Saturday, 30 November 2013

Graphite on my Hands

First things first, the last of my 2000 AD competition entries for this month:


Now for what I have been working on in my sketchbook.

Off Duty

Stepping Out


Over Here

Thursday, 21 November 2013

My (second) entry for the November 2000AD Forum Art Competition.  This month is 2000AD Spin Offs.  Go check it out, there are loads of excellent entries.

This was the first idea that I had for the competition and it sparked loads of further ideas.  I don't remember my reasons for doing Voidshaker first, however.

For those not in the know, this is parody spin-off based on 2000AD Rogue Trooper.  The "Friday" Rogue Trooper.  I've written at length about this version of Rogue Trooper before.

Rogue Trooper is the property of 2000AD and Rebellion.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


My (first) entry into the November 2000AD Forum Art Competition.  This month is 2000AD spin offs.

I had trouble thinking what to do at first but then I suddenly had a flood of inspiration.  To the point where I could no longer choose just one.  This is one of the first ideas.  Voidshaker from the story Atavar.  I don't know how this would work as a spin off.  It would certainly be interesting.  Mostly it's just one big excuse to do Atavar fanart.

I had to do a little research on how to achieve space effects.  I had a go myself once before, but I wanted to see how others may go about it.  These are all (I think) of the videos I used for inspiration:

Beginner's Photoshop space tutorial1 - Starfields

Learn Photoshop - How to create a starburst

Photoshop:  How to Make a NEBULA and Celestial Sphere in Deep Space

I have used the current 2000AD comic ratio to create this image to give the sense that it could be a teaser within the pages of the Galaxies Greatest Comic.  Overall I am happy with the outcome of this image, but I'm now looking forward to moving on to something different.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Hackman 

This picture represents me trying out loads of different ideas.

First off I wanted to test my inking skills.  This was an interesting experiment and I think I learned some stuff - or perhaps just became aware that I'm better at than I thought.  In the end I think next time I try to to inks in this manner I may take a different route.  I think adding a bit more detail to the artwork and then having simpler colouring might something cool to tryout.  I just have the feeling that this particular piece has ended up with a somewhat generic comic book feel.  That's kind of cool because I didn't know I could do generic comic book stuff.

The next thing I wanted to try out with this picture was the colouring.  I had a little go at something different when I was painting Uncouth Company.  Adding a greyscale layer over a colour layer and then using a mask to give a washed out colour effect.  It worked well for the background in Uncouth Company and it worked OK for all the colours in this picture, but I'm not entirely happy with it.  I think I'm going to return to exploring my colouring method from days gone past.  It's good to know that I can achieve certain effects with a masked greyscale layer.

Lastly I was using this artwork to have a go at recording and making a time lapse video for a YouTube channel.  I really liked my progress gif of Uncouth Company and Peril, but there is so much missing from them.  It can be really helpful to look back and see what I did if I want to try and achieve a similar effect in the future.  Plus I like time lapse videos of people making artwork.

So onto the content.  I have finally reached a point in my re-reading of my 2000AD comic collection where I picked the comic up after a five year hiatus back at the end of 2006.  One of the stand-out strips from that seasonal special was Kingdom.  Created by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson this story saw the introduction to genetically engineered canines protecting a land they call Anarchticy.  Abnett and Elson have paired up before for the wonderful Atavar series and return to form with Kingdom.  It is a shame that over the last six years there have only been three Kingdom stories.  I think I read that a forth is on its way and is long over due.  This has to be my favourite strip written by Dan Abnett who is more famous for is work on the never ending Sinister Dexter and what I consider a less than stellar run on Durham Red.  I think that even the much maligned Sancho Panza was better than those.  Kingdom and Atavar seem to demonstrate Abnett's strengths and Richard Elson's artwork is compelling and consistently enjoyable to look at.

Pictured is the character Gene the Hackman.

Kingdom is owned by Rebellion and 2000AD

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Project S Head Hardwear 5-8


Second set of hardwear concepts for Project S. I tried a different colour scheme on this one.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Project S Head Hardwear 1-4


 The first piece of concept work for an idea I have, codename: Project S.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Uncouth Company


My entry to the 2000AD forum's art competition for October.  The theme was "1800AD - Steampunk 2000AD" and under advisement from my eldest brother I want for a war themed picture (he suggested Rogue Trooper, but having done that for the previous competition I said Bad Company would be better).  I had a look at some paintings of 19th century British military and got an idea of a basic composition.  Then it all started going wrong.  I haven't had this much trouble with getting a picture started in ages.  It took two weeks before my initial rough sketches started to look good.  The whole project has been mired with frustration and disappointment.

Then it was the last week before the contests close so I was up against the clock.  This really didn't help matters and I may have panicked a little (missing something obvious I should have done to speed the process up).  When it finally started taking shape and looking presentable I was unable to tidy up a multitude of faults that were bothering me from the start.  I tried out some new ideas that worked out well and others that were disastrous.

