting than all of this waffle.

Oh, and I'm going to be at Thought Bubble in November, so I'll see you there, yeah? Come over and see me at my table (wherever that may be... info to come) and chat for a bit. No pressure will be applied to you for a purchase, but I will be taking commissions and selling prints. Watch this space.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Lady Deathstrike

Took a break from my main project for 45 minutes or so to sketch a Lady Deathstrike. Not my usual style but I had fun with it. Seemed an appropriate subject considering I've had the 90s X-Men animated series playing in the background as I draw all day.

Line art: Brush pen and markers.
Colours: Photoshop

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Riot Here, Riot Now

So right now, the youth of my city are tearing the place apart. As you probably know, the riots started in London, then spread to Birmingham and Bristol, Liverpool and Leeds and Nottingham. Today they hit Manchester and it's heartbreaking seeing the streets on which I have spent so many pleasant walks strewn with broken bottles and populated by rampant idiots.

It's on TV right now and it's horrible. I'm angry. This is my response, such as it is. Tomorrow I'm hoping to head into the city centre early morning to help with the cleanup before I go to work.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Spider-Man: Webhead 2.0 (Project: Rooftop contest)

In case you haven't heard of Project: Rooftop, it's a pretty popular site devoted to re-designing comic book superheroes. The concept is not to re-imagine the characters, but just improve on their current costume. They hold regular contests with prizes and last night I figured I'd have a go at the latest one; to re-design Spider-Man.

Spider-Man is... okay. There have been some great artists working on the books such as John Romita Jr, Sal Buscema, Todd McFarlane, Chris Bachalo and tons more. In fact, as I'm still a bit of a Joe Madureira fan I'm really looking forward to Avenging Spider-Man (wish Tim Townsend was inking, though). It's pretty much the definition of mainstream comics, along with Superman and Batman.

He's not unnoticeable though, eh?

If I was a super-athletic spidery person swinging around New York City and fighting crime, I wouldn't want to give the bad guys a heads-up by dressing in bright red and blue. He's like the anti-ninja. Wouldn't it be better to look at least a little camouflaged before busting up a bank robbery or stopping a mugging?

City camouflage? I'd base it on steel, asphalt and bricks. So I did. The orange is maybe a little strong, but at the end of the day I've got to make some concession to the fact that it's a superhero, not John Major. The mini web cape thing is my homage to Miguel O'Hara (Spider-Man 2099, who I have already covered in this blog... keep up). I'm actually really happy with this design, but I'm up against some very strong competition so I expect to lose badly. Ah, well. Maybe I'll adapt it into my own character one day...

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Hex Heroes promo vid

Expanding my skill set to match the children of the YouTube generation by creating videos. This is all new, but I figured that I may as well make a short promo for Hex Heroes, just to see how/if it works.

Music: Sequinsizer - The Beta Band

Fun with 3D

If there's one buzzword in the entertainment industry right now, it's "3D". I guess it's not technically a word in its own right, but SHUT UP.

Anyway, why should Hollywood have all of the fun? Obviously, the technology to create Real-D work is beyond the reach of us mere mortals and our piffling, sad little wallets, but I believe the old version from the '50s was fun, yeah? Anyway, monster b-movies are better than CGI epics, so old 3D (known as stereoscopic) is the cool one.

A quick Google search brings up a number of tutorials on creating the stereoscopic effect. Some are based on photographic work, some on simple illustrations. I've been experimenting with the different methods using older artwork which I've chosen on 'pop' potential and depth of field criteria. In fact, it's made me realise how few images I've created with real depth to them. C'est la vie. The first is based on Transformers: Animated and the second is Zombrecht, from the Hex Heroes project completed this spring.

Now, I'll admit to not having in my possession a 'proper' set of stereoscopic glasses to view these, but I'm nothing if not a master of ingenuity and so I crafted my own. The A-Team would be proud. Broken specs, red marker, blue marker. Bish bash bosh.

So... how successful were these experiments? My eyes are now totally screwed from playing with red and blue for hours, so I'm relying on YOU to tell me. No, not you, sorry. I meant the person behind... not... y-- the one with the brown hair and glasses. Yes, YOU sir/madam!

(Basically... you).