Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tattoo sketch

Still a WIP, this one, but the pressure of designing a tattoo for a friend is pretty massive. A totally different set of considerations to publishing - someone has to have a tattoo on their body for the rest of their life, so getting exactly what they want is imperative. Even when someone trusts what I'm doing, I've still got a lot of nagging doubts in the back of my fick skull.

The design is a bit larger and more sprawling than the character image, but I like this little sketch which was just done for approval of the main figure.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Doomed! Yer all doomed!

Cursitor Doom,illustration,Comic,Graeme Neil Reid

Pencil drawing this week as time has be short for many different reasons. I tend to do my pencil drawings quite finished, and by that I mean that even if I see some things in my pencilling that I'll change when I go to ink it or colour it I'll still want a 'finished' looking product. This drawing for instance has had all the dark areas shaded in with pencil rather than just indicating (usually with an X mark) where the black areas will be and so although not the final product in my eye it'll still interest the hopefully buying public as a more finished piece. It makes a good alternative purchase for someone who may not have enough spare cash to buy the finished illustration but will happily buy a 'finished' looking pencil piece.

The illustration is of 'Cursitor Doom' master-investigator of the strange and mystic and his trusty companion 'Scarab' the raven. Cursitor Doom ran in the pages of 'Smash' a UK comic in the late 60s and early 70s and apart from some reprints and cameo appearances in other stories was long gone before I was born. However, a new collection of the strips published by 'Bear Alley Books' (the Bear Alley Books website is currently on hold but here is a link to the Bear Alley website run by Steve Holland, I couldn't actually see any links on the site showing how to purchase the book but there are contact details if anyone interested)is available and I heartily recommend the title. With the majority of artwork produced by Eric Bradbury, who worked on so many of my favourite titles including 'The Dracula Files' in 'Scream' and 'Doomlord' in 'Eagle', this is a great collection. The stories are presented in their original three page instalments and are a classic example of wonderfully inventive and enthralling British comics.

Monday, September 28, 2009

September Competition - Last Few Days!

Once again you only have until the end of this Wednesday to get your comments in on the competition post before the inhabitants of Scotch Corner decide who the winner is. So if you don't want to miss out click here and leave your comment!

Jonday - You know what I did last summer

I've been off travelling for a week, and managed to do a bit of doodling and noodling.

A couple of random faces from my iPhone sketchbook - using Brushes, which seems to work nicely. They did a cover for the New Yorker with Brushes recently, doncha know?
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And I shot lots of photos of koi at Undersea World in Skegvegas, one of which I noodled into a book cover with the help of PS:
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

August Competition Update!

We've had word through from the winner of the August competition here on Scotch Corner, Brian Woods, that the prize and other goodies sent by Jon have arrived safely in Ukraine and are thoroughly admired and enjoyed by all. Check this out:

The tube of amazingness arrived yesterday. I have to say, the students from today were very impressed with the artwork. I took the picture with our 2nd form students. It's their first year of English. I told them that maybe today they don't know enough but I hope one day they will write stories about what they see in those pictures!

Thank you very much for the poster and prints. They will look great hanging in our classroom!

Many thanks to the 2nd Form students at Bakhchisaray School No. 1 in Crimea, Ukraine for the brilliant photograph, their teachers Amet Bekirov and Brian Woods who is a Peace Corps volunteer working with them. Brian finishes by saying:

Thank you guys again for the prints. They are really magnificent. I finish my volunteer teaching here in November, and it makes me glad to think that these prints will be decorating the classroom for years after I am gone.

Friday, September 25, 2009

That's no Wonder Woman

Nope, it's Spidey vs. Venom. It was going to be the Linda Carter Wonder Woman (for Neil's benefit - ok and mine too) in the stylee of my Hulk illi last week but my wee girl was admitted into hospital last night and i haven't had time to do it - as i left it to the last minute as usual. Apologies to those who have seen this one before elsewhere. Gotta go.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Knights of the Pendragon!

Currently in Spain surrounded by the most amazing Gaudi architecture. Very inspiring.

This week I thought I would post up my new cover for the Knights of the Pendragon cover and give a little information about the process involved. Knights was the first book I worked on (some twenty years ago) and still remains a favourite with fans. Panini are now intending to publish the first nine issues in one single volume later this year with the remaining volume to follow next year.

