Thursday, 20 December 2012

Thursday 20th December 2012 - A Study of Dracula

My recent assignment from uni saw me take an introspective turn and analyse my own working process, in an endeavor to make my works better, and seem more realistic. This was all brought about after some self analysis showed how even though I done levels of research, it never really permeated into the end painting, and more often than not I was relying on crutches and guess work to float me through the painting stage.

So, to overcome this I spent pretty much 4 solid months figuring out and refining a working process which turns this around, and, with continued implementation will hopefully yield much higher quality paintings.

I hope to make one or two quick walkthroughs of the precise steps before Christmas  but for now; these are the 4 final paintings of the assignment:

I certainly think they are better than some of my past paintings, but be that from the increased time spent on them, or the preparatory work I put into them. 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Thursday 6th December 2012 - Exhibition!

I've landed a place in a small exhibition which is open for one night only in Birmingham's Eastside District, in the Custard Factory.

There will be approx. 15 artists including me, the 5 pieces of mine which made the cut being:

They will all be for sale, £40 framed** or £25 unframed.

**The frames are 17"x20" black bordered box frames, with 5cm mounts.

All pieces are a one time edition, taken directly from my portfolio, so, in a way, each is unique.

See the facebook group:

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Wednesday 21st November 2012 - Firenze

I've also recently returned from a week in Florence, where a lot of sun was taken in (even in November), a lot of drawing was done and I felt totally arty.

With the recent slew of observational works done, it's making me ponder the usefulness of an iPad, solely so I can conduct plein air studies in the media I do my finished works in, as at the moment I do my studies traditionally, but always render my paintings up digitally, so one isn't really supporting the other, especially considering important aspects such as colour relationships aren't considered when studying mono-chromatically.

I also took a ridiculous amount of photos, here's some stitched together into a panorama of sorts, taken from the top of the cupola of the Duomo, in central Florence.

Wednesday 21st November 2012 - A Trip to Whitby

I really suck at keeping this updated, especially when I have other things going on, so time for 3 updates in a day.

Way back when I went up to Whitby for a couple of days, hoping that I could draw and soak up some of the surroundings and decant that into my Dracula paintings, which at that point were merely sketches.

Fortunately the super eerie fog which greeted my arrival soon passed, and I was able to get a number of photos snapped in both conditions, and get some drawing done!

And of course a journey up north couldn't be complete without stops to try the ale!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sunday 4th November 2012 - Working Week

No images or anything today, more of a reflective rant.

Something which I have found, and of which I am sure other practitioners have experience is the criticism received for the times we work/how we work/etc.,

I've had it for a few years now, since more and more of my time is spent drawing at a drafting table and painting in Photoshop, it's assumed I spend all day surfing the internet and watching TV. Even when said in jest this is beginning to grate now, especially when the point is raised by people who I know for a fact work less hard, for more money, and probably still enjoy weekends off.

So yeah, I thought i'd throw my working week out there, if for no other reason than maybe someone will see it and understand that being an illustrator isn't 'easy'.

Monday - Friday: 
07:30 - Alarm goes off.
08:00 - Check e-mails, respond, work out what I need to do that particular day.
08:45 - Begin work: This covers any number of possibilities; research, reference finding, drawing, sketching, travelling, painting, and so on.
13:00 - If going good, can stop for dinner.
13:45 - Continue work.
18:30 - Tea time, exercise, check e-mails again.
20:30 - Wrap up the day's work, if it needs continuing, leave it set up for the following day, do incidental things which cropped up during the day - photograph forgotten reference, sketch things i'd forgotten about.
22:00 - Stop working if no deadlines are near.**
22:00+ - Spend the rest of the evening reading art blogs, books, tutorials, being part of the art community, etc.
**22:00+ - If a deadline is near, now the night shift begins.
**03:00 - Stop, sleep for 4.5 hours, repeat.

So that's the 5 days a week that most people work. Tallying that up i'll work on average 10 - 12 hours a day, or if things need doing, a cool 12 - 16 hours a day as I'll skip dinner.

So, over 5 days that's close enough to 55 hours a week for a regular working week, or, in such circumstances as work is piling up, i'll easily clock 65 - 70 hours.

I have no knowledge of any office worker or regular Joe who works this much. I know Doctors and nurses do, and honestly, I have no idea how they do it.


07:45 - Alarm goes off. (yup, a 15 minute lie in for me on weekends!)
08:30 - 16:30 - Part time job.
17:00+ - My day off.

Spent catching up on things I couldn't fit into the Monday - Friday slog or which need to be finished for uni on Mondays, blogging, updating websites, the necessary things which aren't exactly arty.

Or. It's another working day if things need finishing, so I can find myself working 7 days a week at 12 hours a day. 84 hour working week. hmm.

Is it obvious why I get agitated over criticism?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Tuesday 23rd October 2012 - Breathe in the Wild Northern Wind promo

I'm doing a limited run of these prints to celebrate the fact that Autumn is here, and, well, Fall is the most damned awesome season by half.

At the time of writing there are 6 spots left. They will be printed at A3 on high quality matte photo paper at ~240gsm. The cost is £10 (exc. any postage surcharges should they apply).

So, if anyone fancies picking up a fairly limited image, get in touch, either via Twitter or Facebook, or e-mail me at

Monday 22nd October 2012 - Arena Legends: Act 1: COMPLETE!

Well I've been rather bad and refrained from updating this thing, so I best get back to it.

This was a small job I took on for the upcoming iOS/Android game: Arena Legends. Thanks to a multitude of reasons, I was granted the title of Art Director.

With this came the responsibility of drawing and painting all necessary scenes. These 8 are to be used in an introductory video, and have elements in them which will be animated. So, watch this space!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Monday 22nd October 2012 - Tonal Comprehensive

So yeah, I have a swathe of tonal comprehensive drawings (missing the highlights, I know [slaps own hand]), but from these I must decant the 4/5 best images, to progress with and paint up to an awesome degree.

Which ones stick out and why?