Thursday, December 31, 2009


Just returned from seeing the movie Avatar (After several attempts - it's very popular!). Thoughts? Gob-smackingly awesome, never seen such amazing visual effects. Calling it CGI or computer effects is insulting I think, because that goes nowhere close to describing it - virtual reality is a better fit. At no point did I ever think of any of it as anything less than real.

The story was simple but totally effective at holding your interest. I liked it more than I expected actually. It does the job very well of creating the setting for the stunning visual sequences, some of which were just breath-taking. The flying scenes in particular I just gawped at - it was like being in a Roger Dean or Rodney Matthews fantasy painting for real (the whole planet seemed to have been pulled right out of Roger Dean's work to be honest). Extraordinary.

I liked the 3D a lot too, not having seen one before I was worried it just wouldn't feel right to me but it quickly did. My only problem was the shit 3D glasses we had that seemed to have lenses that were too small and were foggy around the edges. I'm amazed frankly that James Cameron hadn't designed, manufactured and shipped his own 3D glasses around the world for people to see his visual masterpiece with. He probably wanted to. It seems a massive oversight to spend 5 years and $300 million creating an entire alien ecosystem battling a future human flying arsenal only to have the effect spoilt at the very very last point before those images hit the viewers eyes. A minor gripe but I hope something that will be improved in the future if 3D cinema is to become the norm.

Monday, December 28, 2009


All done, varnishing now - and hopefully later this week I'll get a decent photo taken and post a bit more detail. Pleased with the final thing, looks better in real life I swear!

Happy New Year :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More details done...

Finished the arms and hands now, again sorry for the shoddy mobile phone photo. Those tattoos were a NIGHTMARE... ;)

Just the head to do now...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fiddly stuff

Finished some of the fiddly bits, onto the arms and head next...

(excuse the bad mobile phone photos)

Finished before Xmas? Maybe!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Check this out...

Got my copy of 'The Art of Caricature' by Paul Moyse today - it's got a ton of brilliant caricature paintings and sketches in it (both traditional and digital) and a couple of excellent features on acrylic painting and exaggeration. An absolute must for anyone wanting to learn about caricature or just look at the pretty pictures! I'm going to be studying it for a while :)

You can buy it here:

Paul's blog is here:

Still painting...

Had a bit of a hiatus from this due to various things, back painting now though. I've blocked in everything except the tattoos which I need to dig up some more reference for. Pretty much finished the shirt and working on the TNT sticks and wires of the bomb(!) at the moment. Looking forward to getting to the arms and I think I'll leave the head till last, by then hopefully I'll be a bit more confident with the paintbrush! Really want to get this done over Xmas and move on to something else :)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Painting! For real!

So I'm now painting my Billie Joe Armstrong pic in acrylics on a nice big canvas (5ft high) - here's some bad photos of the stages so far:

Top left is the canvas with a couple of thick layers of gesso which I scratch into a bit and gave a nice rough texture to. Then top right is the base colours, orange for the figure and dark blues for the back ground. Bottom left is about halfway into the background, then bottom right is after yesterday's work on the body. So far it's going really well and I'm enjoying it, which is great because I'm so crap at traditional painting! This WILL be good when it's done though. Then the Angelina painting next.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New PC, new monitor, new software... Angelina Jolie!

Upgraded my system just recently (it needed it) so now I have a decent size monitor and a quick PC to work on. Also got Autodesk Sketchbook Pro which is awesome - played with a trial for a while but finally took the plunge.

This is a piece I just did today using all those things; I need to work on my sketching technique as it's not great and I just don't do it enough - but this turned out OK. It was so much fun to do!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Another go...

That's much more like what I had in mind... I was trying to bend him the wrong way! The pose is a lot better I think...?

Muse - Matt Bellamy

A quick sketch of an idea for another painting. Found a cool reference photo I thought I could have some fun with. Might try and take this and exaggerate it a lot more and see what happens.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A few recent commissions

Here's a few recent gift caricatures I've done:

Pleased with the cricket team, a lot of work in that one!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Sketch for a BIG painting

Unashamedly inspired by (in no particular order) Kruger, Phil Hale and Jason Seiler. I hope I can make a decent fist of painting something roughly along these lines for real (as it were) :)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Billie Joe Armstrong

Sketch in preparation for a big acrylic painting which I want to start soon - which could be a lot of fun! This is of course the front man of Green Day - The Greatest Band In The World ;)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Another great actor with a fun face to paint :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

David Tennant - finshed painting

Really pleased with how this turned out!