I have also included some of the original sketches for the cover with this post. I found it difficult to return to the characters after so long away and the final design was limited by how much of the first half of the story we could reveal. The Red Lord and the Bain were later on in the series and could not appear on this first cover. The final climactic battle with the Green Knight (as great a cover image as that would have been) was also out of the question. The 'Ultimates' inspired group shot (although interesting) failed to excite and a late sketch proposal of a wrap round cover proved difficult for the production as the back cover design had already been approved. So many things to take into consideration.

With so many options in mind I took the decison to draw our heroes (and villian) individually to allow for re-sizing and positioning. This proved very helpful in choosing each character's prominence relative to Captain Britain who was always front and centre. Brady Webb at Panini and myself went through many ideas before settling on the final design shown here... our heroes charging defiantly towards the reader. A fairly simple idea (you may think) but a cover is the singular most important selling point of any medium (be it a cd, magazine or comic book cover) The cover has to be attention grabbing and instantly promote interest in the product and a desire to see more. You can see this logic on any newstand or comic shop shelf.

Very pleased with the final choice of design and thanks again to Brady Webb for his guidance and input and to James Offredi for his colour work.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New day, new work

Some brand new work today, an illo for Cubicle Seven's Victoriana RPG. Victoriana is a steam-punk setting in the middle of the 19th century where magic and steam-tech live side by side. Here we have a member of Britain's Wyvern Regiment, in the uniform of a Hussar from the crimean campaign. A lot of fun to do this one, again a pencil and digital work, and especially nice to have a little job which plays to a lot of things which I'm interested in.

Many thanks to Cubicle Seven for letting me post this so far ahead of the publishing date. (C) Cubicle Seven 2009.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Auld Man

Painting,Graeme Neil Reid

This is another delve back into my long distant archive, in fact it's such a dip back that I can't even remember what year I painted it. I believe it was either in the last year of being in college or having just started full time work so that would make it about 1992 or 93 ish (maybe?). It was certainly among one of the last fully traditional paintings I did for a long time and was painted in acrylics (base) and oils.

I don't own many of my own paintings from back then having given most of them away (in fact a friend asked me when I was going to become famous as he has a pile of my work waiting to go on Ebay, cheeky sod) but I found this the other day and was dismayed to discover that a previous image painted underneath this was seeping its way through the painting, urgh.

I found this JPG of the painting on an old CD and it seems its the only version of the painting I have and far too small to be of any use other than for you to look at it so there you go. For those unsure of the location it's rocky hills on the Isle of Skye called 'The Storr' and the tallest pointy pinnacle thing you can see is affectionately called 'The Auld (Old) Man of Storr'.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jonday - Faces in the Smoke

Hey all,

This one is a cover I recently completed for the good folks over at Cubicle 7 Entertainment, part of the Rebellion Group. It's for their Victoriana steampunk game line. Enjoy!

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(C)2009 Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd


Friday, September 18, 2009

You won't like me when i'm angry, ya bam!

Another wee experiment this week based on a classic Lou Ferringo Hulk pose. It's actually 95% vector with a touch of photoshop for the radiation/glow effect. The vector part was drawn up and coloured in Flash (shown below), i still actually prefer to draw in Flash rather than illustrator as i can get much more variance in the lines and love that you can mold your lines in a putty like fashion. If i ever get round to getting a wacom i may move over to illustrator but for all i 'draw' digitally anyway then Flash suits me fine. Basically just a case of spotting my blacks and adding some shadow/colour blocks as vectors and then off to photoshop to tweak and effects.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Turning Point - Fall of Liberty trailer.

Drawing comics is not all I do nowadays. Occasionally there are opportunities to work with animation companies on storyboards or concept design. Recently I have been fortunate enough to work with the guys (and girls) at Axis Animation on trailers for console games. One of my favourites was the Turning Point - Fall of Liberty game trailer.

