Monday, 25 January 2010

Bathroom Lion vignettes

Too long between posts! I've been beavering away on the book project in every spare moment and I'm happy, on the whole, with the way things are progressing. Still a fair few illustrations to go, and unfortunately I won't be able to post the finished pics on the blog for now. In saying that I do have a couple of vignette creatures that I've just finished for the "Beddy-byes Land" illustration (previously on mattdawsonblog...) which I can post. The publishers of the book were keen on sketch version 3 but also liked the bearded bees from the other sketches and asked for a bee to go along with the king and his cleaner. The scale issues of the little bee alongside the two figures didn't sit well with me but I felt a happy compromise was to isolate it as a top of the page vignette to accompany the main king and cleaner illustration in the page centre. Finally, for composition and added interest, I also worked in another vignette of a moustachioed snake for the foot of the page. Here they both are... More of something, anything, when I can :)

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Twisted Creatures part the 7 "The Giraffe."

Well I've been playing hooky from my book project today in order to get out the next twisted creature, a project I share with my esteemed colleagues Messrs Morgan and Levell. Phil's last choice of animal was the giraffe so I present my little sketchy bit of fun. My twisted train of thought stopped at long neck, guillotine and French Revolution so what could make more sense (??!) than a long necked aristo ready for the chop. Please tell me if the frog is one step the wrong side of racist... I was thinking lion or cheetah as a possible revolutionary but, rightly or wrongly, the frog just seemed to fit.

For reference my first port of call is always a google image search but I just wasn't getting the costume pictures I wanted for the revolutionary and the aristocrat. In the back of my mind was the sublime Blackadder, and the "Nob and Nobility" episode in Blackadder the Third with the French Revolution storyline. In the end I thought why look elsewhere, so I put on the DVD, sketched costume reference straight into photoshop and had a fun few minutes laughing and drawing. Clothing is always a constant bind for me to get right in my work. Pardon the pun, but I always get wrapped in in my shorts over the the details. Collars don't fit in with my character design or pose, what side are the buttons on, how many buttons... and don't get me started on having to work out hairstyles! Long story short I didn't follow the Blackadder costumes exactly, I felt the revolutionary needed the blue jacket and stripped pantaloons to be more peasant like, but the whole Blackadder exercise was fun and productive. Enough rambling, as always thanks very much for looking. The next twisted creature will be a Mandrill (pretty unusual to start with!).

additional: arrgh, all I can see now is the frog's terrible weight distribution... why doesn't he fall backwards, is he nailed to the floor!!! It's only a bit of fun, let it go Matt...!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Twisted creatures "Camel Spiders"

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE & ALL! Hope you had jolly holidays and are raring to dive headlong into 2010! I've made a start on the first final artwork for the "There's A Lion In My Bathroom" book. Not sure what I'll be able to show on this but I'll keep the blog posted with whatever I can. To kick the blogging off in this shiny new year here is my (long overdue...) response to the Twisted Creatures project I share with my good friends Phil & Kev. For your amusement (I hope) may I present "Camel Spiders". After my 4 eyed robot and many eyed fly (previously on matts blog...) any excuse from here on in to draw something with more than 2 eyes... it's just so much fun! The next Twisted Creature is to be the Giraffe, so expect long necked shenanigans before too long :)