Tuesday, 29 June 2010

No Time for Heroes Poster

Here is a comission I finished up last week for the awesome London-based promotion company 'No Time for heroes'.
It went through two quite different stages as you can see above. I started out with a flying pig idea, but the decision was made to go down a more serious route, perhaps not including animals as such but a more decorative approach. The image at the top was the final version, complete with adjusted text with I think looks a lot stronger.
The illustration(s) were great fun to do, the client was really chilled about what I could do and pretty much gave me free reign over the job, which is always exciting and was also helpful as the deadline was very much a 2 day job.
Check out their website over here: http://www.myspace.com/inbag

Saturday, 26 June 2010

The End Result.

And here it is! Wow, it will be a relief not to see any more of this image on my blog...
I basically added more orange to the lighting to make it really look like the creatures were heading out of a canopy and into a strong light source. Hopefully, this just adds a bit more atmosphere, which I think is incredibly important in 'narrative' illustration, and just basically adds a bit more 'badass', as it is technically known in the business.
I added the branches and foreground leaves, again, for a bit more of a 'canopy' feel, and voila! It is complete. Hopefully you may have found this step by step example interesting. This is a very general approach that I take to illustrations, although I tend to be quite sporadic and never stick to one tried and proven method, I approach each illustration I do slightly differently, but I think this gives quite a good idea of how I tend to work. Digitally, that is. Watercolours is a whole different kettle of fish. Perhaps I will do a watercolour step by step one day...
And never fear! I have other illustrations to put up on the blog which ISN'T this one! WAHEY!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Almost there...

Well, it's almost there.
I coloured the creatures mostly digital, but decided they needed some furry texture, and built that up with watercolour paint which i scanned in.
I then added the lighting for impact and atmosphere, which hopefully brings the whole thing to life a bit more. I'm relatively happy with the way it's going, I think it may need something going on in the foreground to add a bit of depth and a few leaves or branches to add the 'leafy' look. Then, I hope, it will be done! It's taking a while, but then I'm having to try and fit it in inbetween 'real' work. Give me a few more days, and the final will be here!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Background...BEGINS.

I started work on the background today in a tiny bit of spare time I had. I went for the red colour scheme for a kind of 'autumn' look, but really, and more importantly, the red adds a bit of drama and 'intenseness' to the action. I think. And hope.

The background was pretty much composed of acrylic and watercolour textures and brush strokes I did on paper and then scanned in, the colours and opacities played around with in photoshop with the odd bit of digital painting here or there.
I'm not sure about it yet...I don't know if the background is a bit too busy or flat at the moment, but I'll carry on working into it and add lighting later...lighting; the savior which can make most things look half decent...

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Illustration in Progress

Here is something some may find interesting. If not, I apologise profusely.
A little run-down of an illustration in progress. I started the illustration knowing that I wanted weird baboon-like creatures chasing a kind of glowing squirrel. It had been a slow day. The ravonous creatures ended up being baboon/racoon/tortoise...thingies, which can only lead to good times. Unless you're a squirrel with stripes and antennae, such as the other creature in this illustration. I have done numerous thumbnail compositions and ideas in my sketchbook, which I will hopefully scan soon. A meteor came crashing through my window earlier, which is near my sketchbook, and I'm too scared to approach it at the moment (aka, I can't be bothered).
I pencilled and then inked the drawing, and scanned it in, and voila, the black and white image is basically what i have infront of me on my Photoshop screen as we speak. Big, scary and balck and white. This fear of where to start on a big white canvas usually leads me to do these colour study things, which is the black and white drawing turned 72dpi so that it's small and easy to move the brush around without being precious about anything (which I have a nasty tendancy to do on digital software...take waaaaay too much time and care over things, getting tied up on small details and often ruining the overall effect). This way i can quickly try different colour schemes and compositional changes, or at least see things I'll have to work out at a later stage (such as what colour the squirrel will be...I'm really not sure yet, I'll see how the rest of the illustration looks when it's done and I'll colour the little fella to balance the rest of the illustration, and to add a little dash of colour.
As you can see, my thumbnails are ridiculously messy and no-where near the standard I've seen some artists do them (or what a client would want from me) but when I do illustrations for myself, I have quite a good idea of what I'm trying to achieve in my head, at least atmosphere-wise, and so I keep it quick and simple just to get the 'feeling' down on paper, just so I feel a bit more 'prepared' for what's to come, and not spend hours on a piece and then realise it looks awful, and having to start again...
Phew. Sorry, the length of this post seems to be getting out of hand! I'll post up this illustration in progress as it happens, so please, drop by and check it out!
As always, thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Oh dear...SLACKING.

Whoa, there was a tinsey lapse there, sorry about that...
Been very busy recently, sounds like a classic excuse but IT'S THE TRUTH I TELLS YA! My days have been consumed with concept art and try my damndest to get my debut picture book looking as good as can be. It's been really hard work, but hopefully it will pay off when the book comes out and looks lovely and wonderful and at least a bit readable. It's taking a long time, but first books do that, I've been told by many reliable sources, and I'm still as excited as ever.
Unfortunately, at these early stages, it still means I can't show anything just yet, so once again I'm scrounging through my sketchbooks for something interesting to show for the sake of keeping this blog alive and well. Here you go. I will try hard to keep this badboy updated a bit better! Until then...