My comic book storytelling skills were definitely put to the test as there were constant revisions to the drawings from the original script. Working alongside Wiek Luijken$(the director and also an accomplished aviation artist) and Jonathan Kray (Lead Animator) made it easy for quick edits and approaches (especially as clients were always requesting changes on a daily basis) My 'on site' status also helped with some subtle 'blocking' for the fight scene. Watch the taxi driver beat up the Nazi paratrooper and you can hopefully guess which part I played. Wiek certainly didn't hold back with the punches or the kick to the stomach! All in a day's work for a freelancer! ;)

The six week turnaround flew by (my own part being the first week) and Axis showed me the finished job a couple of months later. The end result was stunning. Almost filmic. It is astounding for me to see my very quick short sketches turned into a full motion CGI mini-movie but with such talented animators and director and the award wining studio behind the project it couldn't fail. Always felt very welcome at the studio and look forward to working on new projects with them soon. See more of their work including the stunning Killzone trailers here.

You can see the HD version here (after a very short 10 second advert) Play it loud!


Darn it, I failed the blog! Missed my posting slot - albeit for a very good reason, as friends of mine were getting married yesterday. So a big congratulations to Ben and Iulia, who I hope had a fab day - I know I did! But that means I'm running late, the blog's running late, everything is late, and now I'm making up for it. A bit?

A work in progress today, which I hope to finish up soon - lets see if the final will make an appearance in the next few weeks here on Scotch Corner, eh?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Doctor Who,illustration,Graeme Neil Reid,Inks

Not long to go now for current Doctor, David Tennant. The autumn special 'Waters of Mars' will be aired soon (and it looks terrifying to me) and then its a quick hop and skip to Christmas and the two episode weep fest that will see his end.

No matter what you think of Doctor Who you have to take your hat off to the BBC for making it into the family show and long may it continue. I've thoroughly enjoyed David's run as the Doctor and I'll be sad to see him go but its always fun to witness a new regeneration in the series and with a complete change behind the scenes too including the brilliant writer Steven Moffat taking over as 'head honcho' then I'm looking forward to next years series with Matt Smith stepping into the Tardis.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jonday - testing testing 123

Hey! Monday again!

So here's an actual sketch. I'm testing a bit of a new greyscale style. A couple of opportunities have presented themselves for which I need a moody, sketchy but very quick style. I think I might have a workflow sorted for this, and this was the first tester sketch using that process. All rather abstract, but it reminds me of biro drawings I did as a teen, but with the evil power of photoshop these take a fraction of the time.

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Some more involved images with you know, actual figures and stuff will follow...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Which way now?

Recently came across this 'puzzle page' that i did for Marvel UK way back in the dawn of time. This is one of the few jobs that i still have a copy of as I did quite a few bits for them that have been 'lost' to time, this was back before i had access to a decent copier and way before i had my own PC and scanner (probably still got the invoices and receipts - just not copies of the work). Don't know what happened to the original artwork for most of the stuff and the majority of it was never actually published, for instance this was for a proposed kids superhero puzzle magazine - a lot of the stuff i did fell under that kind of category. Anyhoo, the editor moved over to Northern Shell (as Marvel UK imploded) who were starting up Action Man and i was getting my first crack at a regular comic strip gig. But unfortunately the editor fell off the face of the planet (never really found out what happened there) and the new guy went with his own artists.
As i had given up the day job it was the dole, back to my old job or art school (yep, somehow i had managed to get work from them without ever having done any art qualifications or even going to a life drawing class - the irony being that now that i 'know' what i'm doing i can't get a foot in the door -anyhoo, them's the breaks). So i ended up at Art school (i didn't even have an art folio and had to do a folio year before i could even apply) and drifted towards graphic design before doing my masters in Interactive Technology ending up with my current day job of web and graphic designer. Right - gonna shut up now - how did that end up as a life story?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Avilés or bust!

Graeme here, posting for Gary who has flown away to Spain to attend the Avilés Comic Festival (lucky so and so). Knowing the excitement brought on by being set loose from his drawing board its not surprising that Gary has forgotten to set his post for the day so as a fill in this week I've found an old interview Gary did with Wakefield Carter about his work on the updated Dan Dare series. Go have a read here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Some Fun

Nice to get a totally different job once in a while, and nice to help out family now and then. My sister is a history teacher, and wanted some comic images for her class to use as a springboard for her students to write and draw some comic pages. So, one of these ahem, springboard images, was King Alexander falling to his death off the cliffs of Fife and thus sparking the wars of independence/civil war for the Scottish crown. She wanted really simple cartoony work which isn't something I often do, so it was a fun change to the usual stuff.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tell me what you see...

