Thursday, November 29, 2012

Birthday Jamboree

Yes the Birthday Jamboree!

Various Birthday items happily marching to a birthday party to offer themselves up for your delight.

I first did some sketches as ideas for the annual Illustrators Australia 9by5 exhibition, the theme Carnivale. I carefully drew it in pen and ink to 9" x 5".

I scanned that and came up with the colours digitally. I used an idea from James Gurney (of Dinotopia fame) to come up with the colour range, it's called gamut masking and it really helped limit the colours and made it much easier to make colour decisions.

I drew it up on the 9 by 5 wooden board and started in with the Golden acrylic paints. I am not so keen on painting things so small.

That was finished just in time for the 9x5 exhibition and was well received but didn't sell...

Pretty happy with that little painting so I decided to upscale it to a bigger canvas. This was now the fourth time I had to draw it so I felt I was getting the hang of it. I had a little more room on the left so I added a drink cup but that was voted out by others and I changed it to a choc top ice cream which everyone loves. I have been taking photos of the progress of the bigger painting but it is going much slower than the little one. I will post them soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ear Hole Trumpet

Ear Hole Trumpet has landed!

well, I got sick of telling people "You should listen to this thing online, it is hilarious!" and then 3 weeks later the person says "what was that thing again?" and ususally it was something that was only up for a week and is now long gone or I can't find the link anymore.


I decided to make another blog (than this one) and it would be dedicated to all the online spoken word and comedy stuff I listen to while I am working. I cant listen to stuff while I am typing or trying to read a website or stuff like that but when I am making artwork or putting together designs I listen to all sorts of things.

It is weird because I really take in the audio and days or a few weeks later I can look at what I was doing and remember exactly what I was hearing. If you asked me "remember that episode of This American Life last week, i would probably just look at you blankly but if I looked at a detail in an illustration I will remember what the guy was saying at that point. Is that common or a bit wierd?

So if you want something good to listen to, drop in have a look around and see if anything takes your fancy, run it up the flagpole, see who salutes...

It has only been up for a few days but I have a whole bunch of links to get up there over the next little while.


Earlier in the year I was putting together a whole bunch of different ideas that I thought might be good for my sister-in-laws clothing company - Red Rascal

I had read on a design site that their tip for the next big thing was Owls. Deer, stags and antlers were on the way out (about 5 years ago i reckon) and they were predicting owls. So I started doing a bunch of owls. Owls are great to draw, they have a few simple characteristics. Anyway Red Rascal had already done a bunch of owls and didn't need anymore, so here they are.

Some Patterns

Ever since I saw a mind blowing Islamic exhibition in Venice back in the early 90's I have been interested in those ancient patterns that evolve from simple geometric shapes.

This is the first one that I copied into my sketchbook to try and understand. It was on the wall in the great Alhambra Castle in Southern Spain.

It is really quite simple made from a quarter of a square and a quarter of a circle... now try to draw it freehand.

 And this one is based on a similar idea using just circles and squares.

This is a bit more modern and was tricky to make as a vector because of the underlapping and overlapping but it makes a great all over pattern. It could make a great fence.

Here are some other little self contained patterns that you might see on a bowl, a buckle or the head of an axe, etc. overlapping forms that combine to make other shapes.

This final design was pretty common in one form another (not always with fish) and can be found on the bottom of a bowl which makes good sense, especially if you are having fish soup.

 Anyway, that is my little rant about patterns, I am always on the look out for them and they can be found just about everywhere people have had a bit of time to decorate a functional object. It happens less now days but good patterning is all over stuff from before the middle of the 20th century, buildings, manhole covers, fencing, balconies, brickwork, tiling, ceramics, wrought iron, carved wood, porcelain, anything just go into a city and look for it.

Berg, Claudia and Lucky Joe

Hello, long time no post.

I have been busy with a bunch of things I will reveal shortly. I thought I had better get some new posts up with some of the other work I have been doing this year.

Here is a picture I did for some friends, Bergen and Claudia and Lucky Joe. These guys live up in Castlemaine and we went up recently to catch up with them. We had missed their birthdays so I made this picture and got a nice A3 print of it made.

It has a sort of old fashioned comic book look to it with everything coloured and textured with mechanical lines and ben day dots. I started of using just the 4 basic printing colours but along the way I added a few more colours.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Another vector portrait

Howdy and Hi,

yeah, it has been a while between posts but that is because I have been busy.

