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).