Thursday, 10 November 2011

Head Worms again

Coloured this drawing - doing this sort of thing makes me feel as though I'm phoning it in a bit. Maybe sometimes it's necessary to not challenge oneself.

Monday, 7 November 2011

digital life drawings

Thank you to everyone who came down last night, I enjoyed myself immensely! Here are some of my drawings. It took me a while to get into a good rhythm (first third was pretty much a write off as I got used to drawing in public..). Thanks also to the life model, who was excellent as usual!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Life Drawing

Here's a thing I'm doing tomorrow evening, that is simultaneously exciting and terrifying! A little while ago I was asked to come up with a theme for a life drawing session, with the possibility of also doing a workshop. I wasn't really sure about the workshop part, so instead I suggested that I just make some work during a life drawing session and project the process on to a wall. The poses will have a roughly illustrative focus, with some props and accompanied by text.

It's upstairs at Leaf Tea Shop, on Bold Street (in Liverpool) and it's probably going to be pretty fun. Basic drawing materials will be provided, and it's usually a very relaxed and informal session with all skill levels in attendance! For more info on the group, see

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Iliad

I mentioned Kubla Khan a while ago, but since I'm digging around in files from the summer I wanted to also share some panels from the snippet of the Iliad that I adapted. I found it a great struggle to get to grips with the story, despite a great love of the source material, and so spent an embarrassing amount of time procrastinating with different styles of working instead of actually writing the thing. Above is one such experiment in style. I think it looks great, but found it too time consuming and complex to do the whole thing like that. Below is how the first page of the final thing looks, a misty semi-monochrome.  This is some work that I'm only half happy with, it was a pure slog to finish and really pushed me to the limit of what I can do in a limited amount of time. But it was a great learning experience - I just hope that I get the chance in the future to put some of those lessons in practice!



Here's some work from earlier in the year - ALIEN PORTRAITS (and one human, in ineffectual disguise). For Kerberos Productions. I think these are a little bigger than will be in game (if used - always difficult to tell what will actually make the cut). I became interested in illustration in general because of evocative portrait and background work in games back in the late 90s, so I think it's great that smaller companies and online developers still put it into the finished product, rather than just having behind the scenes concept art. These were loosely based on pre-existing drawings from a previous game that needed updating.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Head Worms

Your guess is as good as mine.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Couple of editorial illustrations

Here are two illustrations for Swiss business magazine Bilan. Fairly unsavoury subject matter (claiming prostitutes as non-taxable business expenses. Don't know what the slant of the article was, but the AD was very keen the illustrations featured sexy ladies!) but hey. I have to eat. They're not the most dynamic illustrations I've ever done, but as they were completed in around 20 hours of work, I'm pleased with how they turned out. Also, I think they are probably my first bit of editorial work! Milestone!

Kubla Khan

Here's the first page of an illustrated version of Coleridge's weird little poem about Kubla(i) Khan. I completed this when feverish and ill (probably self inflicted thanks to colliding deadlines) so it looks a little crazy to my healthy eyes (what sane person would pick THAT green? What's up with the trees? Why is the wailing woman so small? etc). It's going to be in the first (or maybe second? unsure) volume of The Graphic Canon, along with my attempt at adapting book 3 of the Iliad!

Thursday, 15 September 2011


Here's a recently completed project - the wrap-around cover for the band Cormorant's next release. It was an epic undertaking, the band were very clear that they wanted a medieval style tower packed with illustrative interpretations of the songs on the record. With a snake. And a war. And creepy angels. And a flying machine. And a screaming mob. And... you get the idea. There were times I thought it was impossible.  I think I'm most pleased with the text treatment of the title - those calligraphy classes in college finally paid off! Looking forward to seeing how it looks on a CD!

If you want to know more about the band, or the release, the official page is here.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Monday, 8 August 2011


Stalling to avoid doing actual work.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Coat of Dust

Here's a speedy painting from today: I think I'm secretly looking forward to winter.

