Sunday, 23 December 2007

Happy Holidays!

Just a quick note to wish everyone a merry christmas and happy new year! Hopefully 2008 will be even more productive than 07 and to say thanks for all who have stopped by mostlywanted and this blog! Im going to be taking a short breather, then cracking on with some new pieces that are bubbling away- so have a good holiday and i will see you in the new year!

Sunday, 16 December 2007

2008 CIA Calender

I just received the 2008 calendar from CIA, its only going out to a select few so i thought i would give everyone a chance to see what it looks like. This year the calendar is designed with each artist given a pantone spot colour plus black and asked to create an image for a specific week- the end result is great with some fantastic work from a range of artists represented by CIA. Heres the calendar and my page for march wk11. I will be updating mostlywanted soon with a bigger version of my original artwork so keep a look out.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Steve has a hiking accident....

..not sure about the title yet but anyway- in a bit of a rush so no process shots today but im sure youre familiar with my usual process by now so here is the finished piece and a few detail shots.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Tiki Spirit

I have spent the last few days working on this new piece, as usual- here is a run-down on the process for those that are interested. After numerous thumbnail sketches getting the shapes right and drawing a lot of totems and skulls (so much fun to draw) i finally got the idea sorted and moved into artrage to pencil out a refined drawing on an oil textured pink background. The next sequential shots show the first few steps, the girls skin painted then the clothing.

The rest of the painting progressed in much the same way, tackling each section in separate files in order to bring it all together in a master photoshop file.

After the robots came the skulls, fish, mug and bottle, then the grass with the foreground leaves and the forest and volcano coming in near the end. Unusually for me, this piece was painted almost completely in painter with oil brushes then brought into photoshop for tweaks. This was largely due to the end effect i had in mind- i wanted this piece to look more like a painting on weathered wood and for more texture to be apparent. Painter allows me more freedom to create a work more closely resembling actual paint.

Almost the last piece to be finished was the girls tattoo, as you can see from the sequence- the majority of the painting is finished, this was so i could see how the colors would work together and get a better idea of the shape i had to work with.

Finally, distressed effects were added together with a more fitting border shape. Below is the final image together with some 100% closeups. Prints of Tiki Spirit are now available to buy through CIA Shop.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Franks Lunch

After getting mostlywanted live yesterday i had this pop into my mind, no idea why but thought it would be fun to do while im working out some other pieces. The style is seeming to follow on from the CIA ad, this one may be a bit ott but im quite digging doing characters at the moment so expect to see some similar stuff start appearing soon.

Edit: after another look, i will probably go with this one as the final version.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Mostlywanted vol5

After a bit of teething problems getting it up and running, the new mostlywanted site is up and running! Go check it out when you have a few mins to spare:

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Creative Handbook

Ben at Central Illustration asked if i would like to do their ad for the forth coming relaunch of the Creative Handbook, of course i said yes and whilst talking through the details had an almost instant idea of what i wanted to do, got off the phone and scribbled the top image down. Obviously, not a great idea of what the hell i was trying to get across so after a bit of refinement a more concrete drawing / mockup (2nd image) emerged with which i was able to sell the idea and get the go ahead to make a start on the hires.

Unfortunately, this time around i didn't actually take any good process shots but it was basically the same as usual. First was a resize of the drawing up to the correct size at 600dpi with bleed and gutters marked up i could go ahead and start a new file the size of the painted area within the frame. The girls had the skin, clothes and hair painted together in a separate file which were then clipped out with paths and masks and brought into a working file where the background was being painted.

As you can see from the above top shot, i painted a separate layer with the negative space shapes of the trees etc so i could work on the layers below without being distracted by overflow. The 3rd image is the painting almost finished, after the trees, then the characters were painted, then the grasses, forest and cloud backdrop and ghosts added almost last so highlight colours could be added correctly. The final stages were to add the CIA Icon and my name, some tweaks here and there, levels etc. Then the image was then flattened down and brought into another file where i created the frame above the painted layer and added the final details. Heres the final double page spread:

and some closer detail shots:

Mostlywanted updates

As i mentioned in the previous post, mostlywanted will be getting a re-launch, hopefully later today (but possibly tomorrow), this new incarnation has a bit more of a classic style, the site itself is simple to navigate but thanks to some developer wizardry (thanks simon) is a lot easier to update and should be more cross browser compatible and accessible.

