The Walking Dead - Michonne

The Walking Dead's Michonne, played with a fantastic one-note scowl by Danai Gurira on the AMC show. She's getting a bit of stick from some online quarters, moaning about the lack of a backstory, emotional range or even dialogue, but personally I think that's the point of the character - whoever she was before is irrelevant and she's truly found her calling in life now, as a completely relentless badass with a samurai sword. She's a Man-With-No-Name-type, a mythic character almost. Seriously, what's not to like?

Rocky Marciano

A rough portrait - bordering on caricature almost I suppose - of boxing legend Rocky Marciano.


Spot of colour

Life demands and the regular day job have been conspiring to keep me too busy/demoralised/bloomin' knackered to do a great deal of artwork this past month, but I'm slowly gearing up for a creative spurt again. Got the cover art for Owen Watts' 'Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel' roughly thumbnailed, plus a couple of nice comic projects on the horizon, so I'm warming up with a couple of quick things. Planning to do a bunch of new 10 minute portraits later today too, so watch this space.

In the meantime, here's a drawing I found on deviantART, by a talented Canadian guy who goes by the moniker JesusFood. Loved this pic so much I asked him if I could have a go at adding some colour, and he was up for it, so here it is.



Vincent Price as The Joker

Next illo for The Occultists podcast. Owen suggested this and as soon as I saw the phrase 'Vincent Price as The Joker' in print, it had to happen!


Horror pics - inked & toned at last!

Had an exhausting few weeks and been fighting off the lurgy continually, but here at long last are the 3 Hammer/Universal horror drawings from last month inked up and toned. Inspired by Dark Horse Comics Patric Reynolds' masterful ink & wash work, I decided to try my hand at something similar with the Mummy pic. This was inked with a Winsor & Newton series 7, a larger Pro arte 5/8" brush and a toothbrush for the splatters. Quite pleased with the results actually, but then I got the fear and went back to the Pentel brush pen for the next 2. Will practice though.


An evening in the company of Universal & Hammer horror

Managed to snatch a couple of hours last night to do some sketching, here's the results. From the top: Boris Karloff of course, in the 1932 version of The Mummy; Myrna Loy as Fah Lo See in The Mask of Fu Manchu (also 1932 - god, that was a good year wasn't it?); and the one and only Peter Cushing as Dr John Rollason in Hammer's 1957 production of The Abominable Snowman. Hoping to ink these up too at some point soon.


The Occultists

I'm currently engaged in the rather gargantuan task of colouring my first professional comic ('Banned Across The Universe'), but, conscious that I want to keep my hand in drawing-wise, I agreed to provide an illustration per month for The Occultists, a new podcast from writers Owen Johnson and Max Deacon. In said podcast, the guys chew the fat over cult movies, and it really is worth a listen. Owen approached me and asked if they could use my portrait of Elsa Lanchester as The Bride of Frankenstein, so I said yes of course, taking the opportunity to throw a bit of colour on it too.

The first podcast involved a discussion of 2 movies - Michael Lehmann's blackly comic 'Heathers' (1988) and the 1969 film version of 'Medea', directed by Pasolini and featuring the only movie appearance of Maria Callas in the title role. Owen requested a sort of mash-up illustration but unfortunately due to time constraints I only got around to drawing Medea. Did have bash at a logo too though - not often I get to flex my much-atrophied typography muscles.

I'm looking forward to next month's already, as I get to draw Vincent Price as The Joker!


3 Motown legends & a writer chap

This is the last huzzah of the 10 minute portrait project. I was commissioned by Neil Roche to draw 3 of these for his boss' 50th birthday, and because it would be the last batch I'd be doing for the forseeable future I wanted to go out with a bit of a bang and decided to throw in a fourth one free, and to tone them digitally (rather than just present the inks alone).

So they started life as quick pencil sketches, 12cm x 9cm like all my other 10 minute portraits. You can see at this point that one or two things aren't quite right (Marvin's left eye in particular), but rather than keep working at the pencil stage I scale them up in Photoshop, print them out in faint blueline and ink by hand with my Pentel brush pen, refining things like this as I go. These are then scanned back into PS and the tones and texture added digitally. I try to achieve a hand-painted look, almost like watercolour, which I think works quite well.