Thursday, 4 August 2011


Here's a drawing of a special lady: Nelson!

Friday, 15 July 2011

that dulcimer again

The hammered dulcimer: not interesting but very difficult to draw.

This illustration has been frustrating me for weeks - conflicting descriptions in the source text, my own refusal to commit to a particular style for the project, accidentally locking myself in to the dull colours I sketched it in etc etc. I declare the frustration over! It's fine as it is.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Man, I hate this guy!

I am flailing around, trying to find a less time consuming process for a project - it's quicker but I can't seem to resist the temptation to fill the canvas.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

dulcimer 2

That other drawing wasn't working.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

double left

This drawing started off as two left hands, something I didn't notice for over three days.


Sunday, 12 June 2011

Lovecraft Anthology - Dagon

Last year I was invited to illustrate a short story for Self Made Hero's Lovecraft Anthology volume 1. Obviously I leapt at the chance. The book is available now! It's pretty good.

Monday, 9 May 2011

some things

I wanted to mention that I have an Etsy shop ( in which I am listing old work, proof prints, sketches, under drawings - basically a bunch of stuff that would otherwise be sitting in a drawer slowly decaying. There will be some things you've seen, some things you maybe haven't.

In other news, the Gorilla Artfare artbook is now available and it's all killer no filler. I saw all the proof pages and there is nothing rubbish in the whole thing. It's page after page of quality art and illustration. If you want a copy, you can buy it from the CFSL shop!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Mystery Solving Pre-Teens

I felt the unusual inclination to do some fanart - Mildred, Shauna and Lottie from Bad Machinery
I've been reading Scary-Go-Round for a good 7 years now, it was my gateway drug into the wider world of comics on the internet.

It was very important that I draw Mildred wearing what seems to be her favourite shirt.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


This one makes even less sense.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Friday, 22 April 2011


Totally inspired by the terrifying monsters in Windwaker.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Tedious day / fun evening drawing. Want to do more.

Monday, 18 April 2011


I've been dying to participate in the artorder challenges for a while now, I love the 'challenge' of a casual brief. The ultimate fighter challenge was too fun to pass up, here's my (not very ultimate) entry.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

I spend a lot of time thinking about lettering, but not a whole lot of time actually doing some. I took advantage of my website host disappearing from the internet by using the downtime to redesign my website. I think this'll be the header.

Friday, 1 April 2011

I find that the upside to spending 48 hours recovering from computer failure is sorting through old files and deleting the rubbish that is.. well, rubbish, and airing out old work that seems alright with distance. This is a rejected (can't recall if I rejected it, or the art director did) drawing for an illustration that actually turned out pretty badly. I am unsure what is going on...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

pig face process

By sort of request:

This is the original scan, it was done in one of those moleskines with the thin paper (I can't bring myself to buy the ones with the thick paper - not enough pages) hence all the visible writing. The contrast has been pumped up, and on an overlay layer I scribbled in some colours. It's always red, muddy yellow and green. Always. It's like the bottom half of the spectrum doesn't exist.

On a multiply layer I've blocked in some brown, trying to work out what the hell I was trying to describe with those pencils.

New layer, no special properties. I just picked out a few highlights, trying to visualise some form and detail. I made a bit of an attempt at surface texture.

I always knew the background would have to go, so on a new layer (just in case I went over something I'd want to restore later) I blocked in some white. There's some more rendering, some decisions being made on what the hell those ears are doing and general noodling. This stage took a lot longer than I wanted so I set it aside for a few months.
This is an image at 100% pixel size. I'm in the habit of making work for print (just in case!) so there's a lot of room for detail. My general method is to just move around the image, filling it out. Most of the colours are there already so my finger is just hovering over alt to colour pick with each stroke. The aim is to make sense of all the chaos introduced by the previous steps - edges are blurred or sharpened, rough textures are smoothed out and shapes are refined. After a few hours of nit-picking and noodling, it's done. More process posts can be found here (they all say pretty much the same thing...).