There are some things I am really pleased with in this picture and some I find embarrassing.  Lessons have once again been learnt and this is the first time I have ever finished anything like this - so for a lot of firsts, it is good.

Featured are the characters from Bad Company, created by Alan Grant and John Wagner initially although credit should (imo) be given to Peter Milligan for reworking the concept and writing it and to Brett Ewins and Jim McCarthy.

At the back we have Wallbanger.  Infront of him (left to right) we have Mac, Kano, Danny Franks, Thrax and Joe Scummer.  In front the them (again, left to right) appear Dogbrain, Trucker, Malcolm, Mad Tommy, Shrike and Flytrap.

Bad Company is the property of Rebellion and 2000 AD

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Legend in the Fog


"All hope seemed lost. The enemy had pressed the attack throughout the night. A night that seemed without end. My comrades in arms fell one by one. There were so many. Too many. All hope was abandoned.

It came like the wind. Like some powerful vengeance carried by the poisonous clouds all around us. It tore through our enemy and left them wrecked and broken. Just as our enemy were defeated so was the night. On the horizon we could see the sun rise and with it returned hope to those few of us who survived. From the mist of noxious gas emerged a figure. Our hope. Our saviour. Our Legend in the Fog."

This idea, although not entirely original, came to me last week. I had some very clear and interesting ideas about how I would approach this little project. It was also, almost by coincidence, that 2000 AD's community forum are currently running this competion. So what they hey, I figured I'd enter it.

I do like Rogue Trooper, even with it's silliness (telekinetic guns, anyone?). The overall story of the traitor general is certainly a 2000 AD classic. Speaking of which, Rogue Trooper is owned by 2000 AD.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

2000AD - Low Life - Aimee Nixon


Hey, it's Aimee Nixon from 2000 ADs Low Life. Since I've been engaged in my big 2000 AD read I have got to the point of reading back issues I have never set eyes upon before. This was due to not purchasing any copies for about five years. Sacrilege, I know. I have recently filled that gap, so much of what I'm currently reading is new to me. Including the start of the marvellous Low Life strips. It was nice to see those early strips had a focus on Aimee Nixon and not Dirty Frank like in more recent strips. So I decided to do some Low Life inspired artwork.

This picture was yet another learning curve. One big lesson was - plan the background at the start along with everything else. I really wanted to include some of Mega-City One's skyline. My previous Mega-City One picture has always left me disappointed and I have been really keen to give it another shot. I decided to use this picture as a test to see whether it would be worthwhile to have another crack at the future city. I did have some difficulty planning the background, but after flicking through my back issues I came up with this basic idea. Overall I am happy with this picture on completion, but there are some problems that were mainly due to the work flow - which wasn't well planned at all.

Low Life was created by Rob Williams and Henry Flint and is the property of 2000 AD.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Port City Waterways


Something I did a while back before my latest artist block.

Monday, 11 November 2013

BFG Girl


Back to the drawing board after a horrible four month hiatus and this is what I came up with.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Two of Hearts


Based on a couple of old sketches I did a long time ago. I really wanted to try a different lighting method this time around as well as trying out a different way of colouring. Both have turned out successfully. Would have had this finished yesterday but I got caught up in something else. Kinda irritating, I wanted to move on to the next picture and relax a bit today.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Santschinja Larook


My entry for the contest

The original character was designed by :iconandecaya:

I took some artistic license with parts of the design, but tried to stay as close to the original design as possible. Overall I am satisfied with how the image turned out.

The original

Friday, 8 November 2013



 So I wasn't really happy with Lady Fighter Concept for many reasons and decided to develop the concept a little further. I went for a full breastplate instead of the silly single-breast plate which wasn't working so well. I also decided to ditch the fan as I felt it would be too close to Temari, so I went with the giant kunai instead. I streamlined the outfit somewhat but felt the design was sparse so I added the kunai at the waist (following the theme) and the weird charms.

I decided on calling her Meadow.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Rabbit on a Motorcycle


If you like rabbits and you like motorcycles, this is the picture for you.

This is actually a gift for an illustrator friend of mine.

It turned pretty much how I had it in my head. I wanted to keep it somewhat basic seeing as I've recently been working on more detailed pieces. I also used my desktop wallpaper ratio for this picture because I've missed it a little lately.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013



My entry into the Tomb Raider Reborn Contest.

