Sunday, 22 April 2012

Jesus, Let's Try That Again

Okay, it's safe to say my last delve into colour was... regrettable. But apparently we make mistakes so we can learn from them or some bullshit. So here we go.
Decided to try jumping straight in again without any line art to make me nervous, I tried this method with the charcoal and it gave me much better results. So instead of making all sorts of mess again I decided to go to work on the "Chalk Brush" in photoshop.
The first thought was to actually find some nice colours.

I think the key will be to have earthy tones for the main parts of the character's bodies and then punches of brightness and colour on them, like from hair, feathers or markings. This is definately the right method when it comes to quick ideas.
Hers a couple more final ideas for the big guy.

  I like the bottom one a lot in terms of complimentary colours but I'm definately gunna have to work on the contrast, I know it was a quick sketch but seems way to flat and the body probably needs more markings.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Colours of a fat man

It's about time I threw some serious colour in this mix, I know I've done some pastel tests but need to start think about specific palettes. I thought the best way to do some quick test would be just to take the charcoal bust from the last post and quickly throw some stuff into it, try a few combinations and see if anything sticks.

As you can see without exception, every single one of these is hideous, I don't know if I wasn't in the zone or what but Jesus Christ these are bad. I think the only thing I gathered from these is that I like the earthy colours I guess and that would make more sense but they should probably be brighter. Oh And i like the feathers on his head and his tongue being the same colour.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


So to keep in theme with this, "Found diary" look I was bangin' on about I thought it was time to face one of my greatest fears... Charcoal. We all hate it but tutors freakin' love' it so why try and fight it. Picked myself up a nice brown sketchbook as well which of course needs to cost three times the amount because they don't dye it, and did a few scribbles.

Kept it pretty loose just to see how freaked out I got, and you know what, I actually enjoyed this bastard. It was mainly how effective crosshatching is with charcoal, for some reason it always just looks like michelangelo shit. Well maybe an exaggeration but still looks cool. Also it has that "rough, sketched on sight" look. Will keep this in mind for the final piece.


I was trying to come up with ways in which to display my work or make it a little more interesting than just a board of finished, polished pieces. I really felt that for the final project the work should be really different from my previous stuff.
Around this time I was browsing in a charity shop, essentially killing time until i could have another meal, when I came across a book that looked like I really should of heard of it before. It was Dinotopia by James Gurney. Having never really grown out of the awesomeness of dinosaurs I was immediately attracted to the cover, I know you shouldn't judge books this way but every so often it has it's merits.

Once I'd gotten over the general bad ass-ness of the cover I had a horrible feeling that this was some sort of creationist science book or something, however after a brief flip through I quickly realised that it was just one of the most beautifully illustrated story books ever. Not only that but it was set out as though it was the found notebook of an explorer and his son recounting their adventure on this island. It was so well done, using this format to go into great detail about things that other books could possibly overlook or would think it pointless or off putting for children. Here's a depiction of how they raise the new born dinos and the alphabet he created for the book.

Anyway, my point is that seen as though I'm supposed to be showcasing a new tribe, i thought this would be the perfect way to layout my ideas, lets see how it goes.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Parry tripping balls

Okay my tutor mentioned this a while ago, how some tribes use drugs to induce a state of heightened enlightenment, or so they say, also mr Whillock introduced me to Bruce Parry who gets his rocks off from gettin in with the tribes. Had a snoop around and came across this video of Parry trippin his arse off on this crazy hallucinogen.

Thought it would be pretty sweet if my characters had the ability to have spirit like, out of body experiences when they take a drug of some sort. It would be a nice way of getting loose with the colours and having the balance of friendly and the creepy/surreal.
I'll have a mess around with how this "spirit state" could look on the fat guy i've been working on. More to come.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Pastel Panic

Time for the scary bit, never been that confident with colour, especially in scary media like, oh I don't know, Pastels!
Need to get over it though, really think this is the best way to get some energy out of the colours and work with pastels always looks nicely textured. It will help me get a bit freer which i desperately need as well. These are some quick tests with colour and movement.

Now these just make me happy, I know they are far from perfect but they represent the first step to conquering a very real fear of mine. This vibrancy needs to be translated into my final work I think. Need to try some more pastel work on different coloured papers and with a more finished look but definitely no cleaner.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

More refinement for Fatty

The shape of this guy makes it pretty easy to get some comedy out of his movement and during the feedback people said that he maybe just needs a few tweaks. I think i will use him as my pioneer character, once  have a suitable rendering style and look for him I can go crazy with the characters and just apply the same techniques. Here was me playing around with him a little.

