After lots of putting it off, and struggling with themes, my new website is finally finished! It contains lots of University work that never got posted up on here, so I heartily encourage you to check it out! If you hover over the ‘Portfolio’ tab a series of sub-menus will appear that will take you to whatever artwork you wish to view, whether it be comics, children’s illustrations, or fan art – many of which I’ve yet to post on here – be sure when scrolling down through the pages you give the theme time to load up all the images
There are links to the facebook page and twitter page (to which I’ve relinquished control over to the site’s mascot; Cosmo Cat – be sure to follow him for arty updates from myself, and other artists I follow) as well as links to my deviantART, Instagram and of course, right here at Q.U.A.R.C.S! I’d like to thank all of you who have ‘followed’ me from when I started this blog back in 2009, your support and encouragement has been a great motivator so far, and any love for these new site’s would be gratefully received!
This weeks Lines Of Work theme, chosen by me, was ‘Cancelled TV Shows’ and was pretty much just an excuse for me to finally draw Charlotte ‘Chuck’ Charles from the cancelled American TV Show; Pushing Daisies.
Pushing Daisies was a quirky little show that was sort of a cross between a whodunnit, a romantic comedy, and some sort of zombie sitcom – it was cute, hilarious, and slightly creepy all at the same time. Chuck, played by british actress Anna Friel, was brought back to life by the magical touch of (arguably) the star of the show, Ned the Pie-maker (he made pies) but because anything brought back from the dead by Ned’s touch would instantly return to being dead at a second touch, the two could never be together, leading to some very strained will-they-won’t-they-but-how-could-they moments, but it was all part of the fun.
Despite being adorable, I can’t say hand on heart that Chuck is the most entertaining of the characters featured on the show (that honour has to go to either Olive, or my personal fave, Emerson Cod: Private Detective) but drawing her enabled me to try out more of a pin-up style illustration, and besides, she’s very central to the plot, so by featuring all sorts of references to other characters around her on the floor (some are more subtle than others) it all sort of made sense.
I spent far too long on this one really, but it was fun to do – I tried a more sketchy style to my inking, and it seemed to work ok – and although i have some difficulty with celebrity likenesses, I think she came through ok. The text isn’t perfect, but I’m pleased with that too.
I can’t recommend the show itself enough, it was a lot of fun, and nice to see something so clear of all the grit and grime that seems to be so popular these days. The outstanding plot was (mostly) wrapped up in the last episode, but it was rushed, and it’s a shame it never got the third season it deserved.
This is somehow my first ever fan-art for AT – I’d just like to add that as a English fan, it was REALLY hard to not add an ‘S’ to the end of ‘Math’, but I hear it in Finn’s voice, and it just wouldn’t have sounded right… also my real Totoro hat is blue, but it would have clashed too much with the sky, so artistic licence y’all.
There’s a couple of in-jokes in the background you probably won’t get, but don’t worry about it, just enjoy
(click to enlarge)
As a romantic/creative type, I always like to go that little bit extra for those I care about, and this year it could be said that I went a little over-board. Lucy’s always been in love with Paris, and her recent trip has done nothing to quash that – unfortunately as a struggling artist, it will be some time before I can afford to take her. To make up for this, I decided to recreate a Parisian Cafe in our living room – the little table, white table cloth, candles wine and food were easy enough, and I found some music on Youtube (literally called French Cafe Music I think), but I wasn’t done there. Out flat has a little balcony, and I thought it would be fun if I created a silhouette of The Eiffel Tower, and hung it outside so it would look like a view onto the real tower… it seemed so simple in my head…
The first thing was to cut out the actual tower. I went begging at my local Tesco for a large sheet of cardboard, but apparently they don’t DO stuff in big boxes these days (hmm) and after a brief panic, I found a stash of A4 black card and got to work. The tower would need to be about 130cm tall to fit between the railing of our balcony, and the floor of the one above it, so I found a vector of the Eiffel Tower (thanks google) and set it out like this:
Each coloured block is the same dimensions as an A4 piece of paper, so this not only shows how many pieces you’ll need, but what you should be cutting out on each piece – simple right? Well… not exactly. The theory worked fine, and aside from the fact that I was working too quickly to bother with rulers and actual measurements, the tower ended up being pretty straight. The problem was that even though it’s got quite an iconic outline, it doesn’t really LOOK like the Eiffel Tower until you can see all the frame work, so I had to cut out MANY a little triangle…
Sometime later, I ended up with this:
See? Not bad eh? Of course, foreshortening does it no favours here (it was pretty long), and there’s a lot of tape on it – but that didn’t matter, because phase two involved using yet more tape to stick our Christmas Tree lights behind it to make it light up… and it worked pretty well too! Getting it to hang of the balcony by myself was a bit of a mission, but in the end it looked like this:
(photo taken by Lucy Benson via Instagram)
…and I was very pleased with the results – and more importantly, Lucy loved it 🙂 Now, a cynic might say “pffft, this guy’s just showing off” and frankly, you’d be right.