I made a conscious choice to go with a less dynamic composition. Many of the entries (of which there were tons of excellent examples) focused on action scenes. Very frenetic and energetic. They do look amazing. After watching some game-play trailers for the game, however, I decided to go for something that expresses my game-play experience from these types of games. It's not the moments of chaotic violence that get me on the edge of my seat. It is those tense moments staying out of sight before the enemies have noticed me. It is trying to kill the enemies off as quickly and quietly as possible giving me more chance of survival. It is stealth. There is always danger around the next corner or over the next ridge and I approach it with trepidation rather than rushing head long into the fray. That's how I play these games and that's what I wanted to express.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Asking for Directions


Yes. It is true. I am a total fan of Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell. That is probably why my AI walker droid in this picture resembles one of his mechas. I am really happy with this image. When I finished Jungle Droid I was quite displeased with it, but saw potential in some effects I created. Right after finishing that picture I started on this one taking care to plan things out a little more carefully. Originally it was going to be three soldiers in the jungle having a rest or just posing about the place - as you do in the jungle. As I was sketching it out I couldn't be bothered to put in the third character. I also used a composition trick I learned from my traditional painting of having a background with a certain amount of depth, the focus of the artpiece in the mid ground and some small details in the foreground to give a further illusion of depth.

It is a clear improvement and I feel more confident going into my next project (it's going to be a contest entry and I think I'm ready to get started - I only have a week to complete).

Monday, 4 November 2013

Jungle Droid

This is from a doodle I did probably 10 years ago. The jungle setting happened entirely by accident. For the initial stages of this image there were three droids, but the other two weren't proportioned or posed well so I took them out near the end. I had no idea what I was doing with this picture or where I was going with it and I think that caused some frustrationed that has (once again) biased me negatively towards it. Looking at it with fresh eyes today I can see things I like and it has actually inspired my next artwork.

I was imagining this droid as being more of a scout droid to try and justify the weird thing sticking out of its shoulder. It's an antenna relaying highly detailed reconnaissance information. I went with the jungle thing because it seemed perfect for the idea I had anyway. Its probably scouting for its Umbungo.

This is an original design and character by me.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Mega-City One

Here it is. Mega-City One from Judge Dredd. It's hard to pin-point which era MC1 this is, certainly before the current Chaos Day story line. Approaching the end of painting this picture I realised that it could serve as much as a generic city of the future as it would for MC1 and I briefly considered not submitting it as fan art. After all, there are no buildings that are identifiable as being from the Judge Dredd comic. In the end I decided to stick with being MC1 because it was what influenced and inspired the picture.

This picture was problematic and I don't think I learned as much from it as I should have. If I were to do another city-scape I would have to sit down and think about how to do it a lot longer. I was feeling a certain amount of frustration by the time I finished this and that has tainted how I feel about it. I don't think I'm in a position to judge it without negative bias.

Judge Dredd is copyright of Rebellion

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Ticking Over

Well, I didn't win again but Steve Yeowell did mention my artwork, so that's a win of sorts.
The new competition theme is up already.  I admit I groaned a little when I saw it.  So much to choose from, I said to myself.  How the hell do I pick a subject???  Well, this time I am very likely going to do multiple entries.  I have four ideas - two of which I know which character to use.  The other two are more about style and composition.  I almost thought about doing a comic strip for it and then I thought of all the other things I need to be getting on with and ditched that idea.

In other news, I finally hit the 5000 pageview mark on deviantart over the night.  I haven't marked any deviantart related milestones before so I was prepared for this one with a big THANK YOU image, to thank everyone for their support.

I have been trying out something different.  Whilst I was making The Hackman I was recording my progress.  I spent a considerable amount of time the last couple of days trying to edit and squish four and half hours of work into a video under 10 minutes long.  Firstly I had find a decent video editor free and native to Linux.  Secondly I had to figure out how to use said video editors and decide which was the best for my video editing needs (I went for kdenlive in the end).  Thirdly I had to do the YouTube channel thing to upload the bugger onto the internet.  The video isn't perfect and it is blocked to people living in Germany because of the music I used for it, but it is up and available to view.  I find it quite hypnotic to watch myself.  I have video progress for my Thank You image as well, but that has yet to be edited and uploaded.

Lastly, I have been unsure whether to include this to my social network list thing, but if you like music and care to know what other people are listening to (other people like me) then you can head over to

Welcome Home

I'm gonna sing the doom song now!

Invader Zim is one of the best childrens cartoons ever.

I knocked this out in about five hours, which explains the low quality. I wanted to capture that eerie weirdness that the show imbued and I kept reasonably faithful to the colour scheme. To give make it more creepy I made the house glow.

Invader Zim was created by Jhonen Vasquez and was originally shown on Nickelodeon. One of them must own the copyright.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Wall Guard Concept Sketch


I was looking through some of my old digital work thinking "I can do a lot better than that now". The one that caught my attention was this and I thought I would have a go at redesigning the guys outfit. I am now planning on redoing 'Guarding the Wall' but I will probably do some more concept work for it first though - it'll keep me out of trouble.

Copyright is mine for once, 'cos this is a Pictsy original.