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.