Last fortnight’s Lines Of Work theme was Buffy, so I drew William The Bloody, AKA Spike… and after posting it on the tumblr and my deviant page, I then completely forgot to blog it!
I tried a few things out with this one, most noticeably a more exaggerated, stretchy style – it both worked and didn’t work – annoyingly, the sketch looked much more like the subject BEFORE I added the ink (as is often the case) and in the end a lot of the work was done by the colour, which i feel was cheating a bit. On the other hand, I like the lighting in this one; the shadows and minimal colour tone work pretty well here, and i enjoy both the simplified star-like glow, and the shredded-bust effect – I’ll be using them again.
Out of curiosity I thought I’d see what the illustration would look like if I were to use Photoshop to warp it into more realistic proportions… now if you flick from looking at the head of one to the other, the original looks like the one that’s been stretched! Bizarre! Incidentally, this is a Q.U.A.R.C.S blog EXCLUSIVE (ooo!) so enjoy haha! 😛 – Chris
Ok, so in the last few years my hand-drawn Christmas cards for my immediate family have always been a bit late for some reason or other – over the last few years it’s been due to University work, and this year it was because I had an abundance of commission work. In fact last year, because of dissertation-writing madness, my parents didn’t get one AT ALL… so this year I decided to put extra effort in and bosh out one I’m really proud of. My mum’s birthday is shortly after Christmas, so it’s a joint Birthday card too…
As you can see, it’s still 2 cards really, so it’s not as if I’ve cheated, they’re just joined by a common, Game Of Thrones inspired theme. Click on the image to enlarge, I’ve left it quite big, so it should be easy to read/spot all the little bits I’ve put in. If it isn’t, I’ll be changing that sharpish. I should add that the characters of my family are based on no House in particular, and the only reason I chose the form of a dwarf for myself is because Tyrion is the best damn character in the TV series (only got through one book so far) and if I could be half as cool as him, I’d be a happy (half) man.
We’ve started up Lines of Work again after a quiet few weeks. There have been a few themes since the Movember one, one of which I even suggested myself (Obama) but I’ve busy over December doing commission work and haven’t had chance to do them. Now that I have time to commit to LoW again, I thought I’d do a mash-up piece featuring the ones I missed, mostly because I really wanted to draw Obambam for some reason, but also because I missed The Fifth Element, possibly the greatest Sci-Fi film of all time (it’s a grand claim I know, and I will have not doubt changed my mind by tomorrow, but I frickin’ love that film…)
President Obambam as Samurai Jack (Obama, Samurai Jack)
Rygel as Aku (Farscape, and Samurai Jack again)
Ruby Rhod as Ruby Rhod (The Fifth Element)
This was a lot of fun to do, and took longer than I planned to finish properly, but as it’s a summary of missed themes, it seems almost appropriate that this one’s late too
As a bonus for my blog followers, here’s the pic with no frame (I couldn’t decide which I prefered) and the original linework – if you look you’ll see I warped Aku/Rygel slightly in photoshop for better positioning – I don’t think it affects the image in anyway, so it might be worth bearing in mind for next time, should I have any compositioning qualms in the future….
The most recent P:R redesign contest theme was Shadowman, a superhero from the Valiant Comics universe, with super human powers based on voodoo concepts and magic (you can learn more about the character from clicking the link on his name to take you to the corresponding Wiki page) – the series even spawned a successful game on the N64, where the character was re-imagined as a guy with sunglasses and a skull-like mask protruding from his bare chest (this is the version I remember) – the original was very 80’s, with long black hair and a rock musician background (think The Crow, only less goth…) but the new design is pretty cool, with an all black SWAT-gear type costume and skull face-paint.
I wanted to keep this voodoo priest/skull look for my design, and extended it to a full head and neck job (partially inspired by my brother’s recent halloween costume) but I went even further by changing his whole costume into a voodoo-doll type thing, complete with ‘pins’, which are actually spears, knives and gauntlets made to appear that way. My design suggests his powers have become more magic-based too, as he can paralyse his opponents by muttering a special incantation, and plunging a ‘pin’ into a limb of his choice, disabling his enemy, but not himself (except when he pushes one into his heart – this will kill his target, but leave him comatose and vulnerable for days afterwards – only to be used in one-on-one fights) – this particular magic will only work when he is in possession of something previously owned by his victim (like hair for example).
Another thing he can do is wrap himself completely in his costume for protection/regeneration (this would come in particularly handy if he’d just pulled the pin-to-the-heart move) – this was meant to encourage the spooky voodoo-doll look, but I can’t help but feel it reminds me of The Scarecrow for Batman Begins… damn. The diamond shaped belt buckle is a simplified version of his logo, removing the man shape, but keeping the ‘3 horns of Bosou’ – perhaps suggesting a departure from humanity maybe…? (deep)
So this was fun, and ever since i’ve been working my ass off… I’ve got a day off tomorrow, but I have numerous commissions to do before I can draw anything I actually WANT to draw, and as it’s almost International Gift Exchange Day (or Christmas as you Christians like to call it) I’d better get on with them, as I need the money – no rest for the wicked as they say -sigh-