I have been trying to get my butt in gear and get some new work done, I have been pretty bad recently, lots going on thats unfortunately taken priority over the work life, bear with me, hopefully things will get back on track soon.

Below is the new mostlywanted brand I have developed, as i mentioned, a little more classic than the previous logotype, just felt like i needed to shake things up a bit.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Terrible at updates!

Dammit! I swore i would try and keep this thing up-to-date better than this! Just to let you know, i have been doing some new work and getting the new mostlywanted site together- hopefully there should be a new site launched in the next few days! I will add another post with some new work soon, keep'em peeled!

Monday, 1 October 2007

Computer Arts Issue 141 on the stands

The latest issue of Computer Arts (141) is out in the shops and features a 36-page 'Book of Inspiration', featuring work from a whole load of creatives including: Rich May, Muller, Si Scott, Andy Smith, Hellovon, Jon Burgerman, Catalina Estrada, McFaul plus many more, one of my images is in there too. Go grab a copy!

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Mr Jackson

Just finished this portrait of Samuel L Jackson. Final pic shot with details at half size.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

New sketchbook stuff

Got myself a nice new sketchbook the other day with a view to getting some more 'real world' scibbles done, heres a few pieces, quick thin oils and pencil and water colour- the book is heavyweight watercolour paper so theres a lot of texture there and using oils probably wasnt my smartest move (slow drying rate, rough texture in a book format- transfer onto the opposite page much?) but its fun anyways. No idea why the parakeet though.

Monday, 17 September 2007

New piece- finally

After spending days messing about trying to develop the charcoal drawing below into a full painting and it going totally wrong- i decided to do something else and this is what emerged. For me this was pretty quick, probably about 2 days or so- but loong days and there were many points at which i nearly threw the towel in on this as well. As you can see from the sketches the hair changed quite a bit, the final hair was version 3, i had a pretty much fully painted version prior to this that got scrapped... (that's also a point when i nearly packed it in).

After the initial sketches and the rough colour key here's some layering shots showing the build up from the clipped skin imported from painter on a solid background, through the clothing base and highlight layers to the 'almost there' stage with the hair, background shadows and lighting tweaks. After that theres a combo shot of the hair being developed, basic mass defined then shape and detail development.

The final work with some detail shots at 100% following.

Friday, 31 August 2007

CIA Consequences show

Last night was the opening night of the show and all went well, that is apart from me leaving early due to unforeseen circumstances, but i did manage to snag a couple of shots of the work on display with my phone, i think i got the order about right, i didnt manage to get everyones piece but you can still see the undulating skyline quite well:

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Just a quick post...

Couple of pics for your viewing pleasure. First up is a quick digital sketch and colour study, something i was toying with for a new full piece. Second is a charcoal drawing with a quick digital wash over the background, hopefully i will get this one a bit more developed soon.

Its the CIA 'consequences' show opening night tomorrow, which should be cool, if i remember i will take some pics of the night and post them up.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Facebook and life in general

Got invited to join a friend on facebook and now of course i am a reluctant member as well. Im sure this is how these things get so big, if someone recommends you or invites you to join a social network its difficult to say no without pissing someone off and then you end up getting hooked into it as well.

Ive been working for a few agencies recently so ive been worse than usual at keeping things up to date, (seriously need to sort out mostlywanted) but have been working on a couple of new illustrations which i will post up soon.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Regarding prints...

After setting up a print on demand account with imagekind, i was curious to see what the quality of their prints was actually like so i ordered a large (22.8" x 32") copy of untitled3 (see previous post) on somerset velvet, 250gsm, 100% cotton, acid-free stock. Obviously as imagekind is in Seattle, U.S, it took a few days for FedEx to get it to me here, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Tissue rolled print in heavyweight tube, packed in triangular tube with extra padding so nothing could move around. (The delivery was something i was concerned with after a one-off print i did last year, turned up smashed to hell (royal mail had obviously been having a sword fight in the sorting office)- and that was special delivery- not good.) The quality of the printing is spot on, colour fidelity is great. So now i can safely say "go buy a print".

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Of Mice and Men....

