Friday, November 27, 2009

Action gecko

That end-of-year-crunch is back, being that time of year, and whoo-boy it's been a doozy and it's not even that close to the actual 'end' of year.... oh dear...

Anyway, while I'm up for breath and snacks I thought an update would be nice...
One of the projects I've been working on is an activity book for kids; but don't be decieved, this cute gecko character's been one tough little critter (23 pages in 2 weeks tough) This is the cover in it's various stages...
pencils and inks, for this particular job I didn't have time to use graphite pencils over the blue ones, it was direct to ink which is sometimes quite therapeutic.
the finished inks

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

space: the funny frontier

No, this isn't about Spock an' co but it's a treat none the less!

You may remember that I recently changed the banner of this blog to the current awsome space theme :)

Well, here's how it all started...

These doodles were the inception of a story that's been gestating in my head for many years. The ship was influenced by retro-sci-fi and those old WW1 bi-planes, that and I loved Porco Rosso!
And here's this is were it ultimately led, I had fun rendering the ship in 3D (which made sense since it'll be a regular feature)
Curious yet?

Monday, November 16, 2009

wednesday night drawing - last week

I know, I know...
I'm late with the update I promised, there a cloud burst of deadlines and a lot of stuff had to get shunted to the side. Storm's past now, got a bit wet but these freak torrents are to be expected this time of year...
Metaphors aside, here are the drawings...
Started off with gesturals (ball point)
followed promptly by some ink experiments (turns out ink takes FOREVER to absorb into cardboard)
and the last, hour-long drawing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

atomic blimp

Shoo hey (popular Cape Town expression) today was a bit of a doozy.

I'm putting up another oldie today, tomorrow I promise goodies but today all I got is stale crumbs...
Anyway, this is probably my first successful experiment with photo-clouds over inks. Did it as a study for a movie concept, this was still back when I did 3D Animation for a living and drawing as a hobby.

I like the top right corner, it reminds me of a stamp :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

campfire stories

Well, not so much a campfire as one of those you light in a barrel on those cold winter nights, when you've been outside too long...

This is another page from the abyss, did this one last year just before a well-deserved holiday to Malaysia :)
It was this illustration that got me hooked on this technique for doing fire!

I was asked to do a few character designs and a pinup page to sell a comic book idea, the project's still pending, as far as I know...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mecha-Zoo: Osteichthyes

It's been a looong time since I posted any Mecha-Zoo, so here we go:

Osty was part of the first MZ range (version 1.0) that I completed and exhibited in 2005, the only fish I've done so far, he's also been one of the most popular!
My long term plan, back then, was to do about 6 a year... which worked for about 2 years but then I got busy... lank busy. And any project not generating an imediate income had to be set aside.
But things change, after licencing some MZ to Toyota (my first post), I've begun working on MZ Version 3.0 but I'll post these old ones here and there :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

1000 Nights of Drawing 09

Last week Thusday was one of the last drawing sessions for submissions, I took with me some old washes I'd done years before intent one recycling them into more fun and interesting images, basically trying to make a story from one picture...

Stupidly, I forgot to take pictures of them for the blog, luckily Ed had, so 'thanks Ed, you rock, dude!'
The event itself was great, a very good turn out, many people, lots of familliar faces and a good vibe all round. I was able to track down most of my stuff, and this year we actually bought some awesome pics of our own :)
One of them though, didn't have an e-mail address... who drew this? Will the real Karl Curson please stand up, I wanna say, thanks!
And finally, the 'Doodle-Off'. Being one of those people that doesn't deal with crowds particularly well, I'd planned to be somewhat 'lubricated' enough that I wouldn't mind so much...
This plan was dependant on the Doodle-Off starting at six (the whole thing was kept VERY hush-hush) so by the time we did start, at 10, I was about 2 hours past my expiry date... o_O

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

wednesday night drawing - last night

This week we started with a bunch of quick gestural drawings and moved into longer poses, the last was about an hour.

Our model was great, like a statue she was. We were supposed to work on our compositions this time... I dunno about mine, I forgot all about it around about the time I whipped out the water and having messy fun.. :)

I really like that old paper though, it takes the ink very well and adds such great texture. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone by using a ripped up book and drawn all over it, it was already partially ripped up when I found it so it's a mercy-killing, really. But the paper! The wonderful paper could be saved - I have a weird paper fetish that makes me, arguably, the biggest fire hazard on my block, city even!
ps... if you're in CT don't forget to come to 1000 nights of Drawing, starts at 6...

remember the Morse Code?

The third book I illustrated for CUP's Rainbow Reading series was about Samuel Morse and his invention, the Telegraph Machine.
This one was a particular challenge for me, they wanted a comic-book format (which I was only too happy to do) that in itself was great but researching everything proved tricky as it juuust pre-dates the first Daguerrotypes (photos), in fact it turns out that old man Morse was the first one to also obtain the licence to produce daguerrotypes in America! He was also an accomplished artist, busy fellow, AND led troupes in the Civil War...
Anyway, I digress, I used every trick in my book on this story, rendering inkwash bacdrops and adding cartoony characters which I thought 'popped out' very nicely. In comp, I treated the illustrations to give them a Victorian feel and added what photographic textures I could.

If anything, I got to draw many ships... as you can see :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

coupla faerie's tails

Immediately after the book on Phosphorus, Cambridge University Press hired me to illustrate a book collecting 2 fairytails: The Emperor's New Clothes and The Musicians of Bremen.

The latter of which I knew nothing about (hiding under a rock an' all) and has since become my favourite!

I went a bit more 'old school' on these but kept the 'photoshop' attitude from the previous book; basically the inks, colours and shadows were all drawn seperately to give me the most control over each layer... I'm padantic that way ;)

For the emperor, I broke out the ol' markers left over from college but not dry; then for the musicians I opted for watercolours to give a subtle difference between the two...

alchemy goodness

This is one of 3 installments to show some extracts from books I illustrated for Cambridge University Press last year.
The first was about the discover of phosphorus through alchemy- "Take one cup of urine; let it lie in a tub until it breeds worms..." reads the back cover :)

I must thank my editor, she gave me the perfect theme to explore with techniques I'd been thinking of. This gave me the perfect opportunity to experiment and get a lot of 'brain clutter' out of my head tomake space for new ideas!

I adopted a 'photoshop' attitude with these, drawing straight away in layers that I could then scan individualy and comp together with relative ease. The medium is a mixture of inkwash, pen&ink, photography and whatever odds and ends I had at the time...

Monday, November 2, 2009

wednesday night drawing - last week

Here's my belated update of our weekly drawing class, I didn't feel on top form that night but looking at these now with a fresher eye, and it's ok ;)

Gotta take the lumps with the sweet stuff.

I like the result of the old paper texture, I had my doubts about the white I was using but hey, happy surprise!

And! This week will proove very interesting, I've been invited to a 'doodle-off' to be held the evening of 1000 nights of drawing as part of the festivities. The idea is quite simple, each doodler is paired off against another doodler and the winners will then move on to quarter-finals, then semi-finals and so on...
There's a little more to it than that but it's need-to-know, and I have no idea either... O_o

Wish me luck, my first opponent: "Mystery-Doodler", what were the odds I'd draw that out of the hat?!

Thanks for visiting!

Thanks for visiting!