Monday, October 15, 2012

"I'm not f**king Justin Beiber you motherf**kers!" - Billie Joe painting finished!

All done finally with this painting now, very happy with how it turned out. First off, this is entirely inspired by Sebastian Kruger, unashamedly so - the guy always has been an inspiration to my work, and always sets the standard that (in my dreams) I want to achieve. In doing this, I've roughly followed the steps he takes in the hope of learning something. I think I have, and I started to get an idea of techniques I might want to pursue in searching for my own style.

Here is a sequence of pics showing pretty much the whole thing start to finish:

This one show a couple of detail areas at the early block in stage and at the finished stage:

And here's a couple of me with the painting - it's a good size!

Oh, and the post title - Google it and you'll find Billie Joe doing a proper rockstar rant on stage and I just had to use that line for the title of the painting ;)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Black & white illustration

Here's a couple of pen & ink style caricature illustrations I did recently for a job, it was nice to do some work in this style for a change.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Prof. Daniel C. Dennett for The Skeptic Magazine

This is the latest cover I've done for The Skeptic Magazine - a simpler idea than some of my previous covers! It's of Prof. Daniel C. Dennett - he's written some really excellent books, check 'em out if you can :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

I haven't done a large acrylic painting for ages and as I have a bit of space now in my office/studio room I thought it was about time I did one! I've wanted to do a picture of Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander for a while (since seeing the David Fincher version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and so I got a canvas (150cm x 100cm) and planned what I was going to do.

There was a shot in the film I wanted to paint that had her sat in profile, similar to the image used for many of the film's posters.

Sorry for the poor phone photo, at some point I will take a decent shot of it :)

So there it is, if anyone likes it and wants to buy it, make me an offer (I'll probably take it as I don't have room to keep it!) - e-mail me ;)

Now though I have a new big scary white canvas looking at me and a new painting planned - this one is going to ROCK! Stayed tuned ;)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A few more recent commissions...

Had some fun with these, great selection of themes! Check out my website or e-mail me if you're interested in getting a gift caricature for someone :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Golfer commission

Hi, sorry for the lack of posts - still spending every minute DIYing and decorating the new house, can't believe we've been in a month already, where did that go?

Here's a fun recent job - I like doing golfer caricatures but this one was even more enjoyable as the customer wanted Tiger Woods and Luke Donald in the background. Had a blast putting them in!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Couple of sketchy things

Just a couple of quick sketches, Audrey Tautou and the stars of This Means War (Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine). Also, I've updated the look of this blog to fit in with my updated website which I'm still working on. Once I've moved house in a week or so, I should be able to finish it all up and set it free!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Gift commissions

Here are a couple of recent jobs, both loads of fun!

There might be a bit of a blog break shortly (not that I'm a madly regular poster of course) as I'm going to be moving house shortly and I'm also going to be redesigning my gift caricature website and generally giving everything in sight a spring clean ready for a new start in my new place (finally getting a little studio room!). Still taking commissions of course, so please e-mail me if you want a gift caricature or a caricature illustration. Cheers!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Buy a set of 5 Skeptic Magazine cover illustrations

With the permission of the lovely Skeptic Magazine, I'm able to offer A3 prints of all the cover illustrations I've done for them so far for sale. They include caricatures of Simon Singh, Richard Wiseman, Jon Ronson, Robin Ince and my portrait of Christopher Hitchens. I'm only going to run off a few of these sets and you can get one for the quite-literally-a-bargain price of £25 (+£2 p&p) - just click the PayPal button below!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Skeptic Magazine - Robin Ince cover

When I was asked to do a caricature illustration of Robin Ince for the latest cover of The Skeptic Magazine, I knew I was going to have to come up with something different and challenging, as I've drawn Robin a couple of times before and didn't want to feel like I was just retreading old ground.

After reading the interview that appears in the magazine, I came up with a 'multiple versions' of Robin idea - it changed a little bit in the working out, but it's close to what I had in mind.

It was a tough one to do for sure. I must thank Andreas Beck for helping me out with some valuable photo reference. The initial idea was in part based on this famous pic:


Monday, June 18, 2012

A few more movie star sketches

Orson Welles is an old sketch that I thought would work well in the set.

I'll be offering some 8x5" framed prints of these for sale soon, once I've done a few more - stay tuned :)

Friday, June 08, 2012

A couple more recent jobs...

These two were both a lot of fun to do, and went down very well with the customers!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Birthdays and anniversaries...

Birthdays and anniversaries probably make up the majority of my gift caricature work - here are a couple of examples of recent ones! This one is for a couple celebrating their first wedding anniversary:

And this one is a birthday gift for a TV and theatre set designer:

I love doing these caricatures, it's so much fun finding out about people and trying to get a little bit of their personality into the picture. If you have a special anniversary or birthday coming up, or know someone who does - a unique gift caricature makes an unforgettable and personal present ;)

Check out my website for more details!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A couple of gift commissions

Here are a couple of simple gift commissions done recently, one a birthday surprise and one a caricature for use on a designer's website.

If you're after anything along these lines, please drop me and e-mail!

