Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Separated at birth?

UK food critic Charles Campion and Family Guy's Peter Griffin ...

Separated at birth?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Yarr! It be fynyshed!

So here it is ... the finished piece. I bet you always wondered what pirate washing day looked like didn't you? Wonder no more. I was quite pleased with the overall finished result but it's the little details I always enjoy putting in ... like the parrot and the woodworm and the hairy rope washing line. Great fun. More pirates on the way ...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More Pirates - Work in progress

A quick WIP of a new picture. Pirates seem to be dominating my somewhat lacklustre artistic career at the moment. This one isn't a contract job though - it's for me. It's for a book project I hope to pitch this Spring.
If you're interested in my technique (or lack of it), here's how I work.

First, I do loads of sketches until I arrive at the final image. I then copy it in pencil (usually a 2H) onto thick, untextured, pre-stretched cartridge paper or artboard. I then build up the colour with an eclectic mix of Cotman watercolours, magic markers, Daler Rowney gouache, marker pens, Windsor and Newton inks and (as with the pants) collage.

Then out comes the black ink. I use a mix of brush pens, dip pens and roller-balls. I also use coloured biros on some areas for outlines or extra detail (beard hairs etc.). Finally I add highlights in white gouache, watercolour pencils and (occasionally) Tippex. Okay ... I may not be a purist. But I do get the work completed on time.

I'll post the finished pic when it's ... er ... finished. I'm having fun with this one. I liked the idea of adding lots of little humorous details ... like the skull clothes pegs and the spare beard in the laundry basket and the skull and crossbones Y-fronts.

Everyone should have a pair of skull and crossbones Y-fronts.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Another cosmic joke

Now here's a thing ... my mate Murphy was in Liverpool last week (or was it the week before? Hellfire! We're halfway through January already!) on an IT job. He hates IT - although he is very good at making it all work properly - and would like to leave the hard drives and data cables all behind him. He wants to be a professional artist. And why not? He's one of the most talented artists I know. But it's a big, scary leap of faith to jump from a £40k+ job with all the security that entails to starving in a garrett and praying for the art contracts to roll in. I'd say 'Go for it!' but I don't have to pay his mortgage do I?

But I digress.

He was in Liverpool and working with a local on-site IT man. And while he worked, he was chatting to me on his mobile. Anyway, as we're chatting, the Scouse Techie opens up his laptop and, lo and behold, his desktop displays a cartoon of a pirate. My cartoon of a pirate. The one I did for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. This pirate:

I've never met this man and, until last week, nor had Murphy. But now, here I was chatting to him about his desktop wallpaper. That I drew. What are the chances of that, eh?

I'd like to say that it's the oddest tale of coincidence I know. But it isn't. This is:

My personal favourite coincidence story concerns Sue Hamilton, who was working alone in her office in July 1992 when the fax machine broke down. Unable to fix it, she decided to call her colleague, Jason Pegler, who had set off for home a little earlier. Finding what looked like it might be his home phone number pinned on a notice board, she called him and began to explain the problem. But Jason quickly stopped her: 'I'm not at home', he explained. 'I just happened to be walking past this phone box when it rang, and I answered it.' The number Sue found on the notice board was not Jason's home number. It was his employee number - which just happened to be the same sequence of numbers as the number of the phone box Jason was walking past when she called.

Spooky, huh?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mr Winky

So, here we are in 2007 and here's my 'work in progress'; my first painting in 30-odd years.

I found the photo of 'Mr Winky' in an old photo source book and liked it immediately. However, my numerous attempts to draw it onto the canvas failed dismally (I was determined not to trace it). Then I realised that it was probably because I'm right handed and Mr Winky was looking right. You may not be aware of this but it's a lot easier to draw someone looking left if you're a Righty. So I reversed the image and, suddenly, I had a workable drawing. I then blocked it in with an underpainting of deep red ... and completely buggered the eyes up. So, out came the brush and a spot of correction and I managed to fix it (I think). Then, I spent a chunk of New Year's Day slapping on some basic tones and trying to work out what to replace the black areas of the original high-contrast image with. By the end of the day I felt I had some semblance of a picture going. Watch this space to see how the picture progresses when the real painting starts ...
My brother-in-law found a Red Admiral butterfly happily whizzing around in his garden yesterday. January the First. This global warming business is really quite alarming isn't it?