Thursday, 26 November 2009
Here is a piece from the vaults.
City of Silence was originally created for Epic Comics back in 1992. Written by Warren Ellis the cyberpunk story was a near showcase for me (thank you, Warren) and still remains my personal favourite work. Unfortunately Marvel decided not to release the book and the rights reverted back to Warren and myself. The series eventually saw print at Image in 1998 and I decided to re-ink and re-size the artwork for the new edition. D'Israeli coloured the series.
This week I have decided to showcase the cover. My first 3D created image. This was done on computer as it was the only way I could 'paint' in colour at the time. I still use 3D models in my work but more for reference now and perspectives for cityscapes than for finished work. It can be a great time-saving option choosing a digital path.
Perspective. Before all the computer nerds start ripping the pages apart please bear in mind that the artwork was created on a P200 processor (work that out yourself!) with 128MB RAM and a 2GB hard drive nearly ten years ago. You can barely send an email with that limited spec nowadays. I was self taught on 3D Studio Max for a few weeks and all facial details were painted in by hand in Photoshop (as I hadn't learnt texture mapping at that point) With that caveat I think this cover has some value. There are a couple of places where my lack of knowledge and ability let me down but Gitane's face (with the scar) still pleases me. The intense expression on her face is a favourite.
When I have free time from the paying work in comics and storyboarding, I push forward with some ideas for covers or stories just to keep fresh. Last week I ran up some post-apocalyptic sketches in an AKIRA mode (issue 17 onwards) AKIRA was and still is a major influence on my work today and I tried to capture that sense of distressed buildings and city that Otomo does so well. There is also a distinct nod to the Southern Comfort movie poster (filmed by Walter Hill) from the eighties. A very creative time for film makers and a rewarding one for the fans. So many iconic images came out of that time. It kinda puts a lot of the newer promotional material to shame (where they focus too much on the star and not the movie or story itself) I like the suggestion in this particular sketch of the axe as an acquired weapon as much as the m16. Hopefully this sketch (when finished) will help sell the story to a publisher?
Plan to work the rest of the images up in colour as storyboards for a future project. At the moment they are very generic future war ideas but looking forward to showcasing more soon.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
A few years ago my friend and colleague, Liam Sharp was putting together a new anthology called Event Horizon and asked me to contribute. There were three pages in all (including another single image and a character sheet) My favourite piece is included here.
I was only able to supply the lineart for the release and Liam was kind enough to colour the image for me. The original colours were more influenced by Moebius (with yellows and greens) and had a very alien feel to the scene. Recently I decided coloured it myself and chose a more different palette. A simple enough composition.
You can see more of Liam Sharp's work at his Mamtor Publishing site and there shold still be copies of Event Horizon available. A terrific compilation, this Eagle nominated edition showcases the talents of long time established pros, such as Ash Wood, Steve Niles, Chris Weston and Brian Holguin - and also new talent, like Emma Simcock-Tooth, Kev Crossley, Dave Kendall and Lee Carter. It was a treat to be included in this book.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Back in 1992 I was fortunate enough to continue working with my Knights of Pendragon colleagues on a couple more projects at Kevin Eastman's new company Tundra. The first, Hypersonic, would eventually come out some seven years later through Dark Horse Comics but Lords of Misrule (written by Dan Abnett and John Tomlinson) managed a limited run at Tundra and remains a favourite work of mine still. There was some regret at the time of publishing that the original colour did not capture the dark brooding menace of this urban horror story. I resigned myself to including the black and white artwork in my portfolio and touring with the cherry pages at conventions.
Seventeen years later, Dave Elliot (now with Radical Comics) brought together the later Dark Horse series by Peter Snejbjerg and my original graphic novel for the first time. Dave allowed me to resize and open up the artwork for the release in a kinda redux fashion. Black borders were also added and the new painted colour by French artist Jean is particularly appropriate for this urban horror tale.
I have included some pages here. This also helps provide my prize for next month's Scotch Corner competition. A signed copy of the new hardcover will be given to the winner. A hefty volume with additional extras not found in the original series. A sketch will also be included of the Jack Goodfellow character as an inlay to the edition. A genuine one-off. Click here to enter.
Something more restrained this week. A magazine illustration of a Samurai and Geisha done earlier this year. Was nice to work with the textures and designs on the kimono and the print behind the figures. There are several colour versions of this piece on my Facebook site but I thought the turquoise worked best (and brought out the gold of the dragon more)
Next time I would like to tackle the samurai armour (very much in the style of Kurosawa) and should hopefully be able to include it here in the very near future.
Sometimes I paint. But not that often.
This effort from 1992 is a portrait of Flea inspired by the SPIN magazine photo set. I saw the cover and had to paint it. This is the first version. The second features on the back of my leather biker jacket and includes the rest of the band. Music always inspires me and keeps me company while working. Even when I took a forced sabbatical from comics tenyears ago I was fortunate enough to work in Broders Music epartment and had a quarter of a million accessible cds to listen too. That is certainly quite a playlist!
For this picture I used acrylics with coloured pencil for details. I would love to get back to painting again soon.