Rorschach,Watchmen,Painting,Graeme Neil Reid,illustration

Walter Joseph Kovacs, A.K.A. Rorschach. If you didn't read the twelve issue comic series started in 1986 you might have read the various editions of the collected graphic novel and if not you'll have at least heard of the movie. This was done in acrylics and was obvious reminder to me how easy it is to put a block of yellow colour on a picture on a computer but not so easy with a small brush. Three coats of yellow later and it was okay, just.

I'll let Rorschach tell you what he sees to finish off.

"This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It's us. Only us."

Monday, September 7, 2009

Jonday - turned out rotten again!

Another never before seen, unfinished gloomy grey landscape! Wow Jon you're really spoiling us!
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And a clickable big job:

Here's a (dirty?) vido (stoneybridge!) of 20 minutes of the work in progress, with studio soundtrack and terrible singing.
Link to uStream

Just don't say I never do anything for you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Radioactive, large and green - it's the Incredible...

...Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My wee boy asked me about these characters as he came across them on some cartoon channel so i did some doodles for him. No idea which character(s) i've drawn as i did a random drawing - so apologies if costumes etc are way off - cant say i've seen anything Turtle related for a long while, but good to try something different.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dan Dare - Opening sequence.

Occasionally I use photo reference for my work (mostly for tricky fight choreography or character designs) and it proved especially helpful for Dan Dare. Garth Ennis had written a very subtle opening sequence and since this was the first look at Dan Dare for near fifteen years or so there was a certain worry about getting it right for the fans (old and new)

My partner Mhairi took the photos of me in similar poses to my initial sketches. It's always important to sketch the layouts first but sometimes you surprise yourself with a different angle and better storytelling. Best to go with it if that happens. Various pieces of reference (dogs, small village and cricket match) were found on the internet (a valuable and quick resource for any artist and script!) A few changes were made to the sequence in the final edit and inks but the end result is one I am very pleased with.

Here's the process for Dare... After the photo reference pictures are comped together I can start the pencilling process. This is generally done with pen as it gives me a first draft at the inks and I can sort out any problems there and then.

Once I am finished with the pencils then onto inks. Lots more detail and texture is added to the final picture. You will notice the birds in the background (a late addition to the script)

Once the inks are done then the final image is sent off to the colourist and returned as shown below. Absolutely gorgeous painted work by Parasuraman.

For Dare, the photo reference was also an essential part of the process to kick start me back into drawing for the already forward schedule. I was brought into the project later in the day and had to make up the time for an already agreed publishing date with Virgin. Hadn't drawn my own artwork for a couple of years so was a tad rusty and concerned that I had to catch up again on such an important book and character (the Dare Legacy carries a lot of weight) Impressing Garth Ennis was also not an easy task and we worked hard on this book.

I eventually got into my stride and the later issues were all drawn by hand (although there were still a couple of small sequences that required photo referencing) Very pleased with the end result and the Dynamite collection has more sketches and designs if you're interested in seeing another small part of the whole process of creating comics.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You call this art!?!?!?

Ahem... No. Although I don't use custom papers enough when I'm using Painter IX.5, these are some of the textures I've scanned and made into papers to bring crunchy grain and roughness into my work (occasionally). In these cases I've scanned my old oil painting palettes which ended up fairly rough and interesting after cleaning/drying/painting/cleaning/drying/painting over a few years.

Also posted a, well, tacky and cheesy image I'd made using some textures and slowly building up the colours and turning down the 'grain' setting on the painter brush I was using (It took me ages to figure out how to use textures - the grain setting needed to be turned right down to less than 18% to really make any noticeable difference in the result).

You won't often see me use the technique so blatantly, but its another tool in the box of tricks, eh?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August Competition - The Result!

Hot from Jon's keyboard!

After much consideration, I have finally come to a decision. This was not easy, and I was torn between several very funny, several very heartfelt and creative, and several very worthy entries. However, without further ado, the print will go to: Brian Woods for his comment:

You know, I have been in Ukraine for two years teaching English to kids who don't understand how valuable the language is to them. Some art like this, might inspire them to work a little harder.