David Tennant

A quick sketch of the outgoing Dr.Who - 45 mins or so in Photoshop.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some random sketches

Here's a few random quick sketches, done for fun and practice: Jeremy Paxman, Hitler, Caesar and Shakespeare. I know, very random :)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tim Minchin

Saw Tim's live show 'Ready For This' the other night in Reading, it was fantastic. Here's a quick sketched idea for a caricature.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Zooey Deschanel

Quick sketch, probably an hour and a bit. I'll probably finish this off properly as I like the shapes, shapes is why I chose this pose (from a reference photo). Pretty girl :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sad news

Very sad to hear this morning of the death of Ismael Roldan. I'm a big fan of his work, an amazing talent. My thoughts go out to his family.

Tom Richmond has posted a recent interview:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tim Roth

Always liked this actor. Watched a few episodes of Lie to Me yesterday which were good fun, inspired a quick sketch.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another doodle redux

Another doodle idea of Anthony Hopkins that might end up being an acrylic painting, or maybe not!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Ok, I've signed up to Twitter even though I have no clue what to do with it! I'm @CaricatureClub if you want to 'follow' me whatever that means :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Gadget Show

Love this show, and thought the presenters would make a good portfolio piece. Got the idea pretty quickly but it took ages to get the reference and paint! I think it works OK.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sophie Ellis Bextor

The alien faced pop warbler. Just for fun.

Friday, August 07, 2009

U2 final painting

The idea here is to illustrate the massive change in image U2 went through between the Joshua Tree/Rattle and Hum stage, and the Achtung Baby/Zoo TV stage that followed. I remember vividly when The Fly single came out and this all-new U2 appeared, it was seismic - and I loved it.

I still might change some things with this, I wanted to have all four band members in the car, but it didn't work, and there are a few other things I might adjust. Pleased with Bono, and I love the Trabby :)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

U2 The Joshua Tree

This is actually only part of a piece I'm doing on U2, there will be a whole other bit to it which I hope will be really cool. For now though this is my version of that classic album cover photo. Fun to do, can't wait to have the rest done to show!

Friday, July 31, 2009

James Cameron

Watched a (really poor) documentary on this guy last night, which inspired the sketch. He's a genius director who's made some of my favourite films. Looking forward to Avatar, his new film out later this year. The sketch took about an hour and a half or so.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another doodle

Want to do a traditional painting of this character, mucking about with ideas...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bruce Willis

Painted this with my normal Wacom tablet but plugged into a laptop, which I thought would be horrible but actually worked quite well. There are some odd things about it and I'll probably spend sometime fixing it, but I'm pleased with the likeness I got as I always found him tough to get right.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A doodle

Trying something new just for a break... just doodlin' without taking the pen off the paper (or tablet rather) very much. Then I put a bit of tone behind. Fun, not sure if it works or not...!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quick sketch - Javier Bardem

Watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona yesterday, good film. This guy is great in it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another gift caricature portrait

The car in this one was a bit tricky, but it's a nice motor! This chap is a proud owner of a Trident Iceni, a pretty rare car I think.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Gift caricature portrait

Here's a new gift caricature portrait I've just done for a hairdresser:

Turned out well I think, put more detail into it than normal. Should have another one to post in a day or two also which is coming on well.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Jenson Button finished-ish

Back from hols, back to work (if you can call it that) - finished the Button piece but I might add a background sometime. Great to be back painting again but I miss the beach... :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jenson Button

Work in progress - off on hols to Cornwall for a week tomorrow so I probably won't get to finish it until I get back. Looking forward to getting out of the house at last!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Another piece for the illustration portfolio.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Schoolism final assignment - Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes

Well this is my final piece for Jason Seiler's caricature course. I chose to do RDJ as Sherlock Holmes because I thought it would be a good portfolio piece for the future as the film isn't out until Xmas, and because RDJ is very difficult to caricature I think. I am really pleased with the final painting, I think it's as good as I can do right now. Below are some of the reference and sketches I did along the way:

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Jason for his fantastic feedback and support!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Megan Fox - finished painting

This was fun! Enjoyed getting the eyes and hair looking sharp. Also I put a very faint texture over the top in Photoshop to smooth it out a bit.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Megan 'Mega' Fox

Needed a break from drawing middle-aged men so decided to do a quick(ish) sketch of Megan Fox... :)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Robin Ince

This is probably my first real actual serious illustration-type commission! It's for Robin Ince (a brilliant comedian) and he had a quite specific idea which I tried hard to capture. I'm pleased with it but it has shown that I need to improve in a lot of areas. Chuffed to even be asked to do it to be honest, it's a big confidence booster!