Friday, January 24, 2014

Disney Ladies Collaboration with Miranda Dawn Yeo

Anita and a puppy Perdita

Miranda Yeo (@snarkies) on twitter put together a collaboration a few weeks back - and since the theme was Disney Ladies, the list went really fast. I had stayed up til midnight to watch the aurora borealis passing over Europe, and so I jumped at the opportunity. Most collaborations are formed by artists in America (so has been my experience) and so Europe tends to miss out if they don't stay up past midnight. I managed to land my first choice - Anita Radcliffe. 


101 Dalmations was the film I remember from my childhood. It was the first time I really took notice of backgrounds. I remember the pencil lines, still rough and textured, backgrounds that weren't fully coloured, more of a drop colour. When the frames were animated, you could sometimes still see the rough line work and sketches over the finalised ones. It was fascinating. So Anita was my go-to character, as she wasn't a big princess, but she was a lady I really liked. She had attitude, she was kind, and she was relatable!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Magical Girl Week: Nath

Magical Girl request number 2 came from Nath Kai from the band Coroner for the Police. Nath and I are twitter friends and he was up for having his portrait done in MG style. I think I may have spent too much time on little details, but I do think this may be one of my more successful portraits over the years! The shirt is his favourite one, a Caelondia Masons design.


Speedpaint: City

After drawing too many storks and space station details, I wanted to relax and paint. It was late at night though, so I thought I would limit my time. An hour would be fine, I told myself, and so in an hour I managed to get this speedpaint out!

It was definitely an experience I liked. There wasn't much time to cry over mistakes or be terribly neat. The instinct was to make sure there was light and dark, and a good accent colour. I didn't even know what was going to form. I just made patches of dark and light and built up the layers. I got to play around with all the brushsets I had downloaded years ago, and that was interesting. I never knew I had so many good textures hidden away!

Anyway, I really like this. I am thinking of doing an hourly speedpaint each week or fortnight, and eventually build up to two hours perhaps. Painting is really fun, as much as I love working on cel characters.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sunny Witch Traveller

I came across an art challenge using a randomised palette generator, and creating a character from it. I made a sunny witch traveller, with this palette:

Admittedly I could've done a non-human character, but I already had the pose in mind, and just went for it. I do like her design.


A quick doodle turned out pretty nicely. My head was all fuzzy and all I could do was a bunch of delicate lines.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Unwork Society and works in progress

The Unwork Society are a group of artists who decided they needed a weekly challenge to push themselves through illustration. This has spanned out to many others and is being well received by the public. I heard about them a few days ago and decided to do one of their challenges themselves - a limited palette, and a simple brief to combine an animal with a vehicle. Here is my submission:

The Cargi: a corgi-car

(The pun came afterwards.)
It was really good working to a limited palette. It really does test you, but it shows you how much an illustration should stand on its own without needing many colours. It also shows how a good palette can really contribute to the piece. I do feel I have grown a little from working on this small piece.

Works in Progress include:

Two Magical Girl character requests:

Elbaite Palace painting:

Full shot

Marketplace close up

Granny Sprocket
I am also co-illustrating a new TV pitch called 'Granny Sprocket'. Nothing more will be said about this until the end of the month!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Magical Girl Week: Zoe

A conversation with a friend let me to do some special art. She's currently recovering in hospital, and has been cooped up for weeks... And I thought she could do with some magic in her life. So here she is as a Magical Girl, a 'type' in cartoons. I based the design and outfit off things she owns and would like to own.

This has sparked me to take on requests for the week. This means I get full say over what happens with the work, and the person requesting doesn't get a free print - but they are the inspiration for the art. It is quite a fun little project, and helps me explore body types and figures, a topic I haven't visited for a while.

Here are some close-ups. I think I have finally developed a drawing technique I'm happy with. I was never happy with clean lines and it took me ages to ink; but this is more of my natural hand, and I'm drawing with a stylus as I would a pencil. The lines feel less stiff, and It's definitely given me hope for the year ahead!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

WIP: Elbaite Palace

A work in progress look at a background I'm working on. It is based on pink Elbaite and Lepidolite mineral crystals.

One Piece Collaboration 2: Mohmoo

Mohmoo is a sea cow monster. This is my second submission for Andrew's One Piece Collaboration. I am looking to develop this style.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Kalifa; One Piece Collaboration with Andrew Stewart

Social media is really wonderful sometimes. I follow an artist on tumblr, who happened to mention a wonderful collaboration of One Piece fans - to recreate, in their own ways, a character (or 2, 3, 4) each. I am all for collaborations, especially if they're just small pieces. 

I chose Kalifa, one of my favourite One Piece ladies. Kalifa is an assassin who went undercover for many, many years. She's gorgeous with immense leg power; she masters the highest level powers humanly (cartoon physically) possible, but also has the ability to create bubbles and turn herself into a hilariously wonderful giant bubble sheep. She's seductive, she flirts and she's confident in her own skin; she's also manipulative and brutal, fiercely loyal to the assassins, and terrifying in fights. 


All through University and even back in school I was told how bad manga and anime are for the creative industry. I can understand the sentiment: stylistically, the artists behind the books and animation don't have much leeway - except now I know they do; there is variation within the styles of manga, but there does seem to be a default large-eyes, dainty features, long-legs approach. 

One Piece pushes the boundaries of characters. Perhaps not with the main characters' design as much (like all shows, they tend to be classically pretty), but there's a great variation with all the others they meet; and since their arcs last 50+ episodes, even the minor characters are not exactly minor. Character personalities are just as rich. It's one of the reasons I love the show: each character is complex and they each have different sides to them - even the strongest ones break down over a bad past, and the weakest ones gain power through confidence and dignity.

If you would like to contribute to the One Piece Collab, take a look at the list, find the character you want, understand the guidelines and brief and tweet/message Andrew aka @Viruul to tell him which one you'd like.