Best laid plans and all.. well it looks like i couldnt manage to do what said i would and get some sketches posted within a week or so of my last post. I have been reasonably busy with paid work, but ive also had other things outside of work that have been on my mind lately, its been making me a bit slack on keeping motivated to do anything im not getting cold hard cash for.

Strangely enough over the last few weeks ive been yearning to get back to some traditional painting so ive been out and about picking up supplies, prep'ing canvas etc. Scary how much art supply prices have risen in the last few years... Its going to be interesting to see what comes of this sudden analogue impulse.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

New Beginnings

Heres the original piece that i created for the CIA event next month, as i mentioned before, i didnt feel too happy about it when it was finished, so i quickly moved on to the Moonchild piece. But as everything went along, this was felt to have more impact in relation to the show, so this is the one thats going to be used.

Just a few images to show the process- (i will probably stop doing these soon) heres a compilation of the original drawing after scaning and some piecing together. (my scanner is an old A4 thats really on its last legs.) Next is the gown and dog after they had been pretty much finished and their paths applied, followed by a wip of the baby creature.

Next is a view of the background landscape painting, its pretty much completed at this point, just some additional touches were made and then it was brought into the final file for the last stages.

After everything was brought together in one massive file i proceeded to make subtle changes to the lighting with some curves, levels etc. The red hummingbirds were the last element to go in on the top layer. Below is the final piece followed by some detail shots at 70%. Im gonna try and get off my ass this week and get some sketches done for a series of portraits i have in mind. Watch this space.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Moonchild, New work

Next month, CIA will be putting on a summer show, this was an alternate piece i put forward for the show, i dont think its going to be used in the show itself, but it may find a home elsewhere.. i will post the other one here at a later date.

Fortunately i kept a lot of the layered files, (the exhibition called for this work to be A2 and the wip files are currently taking up around 2gb on my HD!) which enables me to show you some of the process for this picture. Hopefully you'll find it interesting. After a lot of rough thumbnail sketches i arrived at a composition that i liked and went ahead getting it drawn up in a little more detail, to better get a sense of space i started drawing it out on A2, just cheap cartridge paper and a soft pencil. Below is the 2 pencil drawings, the girl is just giving a sense of scale and her features, the rest of her is left pretty loose, the second is a shot of the trees that i brought in and duplicated, on the right is a more fleshed out rough of the girl, lighting and position blocked in.

Below is a single shot of the trees and moon being painted, this is done as a grayscale document in painter so that it can be used as a channel in photoshop.

As i described in my previous post, the majority of elements are worked up in seperate files and then brought into a master file, below is a sequential showing the original trees (the hills and moon were added after i had completed these grabs and dropped in on the base layer), it shows the kimono vector outline, the channel highlights, then the skin and the hair added.

All that is needed is some additional details, flower pattern on the dress, falling blossoms, necklace, shadows etc and overall lighting and levels and its done. Below is the finished painting and a few detail shots.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

New work, untitled3

As a starting point heres a reasonable walkthrough / process on a recent piece. I get asked about my process so i will just use this post to give you a rundown on how i go about doing things. I work primarily in painter and photoshop, the latter really for smaller details, colour correction, levels etc etc. Coming from a tradional painting background i find painters ability to mix and lay down paint more intuitive.

For this piece i just went straight into sketching the composition digitally, sometimes i do roughs with good old paper and pencil, it just depends on how strong the image is in my mind. As you can see from the above, after getting a rough compostition down and finalised i then go on to do a hi res drawing- in this instance it was done in artrage which is a great and unbeliveably cheap app. Next its a rough colourkey.

I actually tend to work on each element in a seperate file and then bring everything together in a final file once each piece is about 90% of the way completed. Below is a sequential image of the tiger being painted. The last 2 frames show it after a clipping path has been added, then to soften the edges, a layer mask is added and brushed around to help that layer to sit with the rest of the painting.

Heres a quick look at the hair in progress... (the halo is just there as a rough placer at this point)

The 3 main elements were done in much the same way, tiger, girls skin and bird all painted in painter in seperate files and then brought into a final file.

After bringing the elements together and roughing in the background i added the dress, necklace, halo and background pattern, then added additional lighting highlights, midtones and shadows on seperate layers, flattened everything down and copied it to a new file where i added some noise to soften the image slightly and thats it done. Below is the final image together with some detail shots.