Quick 2000 AD headshots

The Weekly Themed Art Blog is paying tribute to the 35th anniversary of the Galaxy's Greatest Comic this week. I had an ambitious plan to draw 35 quick portraits of some of the best loved characters from the comic's history, but it was a little over-ambitious as it turns out. Our long-awaited house move is going ahead in the next few days (fingers crossed), so I'll probably have to put the artowrk on hold for a while.

Each of these is about 8x6cm, inked quickly and with tones added in PS.


Another Jikan preview

Getting massive satisfaction from drawing this Samurai badass. So much so I just offered to draw a couple more pages. Here's a preview from another page of 'Stowaway' by Dirk van Dom.


El Bigote - anatomy of a cover

Stage 1. El Chivo provides the pencils, having done the leg-work in terms of the overall idea and composition (this is a wraparound cover btw)

Stage 2. Inked with my Pentel brush pen

Stage 3. Greytones are added digitally to give more depth

Stage 4. Blocks of colour are added in Photoshop (the part of the process that's known as flatting)

 Stage 5. Final colours - highlights, shadows and textures are the last things to be added

Then it's off to Bolt-01 and Owen Watts for the logos to be added, before the comic heads off to the printers very soon. I've already seen some of El Chivo's roughs for upcoming El Bigote adventures and I'm really looking forward to inking those too.


Jikan - Stowaway preview 2

Another panel from my Jikan page - still a work in progress. I'm experimenting with combining the simplistic inking and tones with a bit of light texture (plus I've got to add another figure to this panel yet).


Jikan - Stowaway

My first page of sequential comic art in over a year is starting to come together. I never intended to have such a long break from it, and since starting this Jikan page I've realised just how rusty I've become. Drawing all these portraits has definitely helped my art overall, but it's also hindered it at the same time. Background details, full figures, hands, clothes, panel composition, focusing in and pulling back just like you're directing a movie, and just plain drawing things smaller - I'd truly forgotten how much planning and effort goes into even a single panel. And that's what we have here - my first panel in too long, for a page I'm doing for Paragon's time-travelling demon slayer Jikan.

I used this for a couple of things - first to knock the rust off all the above skills I've been neglecting before I start planning the pages for the first episode of my magnificent octopus 'Last Road to the Backwoods' (with the Emperor), and second to have a bash at a very different style. I've been becoming more and more obsessed with the genius that is Mike Mignola, so decided to try a style that, although not directly copied is certainly influenced by him. Thinner lines, blockier shapes, flat areas of solid blacks etc. Keeps me from boring myself, just churning out the same thing over and over again.


Come quietly or there will be... TROUBLE

So the long-rumoured remake/reboot is gearing up again, this time with The Killing's Joel Kinnaman in the title role. I was hugely excited for a time when Darren Aronofsky was attached as director - that conjured up all kinds of cerebral sci-fi weirdness in my head anyway, but alas that time has passed. Still, it could be great.

Will it ever live up to Verhoeven's original though? Well, that's a different matter. And Dick? You're fired!

Hope Davis portrait

Another character portrait for a Sci-fi RPG in the vein of Alien - the brief was to model this one on the actress Hope Davis.


The Walking Dead - Shane

Favourite character in a show that's getting better and better. Brush pen with tones and colours added in PS.


El Bigote cover art - WIP teaser

One of several projects I'm juggling at the moment, here is a teaser of the cover art for the forthcoming independent comic 'El Bigote', which is written and drawn by my good friends Matt McLaughlin & El Chivo respectively. El Bigote takes place in the mexican afterlife, and from what I've seen so far features all manner of insane characters, shoot-outs and shenanigans

El Chivo pencilled this magnificent wraparound cover and I was asked to ink the sucker. Now, inking other people's work is not something I have a lot of experience with, so that in itself was reason enough to say yes. Add in the fact that El Chivo's art is pretty flippin' dynamic and full of humour and menace, plus Matt's a great up-and-coming writer with a gift for memorable characters and I was sold.

On top of inks, I'm now part-way through colouring the cover, and have also agreed to take on the mantle of ongoing inker for the next batch of actual comic pages. It never hurts to broaden your arsenal does it? (is that even a phrase?)