Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Cover: 2000AD Prog 1659

WOOHOO! I've only gone and done it, I've bagged myself A 2000AD Dredd cover!

Dredd on his Lawmaster in the Cursed Earth.
Image courtesy 2000AD Online

I'll do a 'How it's made' in the near future - I'll bask in the saccharine, self-satisfied and extremely pleasant glow of a dream coming true for a while.

I think this calls for an even stiffer drink.

Edit: I've even made onto the superb Forbidden Planet Blog!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Gamesfest 4

Just a quick update of recent events, this weekend I attended Gamesfest 4 which is a relatively new and small but fun games convention in Watford.

Watford Colosseum - not a Gladiator in sight.
Although there was a Samurai at the back.

After a slight miscalculation in travel times (thanks Sat-Nav!) and a couple of closures on the A1 south-bound (thanks Highways Agency!) I finally arrived and set up shop at the Artists & Authors table, where I spent the whole day drawing Space Marines, Eldar and loads of Sisters of Battle for the very patient men, women, boys and girls that gathered at the table.

The drawing machine at work!

Geek Alert: I even managed to get my precious copy of Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller signed by Steve Jackson himself, wikkidz!

My precioussss..

It was a great day, my fantastic sister, Dawn - who printed up the large posters - kept me company all day. I was looked after by the organisers very well; being watered, fed and kept amused by being sat RIGHT NEXT TO THE SPEAKER SYSTEM!

Joking aside, I look forward to seeing what those good people at Gamesfest have in store next year.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Super Sculpey!

Ooh, look what turned up in the post the other day!

Ooh! Polymer Clay!

Who'd have thought some polymer clay and modelling tools would get me so excited. Having read loads about sculpting (thankyou Smellybug and Bruno Lucchesi). I've decided to jump right in and get cracking with some small maquette tests - generic heads, planes of the face, that sort of thing - basically a lot of stuff James Gurney talks about in his book, Imaginative Realism - which I raved about in my previous post.

In other news, my PC nearly had a fatal wobbly on me, luckily it turned out to be a dodgy old graphics card:

Rust in Peace, dear friend.

Lecturing is going well at the University of Lincoln, there's more comics covers, magazine articles and book covers on the horizon. And finally, I'll be appearing at Gamesfest at the Watford Colosseum (sounds a bit gladiatorial) this Saturday - so if anyone wants a book signing or a sketch - come along and say hello.

Right, a modelling armature - I need to find some wire coathangers...

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Imaginative Realism by James Gurney

Last week I ordered the book 'Imaginative Realism' by James Gurney from Amazon and it turned up in the post a few days later - good work, Amazon!

So, to sum up my review, this.. book.

For a professional like me in the field of Sci-Fi and Fantastic art this book is everything I want to read about, from the initial thought process to thumbnails, composition, laying out and the painting of fantastic imagery with every point he makes lavishly illustrated.

Image courtesy James Gurneys' Blog

James Gurney (his blog is here) is the creator of the Dinotopia series as well as being a consummate artist (such an understatement). His sense of realism whilst portraying the fantastic is sublime and his technique - chiefly using oil paints - has a direct link to the great Leyendecker, Rockwell and Pyle, all of which gives his work a timeless and classic quality.

Image courtesy James Gurneys' Blog

Here's the book blurb from his blog (now there's a mouthful):

"Most art instruction books show you how to draw or paint something you can see: a still life, a landscape, or a portrait. But what if you want to make a realistic picture of something that you can only imagine? This book shows the advanced or intermediate artist the time-tested methods used by artists since the Renaissance to bring your dreams into reality.

Chapters include: tradition, studio setup, preliminary sketches, history & archaeology, people, dinosaurs, creatures, aliens, architecture, vehicles, plein air studies, composition, and careers. 400 illustrations in full color.

Image courtesy James Gurneys' Blog

I can't recommend this book enough to anyone who is interested in imaginative art or in seeing a great illustrators working methods.

The great thing I've always loved about being an artist is that I feel there is always something to be learned, there's always something to be tried out - I'm already thinking of incorporating some of his techniques in my future works, so I'll keep you updated as to the results.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Sneak Peek: Warhammer Ancient Battles

I'm now fully immersed in an exciting historical project for Games Workshop, I've been aching to do historical illustration for a long time and now the chance has come up, I'm trying to produce something with a narrative, historically accurate and dynamic. A nod of the hat to the unequalled Angus McBride. Here's a sneaky peek:

"Uh-oh, this doesn't look good"

With these pieces I'm getting back to basics, these are straight (almost oil 'effect') paintings done in Photoshop, no fancy lens flares or overlay effects - just good, old fashioned drawing, tones, values and edges. I'm really enjoying it, I want to do more!

I'll keep you posted when they're published and I'll put up all the pieces for your pleasure.