Probably need to ask a few more people about the penis, I really do think it just adds that little bit of funny, plus tribe dudes are always walkin around with their credentials hangin' out. I really think so far the original mask is the best, like i said just the addition of a happy pose instantly makes him more likable. He does need a little bit more but hopefully he will evolve as the rendering process starts.

Friday, 30 March 2012


So took those pages of doodles and tried to find a hand full of characters in there that could make for strong personalities. Tried to make a small selection of good, bad, male, female and animal characters based on strong shapes or poses. The idea was to produce some different looking ideas then get some feedback and focus on two or three. Heres the page I did.

Definitely have my favourites in this bunch but it was time to get some outside help, posted them up on the uni facebook page and begged for some feedback. Luckily a hand full of kind ladies and gents gave me a helping hand.

So it looks like it's definitely the simplest shapes and the strongest poses that people relate to the most. 2 and 3 seem to be peoples favourites, and mine too if i'm honest. Wondering if they can be like a duo or if they need to be refined into the same character. 7's pose stood out to a lot of people as well, from now on I need to try and make sure everyone is in a strong pose no matter how rough the sketch is.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Mindless Scribbles

Desperately had to get away from what I've been doing in my designs so far, which essentially has just been thinking of a random character then applying tribal stereotypes to it. This is always my biggest crime and it ends here!
I did a few pages of quick sketches based on all the statues and masks from the museum. Even though this took about half an hour all in all it has probably been the most important part of my project so far. Here are the pages.

A couple of great ones here I think, all of them are strong shapes and that's what i need more of in my work.

Love the circled guy in the top left, brimming with personality, not a particularly happy one but personality non the less. he would probably make for a good protagonist.

Quite like the obvious bad guy in the top left and the old woman/man in centre right.
Anyway, as I said, doing this was so important, why start from scratch when there are hundreds of great character ideas that have already been made buy these people over the years. All I have to do is adapt them to my purpose.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

What Am I Doing?

Well thanks to my tutor Steve for this little doozy, also mad props to Andy for seriously getting into this photography session. Thought getting into character might help and obviously i have no reserves about making an absolute tit of my self. Crafted an amazing mask in a matter of minutes, surprising I know, considering the quality, and threw together a tasty grass skirt both entirely made from a poster tube and pizza boxes. To be honest i don't think words can really explain any of this so just have a gander.

Hey, another weirdo!
One man party

Hero pose
 Well apart from being a whole lot of fun this also reinforced the importance of poses, even with an emotionless face they can get a story or a feeling across. Also without these i would never of thought of having the arms coming out of the side of the mask, probably would of insisted on having a neck making the character freaking huge.
Next week?      I have no idea.

Thursday, 23 February 2012


Check me out. Headed myself down to the museum, took some sneaky snaps of anything that had a face. Got those creative juices flowing. I was so inspired in fact I just booked myself a ticket to Africa for three days next month to go live with a local tribe. Okay maybe not but check these guys out.

Pre-Research Mind Poop

If my years of having art teachers telling me to "do more research!!" has taught me anything it's that I should go ahead and just do some work without any research. You know, just to get some mind morsels out on the plate. Needed some ideas for guys, 'guy-deas' if you will. Heres a couple.

As you can see, one of these guys is not necessarily a guy. Just trying to get a few style ideas flowin'. But of course I'm gunna be needin' some of that all important research.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Specialist Study II: The Workoning

The beginning of the end is upon us, Specialist Study 2 is here so repent your sins and get ready to enjoy nil sleeps.
Here's my aims for the next few months, set out in the What? How? When? format as requested by my tutor.


I plan to extend the skills that I practiced in SS1, these included trying to create a professional looking character for a video game that was relatable and accessible to all. I was pleased with how it turned out but that was a single, stand alone character. So for this project I aim to do the same but create a few characters and a landscape that all derive from the same "world". I still need to keep in mind everything I learned previously about poses and anatomy but this time i wish to get a little more experimental with my methods and take some real risks that will hopefully produce better results. I will be concentrating on tribe culture because I believe it has a rich background that spans vast time periods and all over the globe, also it is not a genre that has become stagnant and doesn't have to many stereotypes attached to it. The characters will also be having "alter egos" that have been probably drug induced from a 'coming of age' ceremony, so this will also give opportunity to get a little freaky.


 The main thing I want to change about this project is the approach I take to where i get my ideas from and the techniques I use to render the designs. I was all too safe in my last project and need to get my hands dirty. I will be exploring colour by using materials such as ink, pastel, paint and hopefully whatever else I can get my hands on. Also for the initial designs I will be keeping they're personalities in mind but I want the culture to truly inspire they're appearance. This project needs to be a lot more informed by research, this will be done by trips to museums and hopefully compiling vast amounts of documentary footage. 

Here's a tasty little plan I've thrown together for the coming months