Anyway, they are from the top: Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell, Wilbur Smith & Bobby Womack.


War in Hell II

This one's pretty much a straight homage to Ben Stenbeck and Dave Stewart's work on 'Baltimore', the latest title in the ever-expanding Mignolaverse. Although I wasn't the biggest fan at first, this book has really grown on me. Stenbeck and Stewart in particular compliment each other perfectly, and by the latest adventure (the chilling two-parter 'Dr Leskovar's Remedy') seem to have achieved a perfect symbiosis.

War in Hell

A work-in-progress, but pretty much there now. Getting my horror fix before I embark on that new pro colouring gig. Inspired in part by the Great War flashbacks in Ian Edginton's Ampney Crucis Investigates in 2000AD and by more general Lovecraftian themes (Lovecraft of course being a direct influence on Edginton).


Vanguard - final cover art

Here's the final cover for issue 3 of Vanguard, with some of the stages I go through underneath, beginning with pencils on the far right, then inks plus a digital ink 'wash', then more B&W tones and textures before painting the fianl colour layers. As I've said in the previous post, this was hugely enjoyable and I think it's awoken the fantasy beast within - I'm itching to draw me a few Uruk-Hai or a sexy High Elf Priestess now...


Vanguard #3 cover art preview

A griffin! Haven't drawn this kind of beastie since I was about 15 and stayed behind after school to play Advanced Dungeons & Dragons with my fellow nerds. I used to get to draw everyone's characters for them too, used to love that. Can't beat a bit of fantasy/mythology.

This is a detail of the cover for the upcoming issue 3 of Irish small press comic Vanguard. A work-in-progress too, some bits to add yet.



A quick study of Eliza Dushku as Faith, the bad girl slayer from Buffy. Have to admit, I had a massive crush on her back in the late 90's - she was the perfect foil to wholesome Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Taking a break from the brush pen, this is just digital tones and texture added to a pencil sketch. Got a new one-off comic strip coming up and I'm experimenting with slightly different techniques, see if it sparks any ideas.


Princess Ankhesenamón

As played by the beautiful actress Zita Johann in the 1932 Universal Studios version of The Mummy (today's warm-up inks & tones).


Judge Dredd - American Vampire

Haven't drawn Dredd for ages and this idea popped into my head the other day. The tagline works better pre-Day of Chaos mind.

Kid Tiger roughs

Quick roughs for a sketch of the teen vigilante, Kid Tiger. James Corcoran - who is currently drawing the strip - very kindly let me have a copy of The Long Tomorrow by Moebius as well as Prisoner of The Stars by Alfonso Font. This (once it's inked) is a little thank you for that generosity.


El Bigote - La Noches De Los Muertoads!

Here it is, the finished cover art for the next El Bigote (mis)adventure through the Mexican afterlife. As mentioned in the previous post, this was pencilled by my hombre El Chivo, and (digitally) inked and coloured by myself. Note to self - don't ink things this complex in PS ever again - takes soooo long! What was I thinking? Nah, seriously though, I chose to do it this way just for the challenge really, and to gain experience in digital inking. Must try to master Manga Studio at some point though - by all accounts it's much better for inking.


Nigel Dobbyn's Hellboy - coloured

2000AD alumnus Nigel Dobbyn posted this beautifully crafted Hellboy on Facebook earlier today, and within seconds I was bugging the poor chap to let me have a bash at colouring it. It was a chance to try out a completely different style to my usual one too, with these elegant lines demanding a more clean cut treatment. Pretty pleased with the result too.

New 'El Bigote' preview

Currently inking up this bad boy, roughs again provided by El Chivo. This is a tiny detail of a hugely intricate cover/pin-up to promote the next adventure of the undead quillslinger - 'La Noches de los Muertoads'. Just for a challenge/spot of masochism, I'm inking this digitally in Photoshop. Which is taking an age, but if it was too easy it wouldn't be any fun would it?