The designer caricature was done for Ola Anderson of Olango Web Media :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Aubrey McClendon for the WSJ

This I think is one of the better pieces I've done recently, and it might have been because I was put under a bit of time pressure - this was started about 5pm one day and had to be finished by the same time the next day. As it turned out that wasn't a problem, but it got the nerves tingling a little bit!

I was sent a really good quality photo of the subject (who's a CEO of an energy company in the U.S.), but as I wasn't familiar with him at all I looked up a few more photos to get an idea of his face structure etc. It took a few goes to get a sketch I was happy with:

I got the go ahead to carry on and quickly blocked in some colour:

Then the following day I painted for 5 or 6 hours roughly to reach the final you see above. Here are a couple of details. After finishing I added a little bit of noise to the image with a Photoshop filter - I've seen other artists use it a lot and never really got it, but I used it for the WSJ in the previous post to knock the background back a bit and tried it on the painted face and it looked good, I think maybe it's to do with the size and level of detail in the painting being enough to take it.

It was great to have to turn something like this around in a short time, I'm really pleased with it and I hope it'll help get me more work like it in the future. Onwards and upwards!

(here's a link to the WSJ article with my illustration)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stephen Byrd for the Wall Street Journal

Another caricature illustration done for the Wall Street Journal - this one is of Broadway producer Stephen Byrd, who is doing a new version of A Streetcar Named Desire. It was a lot of fun doing the streetcar, I must admit I had no real idea what they looked like beforehand!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gift commission

A quick post to show a recent gift caricature commission that I had a lot of fun doing, took me a while to figure out how to caricature kids! This one came out really well and the scene was a blast to do :) If you're looking for a gift caricature of someone for a birthday, anniversary, retirement, wedding... any reason at all really! Just send me an e-mail for a quote.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quick digital painting - Roy Batty

Love this film and this character so I did this just for fun really, just to get it out of my system and practice being a bit looser with brush strokes. Took about an hour and a half.

Friday, March 30, 2012

John Larroquette for The Wall Street Journal

Very pleased to post this new caricature which was done for The Wall Street Journal and was in the paper yesterday (and online here). Really exciting to see my work in such a well known publication. The job went really well and I'm hopeful it might be the first of many. I probably stayed a bit safe with this, not being too sure what they might want from me. Could've exaggerated a lot more, but I'm happy with the likeness (although I'm not very familiar with the subject) and most importantly the WSJ were very happy. Pleased with the pose and values also, could perhaps have gone further with detail but I didn't want it to look too photoreal.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Christopher Hitchens for The Skeptic Magazine

This started out as just a piece for myself, I'd seen some really wonderful portraits recently (many of Steve Jobs who also died recently) and so I wanted to do something along similar lines for Christopher Hitchens who died last December. I sent an earlier version to The Skeptic Magazine to see if they might want to use it if they were doing a piece on Hitch any time, and they thought it good enough to be the next cover. It needed a fair amount of work (in fact it probably still does if I'm honest), mainly to fit the magazine cover layout, but now I'm pretty pleased with how it looks :) If anyone would like an A3 print of the painting I'll make them to order for £15.00 inc p&p, so just send me an e-mail if you'd like to get a copy.
The new copy of the magazine also comes with a poster of Crispian Jago's amazing Modern Science Map!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Rough Lemmy painting

Just a quick rough digital painting of Lemmy, will probably do some more on this when I get the chance :)

Monday, February 06, 2012

Sigourney Weaver/Ripley oil painting commission

This is the first larger scale painting commission I've done with oil paints instead of my usual acrylics and I'm pretty pleased how it turned out. I certainly learnt a lot from painting it and now I can't wait to do something similar as soon as possible! I'm a huge fan of the Alien franchise movies (well, the first three at least) and have been for many years, so I was excited when I got a commission to do a traditional painting of Ripley and surprised when I realised I'd never even drawn her before, let alone painted her. We quickly settled on an A2 size for the painting and one particular image from the first film was mentioned. This is my rough sketch (scribbled very quickly in Photoshop) that became the starting point:
I transferred the sketch to a prepared illustration board, but rather than jumping straight in with oils and risking a disaster I decided to do an underpainting in acrylics to get the values I was after, roughly at least. That dried very quickly and then I immediately put a thin oil wash over the whole picture, just to get some oil on there and to put a bit of colour on. I waited for that to completely dry (a couple of days)and then over the next few days I painted the final piece. Here are a few pics of those stages so you can see how it progressed:
After making a correction to a very wonky iris in one of the eyes it was finished. I toyed with the idea of putting some kind of reflection of the alien in the helmet visor but in the end decided that was a bit corny and would take focus away from the face. So here's the finished painting:
Looking forward to the next oil painting now (I think Blade Runner might be the next target) - and I'm always looking for commissions so please feel free to e-mail me if you'd like an original oil painting from me ;) EDIT: One thing I forgot to mention here is that I deliberately didn't use black paint at all in this, all the black areas are done with mainly mixed cobalt blue and alizarin crimson, with some purple and other colours in other areas. I was really surprised how well that worked out.