How could I pass on that one? An honourable mention for David Wright. Let's hook up for a signing, and I'll bring a load of prints! Thanks to everyone who entered. Now all of you enter Graeme's contest, along with a load of other people and make me look rubbish for being overwhelmed by 18 entries.


Congratulations Brian, your prize will be on its way just as soon as we receive your details!

September Competition - Doctor Who Original Art!

September has arrived and its time for a new competition! It couldn't be easier to enter, all you need to do is leave a comment about the prize and you'll be entered into the running. Any kind of comment counts but you have to make sure you think about it as you can only enter once, so make it funny, make it complimentary, make it a song, make it weird, make it anything you want but make your comment count.

This time we have some original ink art from the world of Doctor Who by Graeme Neil Reid.

illustration,Inks,Doctor Who,Graeme Neil Reid

This was done for fun back in 2002 and anybody who knows me knows I'm a big fan of Doctor Who. The idea was to take one of the original (as there was many versions) movie posters for the film Star Wars and do a parody poster for the Who story 'Remembrance of the Daleks' from 1988. The story has Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred as the Doctor and companion Ace battling those pesky pepperpots and just like the Eccleston story 'Dalek' from a few years ago this also had the great British public agog when the Daleks finally conquered the ability to go up and down stairs, yikes!

illustration,Doctor Who,Graeme Neil Reid

The prize is threefold this time. You'll own the original inked illustration which is on CS10 heavy art board and measures 45cm high by 39cm wide (if you click on the image to see it bigger you'll be able to spot where I cheated on the skirting of the Daleks by drawing it in Adobe Illustrator and printing it out to be stuck on the board, far too hard inking circles freehand you know!) and you'll receive an A3 print of the finished movie poster and (because I have two copies for some reason) you'll also get a copy of the 'Remembrance of the Daleks' DVD. (The DVD is for regions 2 & 4.)

Terms of entry: 1. Only one entry per person. 2. Comments must be left by the end of 30th September 2009 to be entered into the competition. 3. The contributors to Scotch Corner will judge the comments left and decide a winner with the contributor supplying the prize having the casting vote. 4. The winner will be announced on the website as soon as a decision has been reached. 5. If the winner does not have a contact email address available on their comment profile then it is the winners responsibility to contact Scotch Corner at and supply mailing address details. 6. If the winner does not contact us after one full month a new winner will be chosen. 7. All decisions are final. 8. If you are unhappy with any of these conditions please do not enter.

Old Stoneyface

Painting,illustration,2000AD,Judge Dredd,Comic,Graeme Neil Reid

Joseph Dredd is the law in Mega-City 1 and has become as much part of British comics lore as Dennis the Menace and Desperate Dan. I started reading the weekly comic 2000AD when I was about fourteen and so had missed many of the more popular Dredd stories like the 'Cursed Earth' and 'The Day The Law Died' but was fortunate enough to find 'The Best of 2000AD' a monthly reprint magazine had just started and my first visits to a comic shop in the neighbouring big city where I discovered those excellent Titan book albums of Joe's earlier adventures.

Within two years I'd gone from having no idea what I was going to do with my adult life to deciding I was going to be a comic book artist, I hadn't shown any great aptitude for drawing before then but my intense scrutiny of early 2000AD's and my lack of effort in any other subject had me decided. I got some trial scripts from Tharg the Mighty (cosmic editor of the comic) and for the next year I banged out around six different painted and inked Dredd stories all hoping I'd make the grade. I didn't. I'd heard all the stories of Steve Dillion and Kev O'Neill drawing strips from the age of sixteen and thought 'Yeah maybe that'll be me?'. Trouble was I think I showed talent but zero experience and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't fit that experience into two or three years of work. I got another trial script in the post (no email back then) and decided that was it, no more. Did I give up to early, should I have soldiered on? I don't think so. I was unemployed and needed to earn money, I knew I wanted to become an artist but it just took around ten years more before I understood what kind of artist.

So here's a painting of Joe Dredd (click on the picture for bigness), done in acrylics with the big city finished in pens because I ran out of time. Would I like to draw a Dredd strip now? You bet I would!