I landed a 6 week job at Iloura as a matte painter for a feature film, which was exciting. I can't say much about it until the film comes out later in the year. Well I could at least tell you that it is set in Tokyo at the very end of WWII and is called "Emperor." I was amazed at the crew that Iloura has put together and how much it had changed since I last worked there 15 years ago!

I have also been trying to get an idea for a business off the ground with my brother Simon. A lot more about that soon...

Anyway I found this vector that I did a while ago and realised that it was another of the saw-tooth portraits (as seen in my last post) so here is another one, well two versions, because I can't decide which colourway I like.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The sawtooth technique

Years ago I made this linocut and I liked the way that I had been able to define form without using lines but just sharp sawtoothed shapes of various sizes. 

Original "sawtooth" Linocut
A few years later I tried another sawtoothed linocut this time sketching out my rough on paper, scanning that and making a more exact sketch with straight lines and pointy bits in illustrator.

vector sketch for linocut

I also made a painting of gigantic early horror actor Rhondo Hatton from a photo I have since found out this photo is quite famous and often copied. In the painting I used the sawtoothed technique and limited the palette to 3-4 tones. I was thinking about making some stencil art based on it.

Rondo acrylic painting

This week I have been revisiting the painting and made it into a vector portrait. I liked that the vectors let me fool around a bit more with exact line and shape placement and the colours. Also the lines are so much sharper and pointier than in the painting. 

Rondo vector

After that I was looking for another portrait to do and found that Life magazine has just uncovered a very early photo session with a young Marilyn Monroe.  I picked a photo from that and cropped and treated it.

I brought the treated photo into illustrator and tried doing a straight image trace but that was overall too busy and complex So I had to smooth it out and simplify it a lot and then it did give me a few ideas in how to simplify my photoshop version.

Here is the first version which I drew in photoshop, it looked a bit weird and psycho.  I brought it into illustrator and reworked it a lot to tone down the eyes and simplify the face. It didn't end up with that many sawtoothed shapes but I think it it came out allright. 


I am looking to make more of these sort of portraits. They are quite graphic and would make good posters or screen prints. Once the basic shapes are there you can tweak them for hours, adding, deleting, changing colours... it's fun.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Limited palette

Here is a little drawing (from the Sartorialist sketches previously blogged) I worked up into a limited palette painting. I was trying to keep the number of colours to one and reduce the tones right down, but not lose any definition. It was fun and a bit tricky because you had to really pare down the elements.

Happy Easter.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Scott Patton Zbrush giant tutorial

This is a great tutorial - 3D Character Design Volume one.

I am only into the early stages but learning heaps from Scott Patton in this Gnomon tutorial. It really explains the process of making a creature using Zbrush.  Yeah I know it looks a bit silly at this point but wait till I get him properly posed and proportioned.

Lot of good tips and tricks. Still got a long way to go so I will post updates as they are done...

Jose Da Silva Zbrush tutorial

I have been working through some tutorials for Zbrush and Cinema 4D.
This first one is a drinking armadillo. It was from a great tutorial by Jose Da Silva  and was mostly done in Zbrush, with the bottle being made and rendered in Cinema 4D. Still has a long way to go with the high detail texturing of the skin and better painting, but I have learnt a lot from it so far.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where I've been, what I've seen

Hey people!

Happy New Year 2012 already.

Here are a few sketches from my festive season. (Click for bigger pictures)

The first is a Point Of View from the two-table set up at my brothers house for Xmas and Boxing day where lots of fun was had, great food eaten and beer and wine drunk.

The next one is another two-table set up POV drawing from the Dixon Xmas lunch in wonderful Warrandyte at my brother in laws house.

This drawing was the view from the tent in the yard of the Burgess house in Happy Valley in Myrtleford. It was really hot (around 40 degrees!) so I only had an hour or so to draw in the evening and next morning. We had a great time swimming in the cool, clear Ovens river and took a trip up to Mount Buffalo on the hottest day.

Some Myrtleford gum leaves.

Some other Myrtleford fauna.

Agapanthus I think...

We went for a bushwalk up on Mt.Buffalo to Dicksons Falls, I stopped off halfway to sit on a big rock and do this drawing. I am working on a digitally coloured version.